It was a crisp and bright morning as 32 of our U10 girls arrived at Woking. We had agreed to field one strong team (Shadows) against two Woking sides on a half pitch and three mixed ability/age teams (Fire/Ice/Storm) against similar teams from Woking playing on quarter pitches.
Emma M (GK), Ella S, Ottalie T, Martha R, Gemma M, Rosie L, Martha C, Amelie D
Not sure if it was the size of the opposition that put the girls off but unfortunately it took the first game, in which we were beaten 2 -0, for the girls to warm up. Remaining positive we put the result of the game behind us and went on to draw all the remaining games, 1-1, 1-1 and 0-0. An excellent result when you think that we were playing U10 teams whilst most of our team was made up of under 9's
Rosie and Martha R were excellent in defence clearing the ball at every given opportunity. Amelia and Gemma played fantastically well supporting their backs and getting the ball out to their wings. Gemma showed excellent ball skills in our last game and was very effective at making sure she found a free team member before she passed the ball. Ella had multiple Woking Players glued to her all game which meant Ottalie and Martha C had to work incredibly hard to find a way of getting the ball anywhere near Ella or near the goal. Although Woking were a very strong side the girls dug deep and remained calm and in control in all their remaining matches. Their defending skills were definitely put to the test and passed with flying colours. It was good to see some of our training drills being put into operation with more and more use of the wings as the games went on. There was lots of good activity on the left wing with Amelia and Ottalie working well together and getting the ball successfully down the wing and into the D on numerous occasions. Woking were unfortunately always ready and waiting and were very good at making it very difficult for us to score a goal !!
Their determination and general attitude on the pitch was a real credit to the club - well played everyone.
Phoebe W, Martha R, Alexandra K, Hannah S, Clara D, Hatty S, Elena K, Grace J
On first, we hurriedly sorted out our positions and I asked Hannah to play CF. Having seen her at training I knew that despite her size, she is like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator as she does not stop attacking until the ball hits the back board. Happily, that seemed to be the general philosophy of our forwards, including Phoebe who only started with us on Friday. She seemed to fit in well and was great on the right, covering defence and then getting stuck in to the attack (good quick restarts too). Martha R was lightning quick in midfield but had to come off after she hurt her hand in a nasty clash of sticks but we were really pleased to see her come back for the ‘final’. Elena took left wing and with less experience had a hesitant start but soon got stuck in to the attack (including scoring a great goal). Elena and the rest of team kept their positions (Ok, mostly) and as we talked about, this enabled some spells of passing and attractive hockey. Our defence, which was mainly a mix of Clara, Hatty, Alexandra and Grace, were very disciplined and always ready to clear out balls (albeit too often down the ‘valley of doom’ = the middle). Spacing did fall apart if we swapped positions, leading to some confusion and bunching but that’s understandable.
So, in our little pool, we drew 0:0 with a Woking side, beat GHC Ice and came top on goal difference. This left us in our final match playing the Woking side who came top of their pool of three. I was expecting a struggle and drafted in Ellie F as goalie but as it turned out she did not even touch the ball. The girls were playing to win and did so convincingly.
It’s not so much the result as the spirit (including cheering noisily for GHC Ice in their decider) and the manner that was so pleasing to be part of. Congratulations to Hannah , Phoebe, Elena, Grace and Martha who all scored but also to Clara, Grace, Alexandra and Hatty for stopping the opposition with disciplined positioning and determined tackling. A clean sheet without a goalie is just as impressive as a hat full of goals.
Plenty for us to work on at training though, so keep it up girls. You were a pleasure to coach.
Ellie F(GK), Lucy F, Martha F, Grace C, Holly Y, Molly P, Scarlett W
Three games against strong opposition were a tough test for the Guildford Ice team at Woking. In our first game against another Guildford team we were on the back foot from the start - Martha and Molly and Scarlett tried hard to stop the opposition forwards breaking through the defence but they were very good at passing round our defence and despite Ellie's brilliant saves several goals went in.
Our second game against a Woking team was much better - we still lost but had several chances to break out and get the ball up to our attack of Holly, Lucy and Gracie. It was always going to be a hard game as the other team played with 7 outfield players against our 6. The third game against another Woking team was much more even and we scored first! A goal mouth melee ended up with the ball in the goal - was it Holly? was it Gracie? The most important thing is it went over the line and we were ahead. The Woking team were also attacking hard and just before the end of the game they scored a goal to end the game 1:1. As is often the case the girls played better each game ending up with some really good passing and hard running in the last game that paid off with the goal.