Another 3 new debutants doing the club proud
Sils lose out to an older Leamington side in the cold
Sils took to the pitch at Leamington with what they thought would be a bare 11, only to find out that actually, there were down to 10, as one of the team was unable to make it.
In the first half, the Sils were superb - only conceding one goal (courtesy of the Chairman deflecting the ball off his foot, past the outstanding Jonnie Carter in goal). With only 10 players for the majority of the half, Sils still were able to mount several attacks themselves with Matthew Hulbert going close from a couple of Penalty Corners, and Kheya Ballentine-Brain also getting a couple of efforts away.
Amy Garside in central midfield seemed to be everywhere, and Alex Delaney down the right was finding space, and playing some clever passes down the right side. On the left, the two debutants of Jessica Cox and Lorna Brooks Scott were slowing finding their feet, with neither of them ever having played on a full size pitch before, but as the half progressed, they became stronger and stronger.
With Leamington lending us one of their stronger girls for a few minutes at the end of the half, all looked as if it was going well.
Young Rosie Robinson (only just 10) joined her sister to play up front in the second half, and whilst Rosie was not deterred by playing against players 4 years older than her, big sister Eva Robinson was taking on the challenge of out running everyone, and constantly being a thorn in the Leamington side in the second half. She won many tackles, and went on a number of very strong individual runs.
Unfortunately, with a bare 11, Sils were beginning to flag. Flo Collins was putting in a master class at right back, constantly repelling two attackers - one of whom must have been at least 1.5 feet taller than her, but as one of these attacks took place down the right, the momentum of the game really shifted. Kheya, in tracking back to cover Leamington's best player, got hit with the ball in the head, as the Leamington player looked to cross the ball, and this caused a cut above his eye - meaning we lost our Central midfield dynamo. With Amy now also tiring (having put in an entire's game of running into the first half alone), Leamington were able to seize the game, and scored 3 goals within the next 5 minutes. Jessica Cox and Lorna Brooks Scott were winning tackle after tackle down our left hand side, but soon the sheer number of attacks took their toll, and once again, the Chairman deflected the ball past his own GK for the home side's second, and they soon followed up with two good strikes from the top of the D.
With 15 minutes to go, the team could have dropped their heads - but they didn't, and Sils continued to attack with vigour, creating a few half-chances but not quite enough to beat the 6 foot tall GK that Leamington had.
Sadly the game finished as a 4-0 loss, but with another 3 players making their debut, and none of them looking out of place, the future can only look bright for the Sils. One of the debutants, Lorna Brooks Scott, was nominated as player of the match by the opposition in the clubhouse afterwards - so well done to her; and Merry Christmas to all of the Lions squad - we look forward to seeing you in the New Year.