Berkhamsted arrived at RAF Halton with only one thing on their mind – keeping our promotion chances alive…..and their hair dry! Preparations began with a lot of tiger balm and ralgex (fine athletes that we are) followed by the now customary warm up.
I think we were slightly thrown in the first half by the unusual pressures of performing to a packed stand…..of 5! We welcomed Liz back from injury and instantly awarded her the dubious honour of taking the hit outs which she did superbly. Despite some good early pressure we found ourselves defending a short corner and a rocket shot from Welwyn meant we were 1-0 down. They had a further attack which would have put them 2-0 up but Sam came to our rescue with a fantastic save.
At half time we realised that we had to make more of the 50/50 balls and needed this win to retain our promotion charge. Jo reshuffled the team and Rosie was bought into defence and proceeded to mark their main attacker out of the game. Charlotte was also put back into midfield and had some fantastic saving runs back to help out the defence. Evie was running all over the place in her new rotating position. At the other end things were getting confusing, Terri fell over, performed a triple somersault and then emerged upright – think she misunderstood the memo on rolling subs!
All the team rallied into action giving 100% - Sam shouting from the back, the defence of Liz, Jo, Rosie and Sophie, the midfield of Hannah, Evie, Charlotte and Kate G and the forward line of Terri, Kate H and Chops. The first goal came from a short corner. Kate H sensibly accessed the sand levels before injecting, announcing they were acceptable she proceeded to inject it to Chops, pass to Terri who shot in for the first goal - we were back in the game. More pressure on the Welwyn defence. Even a few runs from Sophie H who at one point entering the D was shouted at by Chops with the words “if you look up you could actually touch us”!!
The second and wining goal came from another short corner – this time the injection went to Terri who passed it to Kate G – she shot and the play went into to a sort of slow motion as the ball neared the goal line – would it, wouldn’t go in….the packed stand of now 3 held their breath (well it was cold) – if only we had an expert in pushing it into the goal from 5cm out – like a cat Kate H sprang into action, this is my chance she thought (leave it alone thought Kate G its going in) – and all those years of playing experience kicked into action as the ball was launched those miraculous 5cms – GOAL!!!!! - the crowd went wild (well they clapped) and Jo and Liz did some strange sort of Strictly Come Dancing/cuddling at the back in celebration.
As the final minutes drew to a close Welwyn had one last shot at goal which Sam cleared with a kick that sent the ball heading off to Wendover Woods and the victory was ours.
Great play from all the team reflected in a good spread of MOM votes but the winner this week (and author of the match report) was Sophie Hart with 5 votes.