LSHC Ladies First v Cambridge South 1sPlayed Away on 22nd September 2018
5 under 15 players, 3 players missing from last year's team, 2 debutants, 0 subs against a 15 strong Cambs South side who finished above us last term. The whistle blows. Score predictions?
What transpired over the following 70 minutes epitomized the Long Sutton Spirit. The experience of Loraine Wallis, Tanya White, Gemma Parr and Jo Bland through the centre proved invaluable as it allowed the youth to work the wide areas. The first 10 minutes as always set the pace for the following 60. Fast passing from both sides equalled by strong tackles meant that the game stayed within the middle half of the pitch with occasional breaks into the 23 from both sides. An early short corner from South was dealt with smoothly and another trend was set. It was clear that the hard yards put in training were paying off as every short corner through the match was dealt with in the same way. Lorraine Wallis cleared up everything that did manage to get past the new centre-back pairing of Tania White and Maisie Sullivan and on 17 minutes she attacked the South centre-forward in a 1 on 1 duel smothering the ball and player to clear the danger. The forward not realizing Lorraine was on top of her as she entered the D. Sutton continued to press forward with Connie Gittins linking up excellently with Amber Jones. This work rate and movement combined with speed is a great improvement and they forced South into some rushed defending. With the game being so quick in midfield and only having 11 players, game management was key as the midfield was constantly working with no time to rest. Jo Bland held the shape feeding Emmy Gittins and Jemima Dodd.
The half finished 0-0, a fair scoreline with no side forcing enough to break the deadlock. After a brief rest, the battle resumed at the same pace. South rolling their subs to try and gain the advantage. Legs began to tire around the 55-minute mark and the game moved 10 metres back toward the Sutton goal however despite the ladies taking knocks the defence held firm. However, during a South attack, after another fine save from Wallis to deny the first shot the ball somehow managed to drift across the goal and the fresh legs got there to nudge home. It was a fortunate goal but that's hockey. Heads could have dropped along with tiredness however the opposite effect proved the Sutton Spirit. This galvanized us, and we pushed the game back into and around the South 23. Overloads were created, and D penetrations followed. The resulting short corners were dealt with and on another day may have gone in. Sutton continued to press high for the remaining minutes which will surely tell this morning with weary bones and achy muscles. Jemima Dodd took a ball to the ankle closing down and had to withdraw for a few minutes but that didn't change the tempo or control. Camping high did lead to the odd break but South were really hanging on. One final clearance from South fortunately created a short corner for them as the final whistle blew. The resulting solid defence summed up the day. The ladies dragged themselves off the pitch with bruises, knocks and very little energy left but they did themselves proud.
In conclusion, to go with 11, have the youth come in and play with so much composure and nearly come away with a point was impressive. This team is new but, if this is a sign of things to come, then they will be a formidable team. but more than that, they will be a unit. A team following in the footsteps of previous Long Sutton Hockey teams. A team to be proud of.
Report by Jo Bland
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Mens first Team Captain
- Stefan Fox
Ladies First Team Captain
- Jo Bland 07879 053803
Ladies Second Team Captain
- Lisa Baker 07810 327873
- Lorraine Wallis 01945 466146/07810 123310
Mens Second Team Captain
- Nick Ellis 07764 339414
Juniors Training & Tournament
- John Sullivan
- Anna Jenner 07912730971