Old Silhillians 1st XI 0 - 0 University of Warwick 1st XI
By Stephen Tabb
7th Clean Sheet in last 9 league matches not quite enough for full points
Old Silhillians 1st XI 0 (0) - (0) 0 University of Warwick 1st XI
The University had asked at the start of the season to move this fixture into half-term so they would not have to play in April when they had broken up - we were happy to accommodate, but this did mean we were 6 players light of full availability. This meant a little reshuffle with Ursula Santos dropping back into a more defensive role, and Lauren Hobday also dropping back into midfield. With only 12, and the opposition arriving with 14, the lovely warm morning that greeted both sides was a slight concern for the reduced Sils squad. These challenges were only added to by the opposition arriving without an umpire - rather than making a big deal of it, Sils quickly agreed that the two coaches would do a half each.
The match played out as expected - early pressure from Sils setting the pattern for the morning - strong defence and endless running by the students thwarting the home team's attacks, with the visiting GK in particular in prime form to deny the league leaders. Sils went close a number of times, but the students were also able to mount occasional breaks with their fast forwards also working hard to create chances - however, an excellent defensive display from the new trio of Santos, Lucy Connors and Sophie Wiliams never really looked troubled.
The second half continued in much the same vein - lots of Sils pressure, lots of last ditch tackling and running by the students, and some good saves by the visiting keeper. With the home team working hard in the heat, they struggled to find the killer break through, and whilst a resolute defensive display provided their 7th clean sheet in the last 9 league matches, unfortunately, for the first time this season, the team was unable to score.
Final result 0-0, and whilst not quite the result that the Sils would like, they have now moved 13 points clear at the top of the table - with the next closest teams having to play each other in the next few weeks meaning these dropped points should hopefully not be too costly.
Player of the match votes were shared around, but Sophie Boyle ended up taking the honours for her tireless running in midfield. Next week sees a few players return, and a trip to Coventry to try and get back to winning ways.