Old Silhillians 0 - 1 Cov & NW
By Stephen Tabb
Close game but with Sils not able to take their chances.
Old Silhillians 0 (0) - (1) 1 Cov & NW
Sils lost their first match of the Summer league season, even though this game they actually played with a goalkeeper! (Thanks to Ali Williams from Warwick for helping out!)
This game saw yet more debuts - with Eva Robinson and Melissa Thurman making their first Summer League appearances, and with 4 other players aged 15 or under, this side was a real glimpse of the exciting future for the Ladies section.
With a number of players having to play out of position - or being given the chance to try something different - the side looked a little disjointed at times, but at other times, the hockey was sublime. Sils had the better of the first half possession, but sadly the attacking options the younger players took were never quite enough to beat the well organised Coventry defence, whilst at the other end, Coventry had a strike force of raw pace, and some brute strength, and they were the ones able to break the deadlock, with a half-hit shot finding its way in at the far post passed the diving Williams in goal.
Sils, whilst 1-0 down at half-time, were full of enthusiasm to get back in the game, though slightly hindered by a blow to Maria O'Malley's chin, and a ball deflected into Priya Majevadia's head, which ruled them both out of the second half.
This meant that the young Sils players had to pull in a full stint in the second half, and whilst Coventry certainly had the better of much of the second half, the young legs of the Copt Heath team meant that with 10 minutes to go, much of the play was in the Coventry half. However, the Coventry keeper made a number of smart saves close in, and Sils were not able to score the equaliser they were working hard for. At the other end, Sils were lucky to perhaps not concede a second as their young legs tired - Ali Williams making two crucial saves, whilst Jess Cox appeared from nowhere at one point to prevent an almost certain goal, and a further effort was disallowed after the ball had caught an attacker's foot shortly before they put the ball in the goal.
Disappointing to lose a game that Sils could have definitely got at least a draw out of - but hopefully the youngsters in particular will take some great learning from the game and take so many of the positives forward for future weeks.
Player of the match went to Jess Cox, who did not do much wrong all game, and a big thanks to Georgie Dalby and Ali Williams for helping out.