Cup run over
Credit in defeat for our girls
Some coaches may not believe that it's remotely possible to feel ok about losing by a fair few goals at home. We weren't exactly dancing in the streets after this game, but we did all feel ok about it. This was always going to be a difficult match. The Forest girls in our age group generally only lose the occasional game against Derby and run in double figures against most of the other teams. By any measure - our players development or theirs - they are in the wrong league, as they are rarely tested and most teams can't live with them. Though it would be nice for us to go through youth football hoovering up trophies, our ultimate aim as grass roots coaches surely has to be to keep improving the girls individually all the way through, and hopefully hand them on to open age adult football as good players.
The question for us here was how to try to deal with them in this County Cup semi-final, and how to make sure we also got something meaningful from it for our players if the game did start to go the way we feared it may.
The Bingham girls were well up for this challenge and decided to give it a real go. As we don't have the luxury of more than an hour of training every week, there was no time to work on catenaccio and 'parking the bus' so we tweaked our formation slightly and employed a sweeper. Our well-worn pitch probably also acted as something of a leveller as it was not conducive to a slick passing game. Our players competed extremely well in the first half and could count themselves unlucky to be losing at half time, as there was an element of fortune in both the Forest goals and sadly we didn't get a similar rub of the green going forward. Half time: BTFC 0 -2 Forest.
In the second half things got much tougher for our girls as the visitors had twigged what we were up to with our formation and adjusted theirs accordingly. We found it increasingly difficult to get out of our own half and despite the girls doing all they could, three goals in quick succession killed off the match. A couple of late goals put some extra gloss on the scoreline for the visitors but ultimately they were too good for us. Our players had given it everything and as coaches we cannot ask for more than that. Full time: BTFC 0 - Forest 7.
Sometimes after a heavy defeat it is a bit of a struggle for managers, coaches and parents to scratch around for the positives to take out of the game, but this wasn't the case here. It seems to be a common theme across the age groups that the Bingham Town girls are 'a bit too nice' but our lot stood their ground well and did not let the absence of our top scorer Anna G worry them. Several of our newer players (and a couple more long serving ones) played as well as I've seen them and it bodes well for the rest of this season and beyond.
Honourable mention roll call:
Pip continued her renaissance in goal, and was very busy keeping the scoreline down and taking the pressure off her defence.
Bella continues to grow into her preferred defensive role in her first season and looks like someone with far more games under their belt.
Anna B is definitely now our defensive leader and is starting to add some surging runs forward.
Elisabeth is starting to form a very promising looking partnership at the back with Anna.
Evie remains our most composed and calm looking player.
Rioja in only her 5th game competed well at right back and made some real progress with her positioning and ball work.
Lauren covered some ground, swept up everything she could behind the defence, and got forward whenever possible.
Katy as ever got through a mountain of work in midfield.
Lily had her best game of the season despite being moved into midfield from defence.
Drew harassed the opposition throughout and also took a whack in the face and some grit in the eye for her trouble.
Mia played as well as I can remember and maybe we have finally found the right position for her!
Emily also had her best game yet for us in her first season and is improving every week.
Nic had to play the thankless lone striker role and worked very hard chasing the opposition down.
Eve worked in tandem with Nic (one on, one off) and also got through some hard running.
BTFC Player of the Match was Pip for the second game in succession.