Gap Narrows as Sils narrowly loose out
Uni given something to think about as Sils push them all the way
This was always going to be a tough encounter, a mid-afternoon visit to Uni Birmingham who seem to have an endless talent pool to pick from against the talented Sils crew with mounting injuries and a few withdrawals what could possible go wrong.
Welcoming back Elle to toughen up the defence minimised the impact of a few members missing today but with one eye on the clock with a number needing to be in other places already, the game was delayed marvellous start. But the Sils spirit took over and for once the Uni didn’t have it all their own way instead of sitting back and trying to soak up the attacks Sils took up the initiative and with strong running from Libby and Molly up front there were a few questions being asked of the not so special Uni defence, problem in the past has been to get there. But Birmingham have a belief about them and by contracting the play into the centre of the midfield they were able to employ quick breaks dot their fast fluid counter attacks. This turned out to be a cagey affair with Sils stretching the play to remain width which slowed the opposition down and provided the opportunity for the Sils forwards to exploit the channels.
Jo was by far the busier keeper but the defence were holding up well and the attacking threats were being curtailed although a bit tense at times with everyone covering well and getting back to support any dangers that arose. The midfield, without Ruth, was still a tightly congested affair with Jess in the thick of the action ably supported by Georgina as they sought to get the wide players into the game.
As the half progressed the Uni for once manged to overwhelm the defence and after playing the ball around manged to score with the lead held into half time.
With time to reflect there was still time to get a result from the game and belief was emerging once more as the team took their well earned breather. As the second half started there were more thrusting runs from Tammy ably supported by Molly, Lauren and Anabel with Amy waiting for any snippets that arose. The girls pressed hard and forced the Uni inti a number of mistakes but just as it looked as though Sils were starting to gain an advantage the Uni managed another fast paced breakaway which overwhelmed the defence and they managed to increase the lead. Short corners were traded with little effect with both defences coping well with the set plays and the midfield was still hotly contested as each side tried to take control. All was going well and Sils once more manged to get the ball away to Tammy who was off down the right and somehow, although forced wide, mange to get a shot away which caused almighty panic in the Birmingham defence as it clipped the post and somehow swirled along the line without going in but it did have an effect as the Uni goalie made an forlorn attempt at keeping it out landed awkwardly and was also clouted by one of her defenders sticks. Minutes later she was forced off and replaced with a kicking back but by then the Uni had already forced a short corner which they moved around well to increase the lead.
But no goalkeeper, was there enough time for a comeback. With minutes ticking away the ball found Amy in space who sprinted in to the D and smashed the ball through the kicking back to get a goal back but alas despite a number of other shots on goal they weren’t quite decisive enough to alter the score line. However, the girls can look back on a good performance in which they were not over whelmed, gave a good account of themselves and were always in with a chance. Going to the University to win at any time is a tall order but the size of the loss is now diminishing and the main thing is that the Uni no longer looks invincible. Well done everyone great team performance.
MoM: None other than Captain Issy Thomas who has matured so much this season and led all the way by example. Making critical tackles, helping out wherever she could and encouraging all the way as well as closing down the right hand side. So well done Issy, fully deserved.
DoD: Not awarded this week, not even Amy was justified in winning it this time. Well done all.