The Under 12 Girls were out in force again this weekend, this time with six teams competing on Sunday...
Guildford Flames v Sevenoaks
The all-conquering Guildford U10 team from last season took to the pitch in sunny Sevenoaks for their first U12 7-a-side game with a certain degree of trepidation. Their fears proved to be justified in the first game as the opposition proved to be fast, skilful and well drilled (and big!). The girls tried to deal with them by pressing high up the field, but found themselves exposed at the back as balls got through to their high forwards who finished clinically. There was even a reverse stick strike from the top of the D into the bottom corner!
At the end of this 3-0 defeat the girls were downhearted, and tired from chasing the ball around the pitch. However, we talked through a few defensive principles like not getting flat at the back and communicating better with each other all over the pitch. We also stressed the importance of everyone working back to help with defence.
What a transformation there was in the second game! Grace found her voice in goal and began to tell her defenders where their players were. Holly stepped up to intercept through balls, and all the girls worked tirelessly to get back in defence and then again to get up in support of our attacks. Isla and Katie were particularly great at driving up the wing and then running all the way back to their own D to win the ball back. We put some excellent quick breaks together and were very unlucky not to score from one of our chances in front of goal. I could not have been more proud of the girls’ performance, and they were very unlucky to lose 1-0 in this second game.
There are things to work on, but also great positives in the work rate and team spirit. Well done girls!
Coach: Libby Leadbeater
Team: Grace J (GK), Holly B, Gemma M, Katie R, Rosie L, Eliza L, Isla M, Martha R, Martha R, Ella S
Guildford Shadows v Sevenoaks
Lost 2:1 but should have drawn and could have won. Went 1:0 down in the first few minutes as the opposition displayed a very good system and structure - position wise they were spot on and played a 2 girls attack, Once we adapted we got a goal back courtesy of Ottalie, set up by excellent play initially from Freya and Martha that led to a pass, dribble into the D and shot. Defensively the girls were good and cleared the ball a number of times in dangerous position, with a fine save form Anouk keeping it level until the last few minutes. Great work from Emily, Saffy and Phoebe. We had chances go wide, hit the side netting, hit the bar. Great work ethic all round and brave challenges.
Lost 4-0, 3-0 in first half, but play in the second half was much better. This was the stronger side form Sevenoaks (with 3 or 4 really skilled players) and they moved down the middle with ease initially, but we tightened up well in the second half, conceding a well worked goal late on. We looked a little less fit, a little slower and less combative than in the first game. We need to work on facing the ball as we retreat after a penalty or side-line ball, and we were caught out repeatedly by the speed the opposition took the restart, and our defensive wall wasn't there and too often walking away with their backs turned !... Good effort by Lola, Ottalie, Martha & Freya and the defensive, particularly Emily. No shots on goal, possession given up to easily and way too many missed tackles.
Coach: Simon Wilcockson
Team: Anouk M (GK), Caityn B, Emily W, Emma M, Freya W, Lola I, Martha C, Ottalie T, Phoebe W, Saffy S.
Guildford Storm v Surbiton
Guildford Storm had promising start to their season on Sunday at Surbiton. We were a squad of 10 and rotated the girls to ensure roughly even game time.
First up was a disjointed 0-0 draw with Surbiton Magpies where, despite some great effort, a few chances went begging. Next was Surbiton Eagles who had some stronger players. We started to play with a little more rhythm and width which eventually created a chance for Anna B which she slotted nicely for a hard fought win in an end to end game. The next game saw us spend almost the entire game in Teddington 2’s D without converting numerous chances, shooting from too far out and not scoring from 4 short corners. Frustratingly this ended 0-0. Last up was Teddington 1 who proved tough opposition and took the lead 1-0 with 4 minutes to go. Staring at our first defeat the girls turned up the volume and finally put together some nice sequences of passing with width. Sustained pressure saw Imogen equalise then Susannah score the winner. It finished 2-1.
All the girls gave their all and there were no weak links. Although Olivia pushed very close, the player of the day award went to Martha for always trying to play with the width we had been talking about.
Played 4, won 2 drew 2.
Strengths. Building the wall, team spirit and smiles. Points to work on. Look up when on the ball, talking to each other and finishing. Also playing with more width.
Coach: Dan Thompson
Team: - Amelie D, Annabelle B, Evie A, Imogen M, Jemima F, Martha F, Olivia C, Susannah L, Tallulah Tand Tilly F
Overall a great day in the Sunday for Guildford Hurricanes. The team fought hard in all 4 games against decent teams.
With Hatty, Laura and Flora doing well at the back and Olivia making some great saves we did well to keep out the opposition.
In midfield we had Maddie, Liv, Jas and Lottie attacking well and working hard back in defence. Up front we had Alexandra working hard and closing down defenders
First game was our toughest playing Woking A and despite a few chances lost 2-0. Second game was very close but lost 1-0 and had a few chances to score. The team certainly improved during the course of the tournament and in our 3rd game showed domination against Reigate which resulted in us scoring first but unfortunately, we managed to then conceded a goal making the end result 1-1.
