Rugby Town Girls U13 vs Harborough Town – Sunday 1st December
Sponsor: Lisa Collins Hair Design
Rugby Town Squad: Ellie, Ella, Hannah. Izzy, Tash, Evie, Sophie, Mia, Robyn, Sophia, Priya, Kelsey, Ava (C), Lucy
A cold and sunny Butlin Road was the venue for the return leg for Rugby Town (RT) and Harborough (HT). After a strong win against HT last week, the RT squad were keen for a repeat performance.
HT were quick of the mark and won a corner against RT within the first minute of the game. RT defended well and the ball was back in midfield with Mia taking control of the play. Ava had a very sprightly game on the left wing and must have easily covered a good few miles throughout the game. Priya, over on the right wing, was getting into her stride and the tackles she was putting in were very productive, allowing her to get some lovely crosses into the HT danger area. Ava, Evie and Tash were now putting together some great passing moves between each other, allowing them to open up the HT defence.
Tash (LS) had a good game, lots of movement and was certainly busy around the HT goal mouth and visibly keen to open the RT score line. Evie (RS) was clever in her positioning which allowed her to get some quick crossed in from the right, RT just finding the final touch elusive and the HT goalkeeper was certainly on her game today. RT collected the ball up again in midfield with Ava allowing the ball to run past her, making a great turn to beat her HT mark and streaked up the left wing. A smashing strike from Ava in from the left, full of power and accuracy, surprised the HT defensive player who caught a deflection and helped the ball on its way into the HT goal.
Rugby Town 1 – 0 Harborough Town
HT were having a much better game than last week, and were making the most of some quick players in their squad, their counter attacks had more fire in them and one resulted in a very good run on the RT goal resulting in a solid strike and forcing Sophia to make a very good save to keep RT in the lead. HT corner.
HT delivered well and Sophia again was called into action, make a great reactive save, out to Sophie who calmly cleared the call upfield. RT were growing their momentum and had a good spell of possession and attacking play, another goal was in the offing, if only RT could beat a deeply defensive HT. A long clearance by HT down to Izzy who controlled the ball well and passed up the left wing to Ava. Ava made up some distance before passing a good through ball to Tash, running up the centre of the pitch. Tash received and ran up through here gears, beating the HT defence and smashing the ball into the right side of the HT goal.
Rugby Town 2 – 0 Harborough Town
On the restart, Rugby won possession and were back up into the HT third, which the RT wingers and forwards positioning themselves well. HT cleared the ball for a RT corner which was delivered by Tash, HT cleared only as far as Evie who knocked the ball cleanly back into the melee of the HT goal mouth, forcing the HT keeper to make another save.
Mia was holding the central midfield very well for RT and along with Sophie (CD) shut of the centre of the pitch well, limited the options and forcing out onto the wings to get any chance of forward play. A few minutes of back and forth possession and end to end play ended with a RT corner. Another good ball in from Tash, but HT were on their defensive game today and cleared without too much trouble.
Will the ball running quickly downfield, Sophia has a momentary, and most unusual, lapse of concentration and gathered the ball outside of her box, HT awarded a free kick. RT formed a good wall and were brave in the face of a thunderous strike from the HT player, Sophia more than redeemed herself with a cracking save and Izzy was alert to clear the ball away from the fired-up HT forwards.
HT were dominating the play now and RT found themselves having a period of concentrated defence from a number of corners and throw ins deep in the RT half. And unlucky bounce caught a RT player, resulting in a free kick against RT for a handball. Another strong strike from HT forced another save from Sophia, parried out and unlucky for RT, a HT played was ready to swoop and wasn’t willing to pass up and easy opportunity.
Rugby Town 2 – 1 Harborough Town
The final minutes of the half were just as actioned backed with both teams winning corners. The HT corner was saved again by Sophia who had an unusually busy game. The two RT corners saw too opportunities missed. The first just wide by Ava, after some good play by Mia and Evie and the second just wide from another strike by Tash, assisted by Evie.
RT pushed from the whistle and shot forward with gusto and enthusiasm, a little too enthusiastically as Kelsey (RS) found herself 1-1 with the keeper but offside. Robyn (CM) and Hannah (RW) were new to this half and immediately formed some good play with Kelsey and Tash, making good headway up field to threaten the HT goal, ensure HT had to again defend deeper than they would like.
Hannah and Tash put a number of great passes together and Hannah took a shot, seeing the ball go just wide to the right of the HT goal. The goal kick was good and HT used it to mount a strong run at RT, who made a bit of a meal of clearing the ball, eventually, Sophia came out to clear for a HT corner, taken and cleared, allowing RT to take a breath.
RT upped the pressure on HT and won 2 corners in quick succession. Hannah delivering both balls well but RT still missing that last touch to convert. Ava was still putting in a great mornings work on the left wing, the HT defence having trouble dealing with her turns and skill today. Lucy (LB) working well with Ava on that left wing, had a good half, providing some very confident play and great game awareness. Her skills really coming on well this season,
Ellie (CD) was making some thundering clearance, and as always, her strength and presence intimidating the opposition forwards, forcing errors and generally making a nuisance of herself against HT. Hannah had another god half this morning, using the space on the right wing well and making some very good runs forward. Ella played a full game in RB today. A signature mornings work by Ella, confident, alert and with savage, no nonsense clearances.
Robyn was alert and quick in the centre and giving as good as she got against a physical HT midfield. Again, as seemingly our resident header, Robyn made some great play with her head during this half. Play was again a little end to end with no team making much headway during the middle of this half but RT clearly wanting to dominate and dictate the play, kept their heads and slowly gained the upper hand.
RT won 4 corners in a short space of time, all delivered in well, but HT were excellent in their defence and did not give RT an inch of space meaning no resulting goals. The final 5 minutes was owned by RT in full possession, but the deep defending of HT only allowed one clear run by Ava and Kelsey finally finding the space they needed to link up with Kelsey finding the back of the HT net. Only to see the goal disallowed by a (very spurious) offside decision. A final play but Rugby saw Tash hit the side of the HT net.
Rugby Town 2 -1 Harborough Town
HT defended very well today and gave us limited space to play freely and the RT team struggled to finish some excellent runs to convert goals. However, some days it doesn’t come together as well as you would like, but the team effort was exemplary as usual. Their determination to perform the best they can never waivers, so the win was well deserved.
Coaches Player of the Match: for her strongest performance so far this season giving 100% commitment and energy and excellent football; Ava
Parents Player of the Match: for another solid and dependable performance, that we often take for granted, but should be recognised more; Ella
The team and coaches would like to thank:
- Parents for your continuing support and for helping with the equipment set up and put away
- Darren for volunteering for linesman duty
- Dave for refereeing