Sils grind it out to finish with a win
Possibly not the greatest game to have been played at the Heath but a win is a win
As the team gathered together for the last game of the season and casually sauntered out to the pitch in the warm spring sunshine the opponents for the day, Atherstone, were already hard at work performing their regimented drills and set plays under the watchful eye of the two coaches they had brought with them.
Sils on the other hand had to rejig the defence once more with Georgina deputising for the lack of the regular centre backs and starting the match with the bare 11 hoping that Lauren would make the second half. As Sils took the pushback Atherstone were continually pushed back to defend their 25 as waves of attacks kept coming in but with a lack of a cutting edge. But tempered with this there was no sight of the free flowing hockey of previous weeks for some reason everyone was off their game with passes going astray, pressing wasn’t as tight or as high as normal and it developed into a lack lustre affair with Atherstone dragging Sils down into their way of playing which wasn’t the prettiest to behold. Lots of stick tackles, passes hit with hope rather than belief and a lack of players coming to meet the ball it looked like the day after the meal rather than something to be looking forward to.
As the first half was ebbing to a close a random hit and hope down the wing suddenly saw Atherstone break free and as Jo raced out to challenge the unopposed forward her shot bobbled off goalwards and somehow bounced in off the post to give Atherstone an unbelievable lead. With Lauren arriving there was at least the possibility of rotating some of the flagging forwards. At half time Jess was quick to point out the error of their ways and to basically get it right in the second half with no excuses or exceptions.
Atherstones main weapon of choice was to employ their fairly quick wingers and once this danger was quashed Sils were able to go about the game how they wanted to by stopping anything going through the middle, which was getting rather frantic and congested in there but Jess was seemingly everywhere working well with Ruth as and snippets of danger were snuffed out with the ball played wide at every opportunity to utilise the pace of the wide midfield players. Within 5 minutes of the restart another short corner had been won and Amy skilfully directed the ball through to Sophia waiting at the far post to direct it in for a deserved equaliser. This prompted intense Sils pressure with a succession of short corners as Athestone were pinned back and by midway through the half Sils deservedly took the lead following yet another short corner with Tammy picking up the loose ball and slotting it home.
But it was far from plain sailing as Sils could not conjure up another goal to put the game away and Atherstone were now throwing everything at the defence with nothing to lose. But the defence held firm although frantic at times with Jess having to claw the ball away as last ditch tackles were coming in thick and fast. Georgina was holding the middle well and Issy and Livvy had their hands full with the wingers with Jo far busier than she had hoped for on what was on paper supposedly an easier game to finish with. The last few minutes of the match turned into the most frenetic of finishes with the ball being hammered into the Sils D with constant pressure being exercised it was all hands to the pump as somehow the defence stood tall and with assistance from all the ball was somehow kept out of the goal although nerve racking at the time the defence somehow had it under control.
So ends an enjoyable, exciting, and at times stressful and nerve racking all at the same time type of season which initially looked bleak ended on a massive high with superb performances by the whole team which has come from a group of individuals into a fully functioning squad that has gelled together over the season into a team under Jess’s watchful gaze. But alas we also have to say goodbye for a while to Captain Issy and the bundle of energy that is Georgina as they go off to pastures new and we all wish you a successful venture and hope to see you again soon. Meanwhile hopefully this team of talent will go from strength to strength.
Mom: Has to be Jess who was everywhere today breaking tackles, getting the midfield and forwards into the game, defending well, and encouraging throughout as well as a motivational half time team talk to sort a few issues out!
DoD: From hero to villain in a week, no respect for Captain Issy as things just didn’t go right today although this could be said for the majority of the team. Onwards and upwards rough with the smooth and all that.