Old Silhillians 1st XI 7 - 1 Warwick 2nd XI
By Stephen Tabb
Walking wounded fight off the cold to win again
Old Silhillians 1st XI 7 (4) - (1) 1 Warwick 2nd XI
Goalscorers: Maria Savage, Lauren Hobday, Frankie Levey x 3, Ruth Dovey, Sophie Boyle
With high levels of unavailability, the Sils went into this match carrying 2 injuries, and still only with a squad of 12. With the opposition seemingly very keen to call the match off at the slightest opportunity, it may have been wise to re-group and look to play on another day; but thankfully, as hoped the pitch frost cleared in time to get a game on, and mean that awkward re-arrangements would have to be made.
With the Sils determined to make the most of the opposition not seeming to be that keen on playing, the home team started with a positive mindset, and this was rewarded within minutes of the start - Maria Savage notching her first goal for the club following an initial shot against the post.
Warwick still had a game plan though and it was not long before they themselves started applying pressure - working to create space of long balls smashed down the pitch to their free running forwards. Jo Brett was called upon to make a couple of smart saves, before Warwick equalised - unfortunately a defensive mistake allowing the Warwick forwards to create a 2 v 1 and leave Brett with no real chance to prevent the visiting side from scoring.
Thankfully, the Sils did not panic, and as has been the case for much of the season, the pace through the midfield and forward line helped to soon get the home team back in front - first with Caro Kappes hitting a cross-shot that was turned in at the far post by Lauren Hobday, and then moments later a dancing run by Annabel Dalby was halted just inside the 23m area, only for her to get the ball played back to her and evade the defence on the base line enough to pick out Frankie Levey at the near post for her to finish neatly. A fourth goal came from the injured Ruth Dovey, who, playing at right back, was able to drive into the top of the D, and hammer the ball into the far corner in style. A fifth goal almost came from a fabulous run down the left by Priya Majevadia who then found Sophie Boyle whose shot was not quite strong enough to beat the in-form visiting keeper.
Half-time chat was positive, with a couple of little areas to work on, and with Sils scoring a fifth via a straight PC strike from Levey soon into the second half, the home team were able to rest Ruth Dovey for the remainder of the game, leaving the side with a great chance for the youngsters to shine. Captain Emma James dropped back into right back and supported Hattie Evans who put in an assured performance at centre back, and Lucy Connors who followed up last week's player of the match game with another excellent performance - even whilst taking a heavy blow to her hand.
Two further goals came, both from good team moves, firstly Levey completed her hat-trick, and then Player of the Match Sophie Boyle was able to hammer home from the middle of the D, to leave the Sils with a great 7-1 victory. The Warwick keeper made several good saves, otherwise it could have been more, and there was some fabulous attacking play from the home team at times. The side is beginning to play some excellent stuff, and with 6 of the 12 players today under the age of 18 (and plenty more talented players aged 13 and 14 in the L2) , this is becoming an exciting time for Sils Ladies.