The sun came out and we were pumped for a battle after our pre-season friendly against Portsmouth two weeks ago. And that's exactly what we got. Despite the sludge pitch we had to play on, we all had our skates on. Distribution was quick across the pitch with Leah, Nikki, Rhea, Strawbs and Molly closing their players down fast, and keeping the pressure on. Not long after this, a beautiful bit of straight play led to Sophie taking the ball into the D and passing the ball in for Sue to strike the ball against the back board. Unfortunately, Portsmouth managed to break through our ranks and equalise not long after. Luckily before half time was over, we managed to get a short corner and Laura hammered the ball in with a straight strike on goal. Half time score 2-1.The second half was all about defending the middle of the pitch. Suze, Dee and Phoebe pushed up to close-down their attacks, and despite some getting through with many strikes on goal from them, Emily kicked the balls clear with plenty of blocks from Laura. Sadly one goal did make it through and they equalised again. For those attempts that didn't, Laura found the gaps in their press in the 16s and powered the ball up to Sophie, Tiz, Steady and Sue to run down and push into the D. Despite the pressure on their 16s which made it much harder for them to start the attack, the legs started to get tired and they managed to break out again, with an unfortunate goal that flew over Emily while everyone waited for the whistle to blow. After this we were back on the attack but sadly the game ended with a 3-2 win for Portsmouth. It was a fantastic performance from everyone, a lot of the game passed in a blur and there were far more impressive moments than this report suggests. Bring on next week!