A tale of two halves
By David Brett
Sils undone by short corner routines
The short journey to undefeated league leaders Hampton was always going to be a tough affair and Hampton started at an electric pace with Sils pushed back to defend from all areas of the pitch within 4 minutes there was a sea of green shirts within the D and the ball was forced over the line. Hampton didn’t let up the pressure and within a few minutes a gol bound shot was obstructed on the line and a flick awarded as the ranks of spectators all went quite the spotlight was on Joanne and the solitary forward walking towards the spot but Jo once again did her thing and the shot was expertly pushed around the post to at least provide a launch pad for the Sils fight back. But there was no let up to the preure and despite some advances down the flanks Sils found that anything through the middle was being capitalised on and punished with more attacks mounting. Short corners wee defended well but the well drilled Hampton side wee cutting out the front runners and eventually they found away through via yet another short corner to increase their lead. It was looking increasingly bleak for Sils but heads didn’t go down with the hard working defence of Elle, EJ and Emma working overtime to keep the attacks at bay Sils were slowly starting to get a grasp on the play and gaining a short corner Frankie came up with the goods and slammed home a powerful shot to reduce the deficit. Issy was battling well in the middle and with Louisa and Annabel causing some mayhem down the flanks with their speed the tide was turning and Sils were starting to peg Hampton back to counter attacking. As the Sils pressure started to mount the worry of a swift counter attack was always there and Sils were caught a few times in chasing the ball down with Jo in support when asked. But he attacks continued to mount from Sils and a further short corner saw Frankie hit the post and EJ and Elle were finding space to dribble unopposed into the opposing 25 asking a few more questions from the league leaders. As half time approached Hampton gained a succession of short corners with one eventually being converted to seemingly take the game out of reach. But a resounding rallying call from Jess at half time saw a complete transformation to the second half.
From the start Sils posed a much more attacking force with space down the flanks being exploited by the speed of the Sils youngsters with Annabel skipping past the more physical tackles leaving defenders floundering in her wake with Loz and Louisa accomplishing much of the same on the other wing. The middle of the park was still a battle ground with Jess being ably supported by Issy who grew into her role as the match developed. Captain Tam continued her head long charges through the backline and was unlucky on a number of occasions with shots whistling past the posts with Frankie in support looking for any possible rebounds coming her way. Miday through the half Hampton broke through and with the defence over loaded increased their lead further. At the other end Sils were still pushing forward with the defenders helping to push them back and any loose balls being picked up by Emma to start the attacks rolling again. With so much attacking momentum any through ball was going to cause problems and a Hampton forward latching onto such a play had to be met at the top of the D who was calming met by Jo waiting for the ball and forward to arrive before smashing it to safety.
With time running out Sils were playing their best hockey for many a season and in the ascendancy and through their pressure gaining a succession of short corners which were unluckily not converted and Hampton clung on to claim their victory.
To take heart looking back at the goals conceded the first whilst the team was adjusting to their roles, 2 from short corners, with the fourth a swift counter attack as Sils chased the game. To supplement the performance Hampton admitted in the bar afterwards that they were up against it in the second half and couldn’t believe the transformation so well done girls keep it going you are on the right track and it was a very good team performance unluckily not getting more from the game.
MoM: EJ claims her first award after a masterful performance in defending and assisting the attack after numerous advances into the opposing 25.
DoD: No respect and despite winning the above award EJ is also voted into this most prestigious accolade for reasons we best not go into.