Old Silhillians 1st XI 3 - 5 Harborne Ladies XI
By Stephen Tabb
Post Christmas rustiness a timely reminder
Old Silhillians 1st XI 3 (2) - (3) 5 Harborne Ladies XI
Goalscorers: Frankie Levey, Priya Majevadia, Sophie Boyle
The 1s went into this game with 6 regular squad members unavailable, and 3 players making their debuts. Hence it was probably not a surprise that the side started slowly, particularly given the Christmas break! 2-0 down after 10 minutes, and the side were not looking in great shape. However, as the ball started being moved around better, and Emma James and Sophie Boyle started making inroads down the left, the Sils were able to get back into the game; first from a straight strike from Frankie Levey, and then an equaliser from Priya Majevadia getting in at the far post to slam home.
Unfortunately, the defensive shape always looked a bit fragile, with so many of the regular midfield missing, and Harborne retook the lead minutes after the game was evened up. Jo Brett was making some great saves to keep the Sils in it, and as the game progressed, the home team enjoyed more and more possession.
Unfortunately, a couple of mistakes early in the second half, which allowed the visiting side to score two easy goals, meant that Sils were really up against it at 5-2 down. Sophie Boyle and Clara Miles continued to win a lot of ball in the middle of the pitch though, and got back in the game through another PC, this time, Boyle benefitting from a slightly comical moment which saw her shot deflected into the keeper's kit, who, when turning round to see where the ball had gone, managed only to divert the ball into her own goal.
Whilst Sils had a lot of ball in the last 15 minutes, sadly a lack of intensity and running, along with a number of the basics not being stuck to by some of the team (running back in straight lines towards the goal to help defend, running to stretch the play and get the ball in behind the opposition, providing 90 degree passes etc.) meant that Harborne ended up winning 5-3, and the Sils had their first defeat of the season.
However, thanks, and well done to Laura Porter and Jess Cox for helping out the 1s on their debuts - hopefully the first of many appearances, and great work rate by Maria Savage on her debut as well. Hence, the team still has positives to take from the game. As long as lessons are learned ahead of the re-start of the league next week, this loss can hopefully be seen as a positive, and a kick-start to what will hopefully lead to a promotion winning second half.
Player of the match goes to Sophie Boyle for her endless running.