A game, at last!
Thanks largely to the weather, this was only our 4th game since the first weekend of December. Of course this is the case for many teams at grass roots level. When the top league in the country can sign deals with TV companies for £9 million *per match* it is a national disgrace that facilities for kids in this country are so chronically underfunded. A fraction of what the Prem is hoovering up and spending on Bentleys and agents could fund 3G pitches for every grass roots club in the land to use, and allow our children to play our national winter sport in the actual winter.
Anyway, on to our game. Our girls looked a little rusty, but nevertheless got stuck in as they always do against a combative Gedling side with some handy forwards. We disrupted ourselves a little with the large number of substitutes we had. Too many really, but given the scarcity of match day football over the last 3 months we didn't want to ask anyone not to come. They need to play.
In the centre of the pitch things were very even. The real difference was in the finishing. I think the visitors had 7 shots on target. Pip made a great save with one from point blank range. The rest were from further out and although well struck giving Pip no chance, it did show how farcical it is to have kids of this size in a full sized goal. At the other end, top scorer Anna G went close a couple of times before slotting one in to get back on track after a few matches without a goal. We had several other efforts from the likes of Izzy, Emily, Nic, Mia and Diesel that were either slightly wide or a bit too close to the goalie. On another day the scoreline would likely have been much closer, but on this day Gedling were deserved winners even though the score was a bit hard on our players.
At 9-a-side before Christmas we had quite a few wins on our way to 2nd place. This was largely down to an experienced core of players meaning we could rotate the newer girls on and off to give them game time and still dominate in most matches. The move up to 11v11 means that some of our newer players in particular are going to need the rest of this season to adjust to more playing time, different positions and much bigger pitches. While that happens we may not get the final scores we'd like to see but in the longer term they're going to be just fine, and our new team photo taken after the game shows that it's hard to dampen our spirits!
BTFC Player of the Match was Katy whose skills and passing are improving all the time, to go with her excellent work rate and tackling.