This week was a high scoring, high risk, and high turnover Mexican standoff.
A rather peculiar game, played at the beautiful grounds of Southgate.
Chiswick opened the scoring with a searching ball from Laura Jacquees into the circle which found the touch master Tee Barrack in space who ever so coolly deflected it into the goal. But Southgate quickly responded with two goals.
After some great attacks and finally conceding a penalty corner, Rhianna Buchanan lined up and smashed
the ball in from left slip (granted it was deflected in from a defender, but the ball was going in goal and had some heat on it).
Then through a comedy of errors, there was a ball fired into the circle from Becky Smith which saw the goalie deflect it off her boot into the goal, for which we were awarded a long corner- a rather confusing and a peculiar rule…. minutes later we were awarded an own goal. Becky chalked that one up as hers.
Then Southgate equalised- 3 a piece at half time.
Second half was like a yoyo up and down, back and forward and side to side.
Southgate got a goal, then we got a goal and then they got a goal again and then we got a goal.
The highlight of the match was a set piece of perfection, which could have seen Lisa Crane ascend from the turf and join the Greek gods in Olympus, absolute Perfection! (But she returned back to earth minutes later for time wasting and muddling up the score, which saw her assume that we had won the game, but to be told after the final whistle it was a draw).
Anyway goal perfection it played out with a great drag from Ceilidh Walker and crisp trap from Helen Taylor and such precision from Becky Smith who dragged the ball to the spot where Crane, from a beautifully timed run, perfect stick angle and a subtle touch saw the ball curl over the goal keeper. Our final goal and the last goal of the match came from Becky who converted a penalty stroke, which was awarded when Ceilidh’s attack in the circle was interfered with by the Southgate keeper, this goal tied up the game and within five minutes the full time whistle was blown.
DoD: Jen "Tits McGee" Romano
MoM: Tenacious Tee- Tee Barrack and Gigi Fateh
3 points, 3 goals, 3 goalscorers, 3 goalkeepers(!!)
Unbeaten in 2014 and scoring plenty of goals, confidence was high in the Ladies 1s changing rooms and we were keen to secure the 3 points we needed to keep us within reach of the top spot in South League 3a. After an individual and team shout(!) Chiswick took the game to Hampstead and Westminster, passing the ball around them with ease and creating scoring opportunities within the first 10 minutes.
The game was played high up the pitch, with the Chiswick centre backs, Katherine Duncan and Jen Romano stepping up to turn over any counter attacks. After enjoying plenty of possession, Becky Alltree spread the ball wide to Helen Taylor on the right who picked out Ceilidh Walker at the top of the D who struck the ball with precision to the bottom left corner of the goal.
With the teams only separated by a goal at half time, Chiswick were pleased with their first half performance but couldn't help but feel that the one goal difference just wasn't enough. Hampstead and Westminster came back fighting in the second half and after a fine first save by Chiswick goalie Matilda Lang, an attacker was fouled with a clear shot on goal resulting in a penalty stroke. The Hampstead and Westminster penalty taker fired to ball into the corner of the goal providing them with an equaliser against the run of play.
Chiswick remained patient and still looked the stronger team, playing the ball around confidently and going in hard on the tackles. Chiswick made it 2-1 when Laura Jacques passed to Tisunge Barrack on the back line who beat two defenders before squaring the ball to Alex Earnshaw to slot into an open goal.
A third goal soon followed when Becky Alltree found Helen Taylor on the left who played the ball into the path of Rhianna Buchanan who had made the perfect run into the D. Buchanan sent the ball past the keeper and into the goal, giving Chiswick the two goal lead they deserved.
The last 10 minutes saw Hampstead and Westminster play their best hockey, winning short corner after short corner. However, player of the match, goalkeeper Matilda Lang ensured that the scoreline remained 3-1 to Chiswick, commanding the D and making some superb saves. Next week the Ladies 1s travel to Witney for a tough game against the in-form team in the league.
Mom – Millie – superb, especially all the short corner saves in the last 10 minutes!
Dod – Tee – forgetting her skort and being bailed out by Pras
After an 11-0 win in the first half of the season, Chiswick went into the game against Staines feeling confident, but after the first few minutes of the half they realised this game was going to be more evenly matched than the last. Chiswick dominated possession at the start, but failed to capitalise on their chances until late in the half, when they drew the goalie out, and pushed one into the goal behind her. Staines came out fighting in the second half, and got back into the game with a well angled deflection into the goal from a penalty corner, and soon after they managed to break away down field and score another before the defenders could make it back. Chiswick refused to be beaten though, and as the game drew to a close they fired shot after shot into the D. Kate managed to get on the end of a pass from Stacey, and finally Chiswick were even. In the dying minutes of the game it looked like Chiswick would score again, but the whistle came too soon, and the game ended in a draw.
DOD: Julia for forgetting her skort, and then wearing see through leggings and a ‘running’ skirt!
MoM: Task for excellent work in defence
Return of the Jedis- A new year and a return to the second half of the competition. The perfect opportunity to begin our ascent from fifth position to top of the table. It all starts here.... Game preparation, the changing rooms....
Coach Pras gave a Yoda like team talk inspiring us with her wise words of wisdom and encouragement, creating an inner belief within the team. Let’s just say "The force was strong with us."
Excited, our team of PHC Jedis were ready to do to do battle against Wallingford, with our light sabers (metaphorically speaking).
We came out and dominated the game in every aspect; if you were to break down into statistics we had 99% of the possession, territory, and continuous circle penetrations and penalty corners. But where were the goals?... With patience and passing and playing like a team we found our first goal of the year, through Cappy a.k.a Helen Taylor who from the right smashed the ball from the top of the circle finding the corner and putting herself on the score sheet. After continuous pressure and the roar and welcomed return of Becky "Take no prisoners” Alltree we found ourselves lined up for a penalty corner. Becky had that glint in her eye and that only meant one thing GOAL TIME. Cracking the ball from the top of the D, she banged home….nothing but corner and gave us our second goal. A great way to return from injury, and done it in style.
Unfortunately.. somehow they managed to get a goal, a little against the run of play with a quick turner over and a well-constructed team goal they pulled one back. Heading into half time 2-1 up. So undeterred and ready to really take it to them in the second we did just that, a strong start and some great balls from the back, power penetrations from the mid field and fantastic leading up front, we were rewarded with a penalty corner. Alex Earnshaw holding her position at left split had locked and loaded her hockey stick and with subtle left lay off from the bracket she fired off the ball into the back board BOOM 3-1.
The game was played at a high intensity and was fun to play and one would say a real crowd pleaser. After some close calls and countless hitting the posts Rhianna Buchanan got in on the action and with a sneaky slip pass from Laura, she dragged and chanced a shot from the right at the top of the D and made it 4-1. Not content on just one goal Rhianna got in on the action again, when hanging out on the left split in a penalty corner Becky slipped her the ball unable to take a stick shot, dribbled a little and reversed stick chipped over the goal keeper... Many would say a fluke, but speaking to her, it was exactly what she had intended to do, she said. So this brought the score to 5-1 and with only a couple of minutes to go this was our full time score.
The game was played in good spirits and happiness all around the only controversy came at Teas when awarding. A great start to 2014 for PHC Chiswick Ladies 1's!!!
MoM: Jen Romano - fantastic work rate and relentless in defence and fantastic in attack.
DoD: Rhianna Buchanan for the reasons "just cos," and "yeah Rhi hahaha," one would argued that these were not good enough reasons, but like a two year old kicking and screaming, she had her sulk and debated, but to no avail, but found solace in her black gold (diet coke).