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Ladies 1st XI - Match centre

Old Silhillians
University of Birmingham 4th XI
E Shepherd (30' )
Full time
Sat 10 Dec 11:00 - League

Sils sunk by late goals

Uni made to battle as Sils go toe to toe

This weeks match was always going to provide the toughest test to this new look Sils as the youthful endeavour that had been destroying teams in recent weeks was up against the league leaders, highest scorers and a team that rarely concedes but this didn’t seem to concern anyone as they took to the pitch with the usual chatter and smiles.

Birmingham were first out of the blocks and were soon on their way attempting to find any weak points that could be penetrated but found a resilient Sils with Kate Huntington back in the frame directing the back line to plug any gaps that were appearing but Sils were giving as good as they got in this first encounter and were manging to break away using the speed of their front runners to start questioning the defensive capabilities of their Uni which aren’t great at the best of times, it’s just difficult to get there. It soon became clear that the Uni had a good centre back with weaker defenders on the flanks and the speed of Elizabeth Shepherd and Tamara Majevadia were starting to get in behind them for the supporting runners to run onto any cut backs on offer. With Birmingham currently pegged back the speed of their counter attacking was considerable and within ten minutes they had forced a short corner which was superbly manoeuvred around the D and dispatched before Sils runners could get to them.

This was soon followed up by a second as Sils were once again out numbered in defence as the fluid Uni attack force counter attacked in force and despite Joanne Brett in goal coming out to smother forcing the player wide the inevitable cut back found a number of white shirts waiting for their chance to slot home. 2:0 down and twenty minutes gone seemed to be an arduous morning in front of them but Sils rallied well and took the game to the Uni forcing a number of short corners which were being hacked away by the frantic defence but eventually Ruth Dovey managed to get an accurate shot away for Libby Shepherd to hit home at the far post for her debut goal. Game on and the Uni were rocking as Sils were coming forward time after time but the resilience of a team that plays together and trains together several times a week was starting to show as despite short corner after short corner being conceded they still managed to clear their defensive line. Sils were playing well, moving the ball around and their pace was matching anything the Uni could throw against them it was all Sils as half time struck and a much needed breather was taken by all as the teams composed themselves for another pulsating half.

The second half continued where it left off with Sils battling well against their more illustrious counterparts but this is a team that has come a long way together since the start of the season and despite their ages, youngsters Annabel Dalby and Libby Shepherd were more than pulling their weight and were in no way outshone by their counterparts often having the upper hand themselves. As the second half progressed there was intense pressure being applied by Sils as attacks were mounted continuously, short corners were won and varied, shots were made and on target, runs were effortlessly made but somehow the Uni defence managed with some last ditch tackiling and hurried clearances off the line managed to keep the score the same.

As Sils increased the pressure this allowed the midfield to join in the attacking options and even the adventure seeking Kate Huntington, returning from a lay off, found space, speed and time to evade all the tackles as she hurtled towards goal only to fall over at the crucial minute in the D with no flick awarded! But as time started to slip away the energy levels were starting to wain and it was difficult to keep the same intensity up but Libby and Tammy were still making the runs with the Uni still wary of the goal threat posed by the other forwards but with time slipping away Sils were hit by two late goals which gave a misleading representation of the match which in fairness was a much closer affair than the score suggests.

So the whole team can take pride in how far they have come in such a short space of time, as injuries mount the conveyor belt of excellent juniors keeps producing the stars and there is much hope of just how far this side can go. They have stood toe to toe with the best in the league were unphased and were extremely unlucky not to get something out of the game in the end. Mere words are not enough to explain just how well they played on the day.

Mom: Annabel Dalby who provided excellent cover on the left hand side of midfield, tackled well, chased back and linked with the forwards unworried about her opponents and business as usual playing well above her age.

DoD: Club Captain Kate Huntington, come on down. Picking the ball up deep inside the Sils half accelerated into Birmingham territory avoiding tackles as she went, got into the D and as everyone was poised for a net bursting strike on goal fell over with a swan dive any premier league footballer would have been proud of – where was the flick Jono!

All that is left now is to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year! – have a good one all.

Key moments

Goal Elizabeth Shepherd scores for Old Silhillians


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70:00 Player of the Match
Annabel Dalby is awarded player of the match for Old Silhillians
End of period 1
30:00 Goal 1 - 0
Elizabeth Shepherd scores for Old Silhillians
Start of the game
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As it happened

  • Old Silhillians
  • University of Birmingham 4th XI
  • 0
  • Elizabeth Shepherd Goal 30:00'

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