Old Silhillians 1st XI 1 - 2 Hampton-in-Arden 1st XI
By Stephen Tabb
Tale of two halves
Old Silhillians 1st XI 1 (1) - (0) 2 Hampton-in-Arden 1st XI
Goalscorer: Ursula Santos
At half-time in this match the unbeaten league leaders were fully under control of the match, and well on their way to continuing their unbeaten league form. The team were executing the game plan well, ensuring they pressed high up the pitch, were turning the ball over and forcing chances, the only thing they had done wrong was not score more than the one goal (from Ursula Santos, set up by Annabel Dalby - watch the video!)
With Hampton only having brought 11 players, and with Sils so strong they even had Maria and Aline playing in the second team, the second half should have been there for the taking. However, the visitors decided to come out fighting and played much higher up the pitch. The Sils, rather than being as aggressive in the press as they had been in the first half, inexplicably dropped back, and allowed Hampton to dominate possession and territory. Hampton deservedly equalised following a PC which the defence failed to clear, even though Jo Brett in goal made the initial save. The visiting team maintained this momentum and scored a second a few minutes later, with a strong drive down the left that was not stopped and whilst more Brett heroics almost kept the ball out, the second Hampton forward was able to force the ball home from close range.
Going behind served a little to re-galvanise the team, and Sils once again started playing higher up the pitch, forcing a number of saves from the Hampton GK - but it was all too little too late, as a few decisions went against the Sils, and chances went begging. Hampton held on for a victory which they celebrated like they had won the league (not Sils!) - showing quite how significant beating the Sils has become for other clubs! So, an unbeaten season it will not be, but a win next week against Rugby will still seal the league title in style.