It was with a certain amount of trepidation that Guildford Fire swept up the A3 towards Wimbledon who were hosting the festival for the day. The rains for the last two days including Friday’s nights training, meant we weren’t sure whether we would need to bring our wellies and inflatables with us or out hockey sticks!
Thankfully the sun broke through the clouds right on time for our festival to start and the girls all arrived keen and eager to get on with the matches.
After a good warm up working on our power in passing, our calling and our positions the festival was on and we were in to the first match!
Match 1 vs Wimbledon Kestrels – Won 3-0
Great start to the day with the team coming out strongly to dominate the possession. We held our positions, passed the balls well and really, really thought about the passes we were making. It didn’t take long for the hard work and passing to pay off and we went 1-0 up with a good finish by Emily E. Not long after a really well worked team goal with passing through the midfield from Martha to Emilia then on to Emily who ran strongly round the back of the defenders and passed across for Sophie L to finish at the far post. With most of the possession and some solid tackling from Bibi and Issy K at the back Guildford Fire surged forward one more and Emily made a great individual effort and took the opportunity well from a good position in front of goal. First game done and a really good display of hockey from all.
Match 2 vs Wimbledon Hawks – Drew 0-0
Before the second match we moved players around as we feel it is very important for players to be able to play in multiple positions and also to experience what their teammates see which will help them improve their own game and the team performance. Guildford Fire again had the majority of the possession and play and Bibi and Issy K were great in defence meaning Beth didn’t have to do too much in this game. Attacking the change in positions meant we were sometimes caught too narrow, needing more width and also players drifted out of position a little all over the park. We still nearly one with a last minute effort by Sophie B but the whistle went and the score line was a fair result. Sometimes you learn more from drawing and losing then winning and for this game that was definitely the case.
Match 3 vs Wimbledon Eagles – Won 6-0
On the last game and after a learning experience in the last game and match off to reflect and fine tune tactics Guildford Fire came out raring to register one more win. The score line reflects the dominance that the girls showed on the pitch but it doesn’t tell how proud we all were of them. They listened to what we said in the break, took it on board and put it in to practice. The positional discipline was back, the passing was strong, we moved the ball all round the field well and took our chances when they came. The highlight of the game was a move that went down the left, Sophie L pivoted it back to Bibi at left back, who moved the ball on to Martha, who passed it out wide to Emily who took on their left back and then pulled back perfectly to Emilia in the D who shot the ball home first time. It was the best goal we have scored all season as it was passed round precisely and created a 100% goal scoring opportunity. The girls played and listened fantastically and a number of other coaches mentioned what a good team they were as a whole and how well they played together.
We also need to mention and say thank you to Beth as it was fantastic to have her in goal for us this week in her first ever competitive matches – 3 games, no goals let in. Superb start to her new goal keeping career – well done Beth!
Squad: Beth, Bibi, Issy K, Sophie L, Martha, Sophie B, Emilia, Emily
Results: Won 2, Drew 1
Scorers: Emily (4), Emilia (2), Martha (1), Sophie B (1), Sophie L (1)