Old Silhillians 1st XI 2 - 2 Harborne 2nd XI
By Stephen Tabb
Great fighting spirit and more impressive debuts
Old Silhillians 1st XI 2 (1) - (2) 2 Harborne 2nd XI
Goalscorers: Sarah Crane, Frankie Levey
Two games into the Summer League season, and some simple statistics for you:
Games played = 2
Games played with a GK = 0
Games Lost = 0
Sils Senior Debuts = 4
Smiles = Lots
Running and work-rate = Lots
This week the Sils welcomed Anya Hemming (who has been guesting in our U14 Girls side) as well as Abby Richards to the team to make their senior debuts. The team also saw 3 other changes from the week before, meaning it was probably not a surprise that the team started slight disjointed and dis-organised and found themselves 2-0 down after 20 minutes.
However, as the game went on, and players got into the game, the Sils began to put some much better periods of play together. Initially this was driven by Priya Majevadia and Amy Garside attacking with real purpose and speed to cause the opposition problems, and slowly but surely this created opportunities for the Sils midfield to step up the pitch and create further problems. Abi Landa was working hard in the middle of the pitch, and was ably supported by Anya,Lorna Brooks Scott and Abby (Richards) working hard around her. A strong attack down the right led to a quick free hit which allowed Sils to get beyond the Harborne defence and as the ball was expertly pulled back from the base-line, Sarah Crane was in a great place to fire home past the goalkeeper. The Sils suddenly looked more energised and their fitness and speed was beginning to pay dividends.
The team-talk at half-time was about trying to attack down the right a little more in the second half, and this is exactly what the Sils did, with Anya Hemmings and Frankie Levey combining well on many occasions to receive them ball from Jess Cox and work the ball into some great positions. However, it was from the left flank that the equaliser came. Abby Richards did a fantastic job of hassling the Harborne right back, who was forced to play a pressurised pass inside, and Abi Landa was on hand to win the ball, drive with purpose towards the middle of the pitch, and then pick out Frankie Levey who did what she does best - carry the ball into the D, and fire her shot home at the far post.
At this point, Harborne upped their intensity, and started playing higher up the pitch. The Sils continued to work hard, but Lucy Windeatt and Lorna Brooks Scott were being hurried in the middle of the pitch, and their role became a defensive one in midfield for the next 10 minutes. The defensive unit of Maria O'Malley, Hattie Evans and Sophie Williams were once again resolute though, and this week were joined by the pace of Jess Cox, meaning that whilst there were a few scary moments, Harborne were not able to score again.
With 10 minutes left to play, and the Harborne legs tiring, the Sils themselves started creating a few half-chances, but were also unable to score, and in the end a 2-2 draw was a very fair result.
Thanks once again to Andrew Scott for his excellent umpiring. A break of 2 weeks now, and then no doubt some more debuts for this talented, and continually developing, Sils' ladies squad.