We gathered ourselves together, knowing we had a strong team out this week, and warmed up in style. Then Briege handed out the planned substitutions all carefully written out so we all knew what was expected and then the game began and it all changed!
Wimbledon were fast, moving the ball around with slick passing and moving off the ball - but surprise surprise - we were just as fast, just as slick with our passing and much to their surprise, we had several attacks in the opening quarter which on a good day would have lead to at least one goal. Excellent linking play from the defence - Katy, Briege, Laura with Sarah and Caitlin forced the ball down the right side several times where the Wimbledon defence scrambled the ball away from Amie and Johanna The game rattled from one end of the pitch to the other - neither team giving the ball away and strong defending was needed to keep the score 0:0 at half time.
We celebrated the half time score and set about improving things for the second half. The idea was to get the ball forward more quickly so Johanna, Amie and Becca could have more space to move behind the defence and get the ball across the circle. In the first ten minutes we had two perfect examples with balls taken early through to Johanna who slotted the first straight past the goalie and the second was finished off by Becca. Suddenly it was Wimbledon on the back foot chasing a goal. We defended well, keeping them out of scoring range with great marking in the D and our midfield harrassing every one of their players moving forward. Finally they scored from a short corner but with about 15 minutes to go we were attacking again. Ellie won shot of the day with a brilliant cross field hit to Johanna who collected the ball and calmly bashed it past the goalie. 3:1 and we were not going to lose.
The last 10 minutes were tense as Wimbledon threw everything forward in a desperate attempt to get something back. Close marking from Laura, Maggs, Katy, Ellie, a couple of necessary saves from Ruth and more outstanding efforts from all the Midfield especially Rachel, meant we finished without conceding another goal. Rohanna had retired injured after a stick to the head! Injured Sarah came on for a short spell and nearly added to the score as well.
A real team effort - great goals, great hockey and another 3 points. Now second in the league but only on goal difference - and we have the lowest goals against in the whole league.