Run ends in five minute spell
Injuries mount as Sils falter
Sils travels this week took them to visit Leamington 2’s in a game which has notoriously been a struggle against a well organised experienced side. But this time there was an air of confidence coming in on the back of an unbeaten run of four matches which has brought about a new sense of belief within the side. Starting off on a rain soaked morning the opening bouts were played well as each side probed to find any weak spots to exploit. With the Sils defence experiencing yet another change in line up any initial worries were forgotten as Sils matched their more experienced opponents stride for stride, short corners were exchanged and both keepers were called on to make saves in the tense opening phase. Chances were created but unfortunately not taken by the Sils forwards and five minutes before half time Leamington managed to thread a ball through a mass of players for one of their lively forwards to hit home. But if this was not worse enough the problem was compounded minutes later as a goal bound shot was judged to have been blocked by a defensive foot and a flick awarded, although there is high confidence in the ability of Joanne Brett as a flick saver this time the flick was mishit and bobbled under her dive to extend the lead. Stunned Sils were on the defence moments later as a short corner was awarded against hem as the whistle blew for half time. With the whole Leamington team encamped around the D they successfully manoeuvred the ball around out playing the defensive cover and scored before the cavalry charge could rescue the beleaguered defenders. So in five short minute the game had swung from being a tense affair to one that was all over, heads were down.
The second half started but without the consistency that had been shown in the first half although this is not to say that there were good individual performances being displayed, Tamara Majevadia was once again running the front line with power and strength causing a few problems for Leamington, Ruth Dovey was again masterful in midfield powering into space and breaking tackles when available. There were also good displays from the other unsung heroes who quietly got on with the job in hand with consistent running from Amy Stainton upfront and back in goal Jo Brett was pulling off some extremely technical saves to thwart the constant attacks coming her way which without could have resulted in a much worse score line. Injury to Jessica Jecketts didn’t help and a rejiggle of the side did change the pattern of play but the girls battled well all game. Yes, Leamington managed to score a further two goals in the second period and a combination of Isabelle Thomas and Amy Stainton did pull one back for Sils at the death which could be much needed further into the season if goal difference comes into play.
The main difference today though was not that the Sils were outplayed more that they were out manoeuvred by a Leamington side that instinctually new to pass the ball to certain quadrants or areas of the pitch which they knew would be patrolled by their players rather than in Sils case getting the ball then having to spend a split second to check to see the availability of a white shirt anywhere close. Play like that only comes from years of playing together but a greater level of communication and encouragement goes a long way to enhance performance. Silence off the pitch is not something you would associate with the Sils team so there is no difference in reality when they are on it, everyone is trying hard so encouragement needs to be encouraged and to remember if there is a shot on goal then the ball has had to somehow evade 10 outfield players so there may be a hiccup or two out there somewhere.
But heads up a home game next.