The tension at Halton was like a scene out of a Liam Neeson film. From Rebecca’s pre-match nausea, Nat meaning business with her top-to-toe branded new club kit, the militant warm up led by Brigadier Babs and both teams being ready to push back well before the initial whistle.
The pace was fast, heart-rates were elevated and the pressure kicked in. Umpires were pretty much breathing through the whistles and both teams seemed to struggle with mathematics as that five-metre-distance just could not get their mark of approval. Hundreds of short corners were awarded on both ends of the pitch, testing the defence lines to their core. We soon learnt that there would be no umpire’s pets, evident by the number of cards handed out. Shock horror Lady Prentice had her turn in the hot box too!
But in true Liam Neeson style, we remembered our very particular set of skills…skills that make us a nightmare for opponents. Within ten minutes into the second half, Brigadier Babs got her assist by shouting/commanding Sophie to make that 50-50 ball a 60-40, Sophie saw the gap to Emma who ran like lightning into the D and flicked the most composed shot into the back of the net.
The forwards Hannah, Charlie, Emily and Emma were hungry for a second goal and although there were some fantastic strikes, passes across and into the D, West Herts defence kept further goals out.
The young Zoe Kennedy made her debut to the Ladies 2’s with her solid and composed defending, keeping the opposition’s notable centre forward player completely out of the game. Rebecca demonstrated superb strategic channelling and tackles and Babs blocked any attempts made by the very young and fast forwards down the right wing. Nat was kept on her toes today and cleared balls at a feisty clean-sheet-pace. Annamarie’s hit outs caused some unfortunate foot deformities, but she earned a man of the match vote by playing over-protective of her goal-keeper and saving an attempted goal on the line. Nat no longer calls her a numpty.
Midfielders Bunni, Sophie and Lauren ran like the wind and defended as much as they attacked. They linked the defence and front line with great skill and pace. Sophie did not fall over, Bunni miraculously avoided a card and Lauren did not receive second most MOM votes for nothing.
A very tough game against West Herts ended in a 1-0 win for Berko Ladies 2’s. MOM votes went to Emily, Lauren, Nat, Zoe and Annamarie with the most votes going to Zoe Kennedy for outstanding control, marking and distribution of the ball as centre back.