The Ladies 1’s travelled to Welwyn for a tough start to the season. The last time we were to meet, we blocked their chance of promotion by beating them 2-1, and Welwyn certainly set out to level the score!
Starting hard and fast, Welwyn were quick to ruffle our feathers and press hard, attacking fast up the wings. With a tactical team talk from Dina, we set out to play our own game, and kept a cool head despite their aggressive efforts.
With a strategy to attack hard down the right, we took our chances. We demonstrated our strategy with some strong counter attacks, passing the ball confidently from Ann and Emma in defence through the middle of the park (Sarah, Meg and Stephie), finding Mel on the right to perform her infamous “runs”.
With the strategy set, we continued to pepper their defence. Not to be outdone, they replicated and shot some strong balls up the left to their strategically placed “number 4”, who Emma doggedly marked, ensuring her skill was not realised.
Vicky was kept on her toes with a lot of fast reactions and skilful clearances, she kept the score line to 0-0.
Utilising our attacking formation of Faye and Helen as wing backs, we overloaded our attacking line and fought to get the ball back into their D. It really was an end-to-end affair. Welcoming Abi and Molly back into the fold, we soon saw the value in their return with some skilful displays and 3D skills, putting the opposition defence on their backs.
The first goal came from our strategic right-side runs, a drive from defence by Helen, found Ali at the 1/2 way line. Ali drove into the D and took a quick strike, Abi took the rebound which was cleared by the goalie, back to Ali who was quick to find the backboard.
The goal riled Welwyn, reminding them of our last meeting, and soon they worked the ball back into our D. Emma “clown feet” Potts awarded them a short corner (better to stop play than get a goal). Helen running 1- got a little overexcited, and was sent to the 1/2 way line. Welwyn took the opportunity and levelled the scoreline from the short corner.
Maria and Sarah demonstrated their usual tenacious style and high work rate to dominate in the middle of the park. More end to end battling ensued, and yet more shots made and cleared by both Vicky and their goalie. Neither team could find the back board again before the final whistle and the score ended 1-1. A realistic and fair result.
MoM went to a very deserved Sarah Brydon for her determination and work rate.
Well done to the 1’s for setting the standard this season. The only way is up!