Game 4 Lottie scored a good goal and all the girls help improve the team performance. But again we managed to concede a goal on the final whistle and drew 1-1. Best performance of the day against a sharp opposition.
Well done to the whole squad!!
Coach: James Relph
Squad – Olivia R(GK), Hatty S, Flora S, Livi V, Maddie W, Jasmin M, Lottie J-P, Lara D, Alexandra J
Guildford Thunder v Woking, OC's and Reigate
In contrast to the previous week, it was clear skies and bright sunshine that rained down on Broadwater for the mini tournament between Woking, Old Cranleighans (OC) and Reigate.
First up, GHC Thunder. Our friendly foes had already played a game and it showed. On the back foot immediately, the team pressed hard into our D. Charlotte, Grace and Clara working well as a defensive unit to relive the pressure. Pre-match, we’d talked about how best to clear the ball when in defence and our dynamic trio put theory into practice. 5 mins in and we’d now warmed up and it was the teams turn to be under pressure. Molly and Daisy keeping wide in attack posing a constant threat and it was a firm cross from Molly that allowed Zanna to score. Final result 1-0 to Thunder.
Next up, Woking. More confident now, holding our structure well, defending narrow and attacking wide. Issy, starting up front with fresh legs was making endless runs up, down and across the pitch. Millie commanded the midfield well, solid in defence and linking the backs with the forwards. Clara was also proving herself as a utility playing having moved from defence to midfield. Unfortunately, for the second week, our lack of a goalie proved to be our downfall, and despite Grace’s continuing efforts on the goal line, 0-1 loss the final score.
Reigate proved to be no let-up for our next game. They were by the far the strongest side we would face and at times it felt like we needed all 7 seven players behind the ball. Emma had now moved into defence and was playing extremely well. When we were able to clear the ball, we looked dangerous in attack, with some excellent running lines and strong slap hits on goal. Unfortunately, the Reigate goalie was extremely effective, making multiple saves from some accurate Molly, Zanna and Elie strikes at goal. A lapse in concentration and a lack of marking meant there was only so much Grace could do against 3 of the opposition. 0-1 loss
Finally, our 4th and final consecutive match against OCs. Slightly daunted by the height of our opposition, our rather small looking team formed up, ready for the whistle. Immediately the passes began to flow. Scarlet to Millie. Millie to Molly, a drive down the right, a firm pass towards the goal and Clara and Zanna not quite able to connect. A sense of self belief started to build and with better marking at the back, wide distribution and attacks now utilising Daisy on the left, we looked quite the “little” hockey team. Finally, the hard work and belief paid off. I apologise as I can’t really remember who was involved in the build-up, but I do remember the strike at goal, Zanna, with a firm slap hit into the corner that sealed the match. 1-0 win. Off home with some big smiles after a great morning of hockey – well done everyone.
Coach: Matt Penney
Team: Charlotte H, Clare D, Daisy C, Elie F, Emma G, Grace F, Issy D, Millie M, Molly P, Zanna C.
Guildford Lightning v Woking, OC's and Reigate
What a relief to see the sun shining this week at Broadwater for our mini tournament against Woking, Old Cranleighans (OC) and Reigate
The girls all arrived in a very chatty mood and eager to get playing. Our first match was against the far taller Woking side who were quick to attack and get us on the back foot. It took a while for the girls to gel as a team which is hardly surprising given that it was the first time many of them had played together as a team. The first match provided us with an ideal platform to learn from. The girls tackled vigorously however their attempts to clear the ball from the D were not wider enough which meant Woking regained possession and used it to their advantange. End result was 3-0
Our second game was against OC’s Dansons which was a far more rewarding game for the girls. With a change of position and some active listening to feedback the girls returned to the pitch and took more control of the game. Louisa was fearless of the ball and protected our goal like her life depended on it. Grace, Issy, Alexandra and Kitty worked tirelessly upfront and their efforts paid off with us winning the game 1-0.
Our third game was against Reigate and ended in a draw. This game highlighted to the girls the need for them to work as a team. Lucy was strong at tackling and with the help of Lilia made sure that Louisa only had to deal with one attempt at goal. Kitty and Issy made some successful drives down the wing but the goalie was good and Grace’s attempts at goal were batted right out again.
Our final game was again OC’s Twiggs which we lost 2-0. The score line does not represent the level of play or the number of opportunities we had at goal - What a change in the way the girls played as a team. Alexandra and Charlie worked hard in defense, tackling constantly and trying incredibly hard to use the width of the pitch more effectively when clearing the ball. The wings learnt to remain wide but come closer down the wing towards defense so they could receive the ball before driving it down the wing towards the D. Megan and Grace fought relentlessly to get the ball into the D and had many opportunities at goal but it simply wasn't to be. I was very proud of the way the girls played in the final game. Had they played this way for all 4 games I think the score line would have been significantly different.
Things to work on: Clearing the ball wide, strength of passing, shooting accuracy, formation in the D, passing the ball into space, block and jab tackles.
Coach: Katie Stewart
Team: Alexandra K, Charlotte J, Grace C, Isobel G, Kitty C, Lilia H, Louisa C, Lucy C, Megan M