Stratford 3 - 0 Lions
By Stephen Tabb
The learning journey continues...
It is sometimes difficult to remember that our Lions team has players aged 10 years of age in, when you see how well they play, on a full-size pitch, and for 70 minutes.
There are other days when our youngsters do look very young - today was more one of those days; the team playing against a side of all boys, and with an average age around 1.5-2 years older than our young Lions.
Stratford are a really nice club, and they try and play hockey the right way, so part of today's lessons for our juniors was about how to cope without Caro on the pitch - this always meant that the result was likely to go to the older, more male, opposition - but it did not stop the Sils from putting in a great shift!
The defensive unit of Jonnie Carter in goal, and then Player of the Match Megan Croft, Oliver Harris, Flo Collins and James Wilson all stepped up and adapted really well without Caro there to support them. The midfield and forwards have begun to work harder for each other, and to help out the defence, and for long periods, they kept Stratford at bay, with Jonnie making a number of outstanding saves.
As the game progressed, Sils stopped turning the ball over by trying to play through the congested middle of the pitch, and started using the space out wide, plus all the players started making better decisions about when to carry, and when to pass to players in space. The side continued to develop, and as the weeks go on, the team are working more and more towards clearer plans to what they are trying to achieve, rather than just improvising every time they get the ball.
Stratford deserved the win, but these matches are more about player progression than just about winning - and so this was yet another "win" for Sils today. Keep bringing on the learning experiences (and hopefully with it, a few more wins!)