Old Silhillians 2 - 1 Atherstone Adders
By Stephen Tabb
Welcome return of some familiar faces helps to register first win
Old Silhillians 2 (1) - (1) 1 Atherstone Adders
Goalscorers: Maria O'Malley; Tamara Majevadia
Wednesday night saw the Sils welcome back Emma Fell (pregnancy) and Tamara Majevadia (University) to strengthen their Summer League side, and help towards a first win in what was anything but a "Summer" match!
Having had some quite physical battles against Atherstone in the league, the Sils team was deliberately a little older in its make-up, and the team were also pleased to welcome back Jas for her second game having played so well against Warwick University the week before.
As the rain fell, Sils definitely had the best of the first half, with combinations down the right working particularly well, with Jess Cox and Anya Hemmings combining well with Lorna Brooks Scott to release Tammy into space on three separate occasions, twice she rounded the keeper but her shot did not find the goal, and once her shot to the far post was cleared by the desperate home defence. Atherstone did also have a couple of chances, but it was not a surprise when Sils took the lead, working a penalty corner well, to allow Maria O'Malley to tap home a cross from close range. However, Atherstone were not put off by this, and came back strongly, making Jas make a couple of important saves before winning a penalty corner which they converted with aplomb.
1-1 at half-time, and the aim was to play with more pace, and more width in the second half. However, no-one really expected the weather to worsen as much as it did. The rain continued to fall, and the pitch began to flood. In all honesty, this probably helped Sils a little more than Atherstone, as the main puddles collected in the Sils defensive end, meaning Atherstone were struggling to run anywhere with the ball, as it was being held up in the water. However, the conditions did not really benefit Sils fast attacking hockey either. For much of the game, the ball got trapped down one side of the pitch, as even the experienced Fell was struggling to transfer the ball round the back with any pace or accuracy. As the game went on, Lauren Hobday was continuing to be a thorn in the Atherstone side, attacking time and again down the left side, but the winning goal finally came from play down the right.
Youngsters Hemmings, Imogen Pemble and Jess Cox combined down the right, to release Frankie Levey. Frankie drove strongly down the right and her initial cross was blocked before Tammy was on hand to flick the ball past the prone goalkeeper.
Further chances came and went for Hobday, Pemble and O'Malley, but in the end the very wet Sils were able to celebrate their first win, with a great mix of experience and youth. A HUGE thank you needs to go to Andrew Scott and Martin Stott for umpiring in appalling conditions - not sure the team realised but they had two National League umpires looking after the game, and it was often because of their skill and understanding of the game that allowed any hockey to be played at all.