Havant U12 Girls vs Chichester. Match Report 18/10/20.
Home – Havant College. Friendly Game. Havant won 4-2.
The atmosphere at “Fortress Havant” today was as electric as an England vs Scotland Rugby game at Twickenham, all we were missing were the pipes playing “Flower of Scotland”. You could see as both teams ran on to the pitch this was going to be an intense and competitive “friendly” match! Martyn had set homework, briefed the team on formation and had developed a new game plan for this talented and versititle squad by trying players in new positions.
Havant set off at breath taking speed taking the game to Chichester and began to build some very impressive early pressure. The team clearly understood Martyn’s strategy and the passing flowed from defense to midfield and out quickly to the fast paced wings. From wide the ball was hit into the D with such ferocity the defending Chichester Hockey sticks will need a full refurbishment!
The pressure resulted in a series of Havant penalty corners and on one play Ella sent a very precise pass to Lara who controlled well and sent a rocket shot into the goal. 1-0. The ferocious pace continued and cross after cross rained into the Chichester D, forcing them to pull all their team back to defend. Simone found good space on the right, sent a great pass to Holly who shot neatly into the corner 2-0. This was the most impressive passage of play Havant had played this season!
It is always amazing how the momentum can change in sport and in the second quarter this strong Chichester team came back into the game. Their talented number 77 showed some tantalizing skill and dribbled passed 4 players to score 2-1. Teams are often measured on how deep they can dig in to hold on to a lead and this young team showed incredible resilience and determination to keep Chichester from scoring. This fearless Havant defensive unit charged 4 penalty corners down and Hanna made an outstanding one handed save from a shot so high I think she was on a ladder!
The third quarter started evenly matched, but again Chichester’s No 77 proved too elusive in the D to score 2-2. Now Havant’s character would be truly tested! Their response was everything a coach and parent would wish for as the teams work rate increased, closing space fast and going back to the impressive quick passing and wide play from the first period. Alice and Lara were blocking everything at the edge of the D and Lexi on numerous occasions chased back at speed to prevent any shot at goal. Rebecca, Martha, Ella, Anna S and Imogen tackled everything that moved in midfield and when they won the ball Ruby, Libby, Holly, Anna P, Lauren and Simone were all running into space to give them passing options. This excellent passage of play, to Martyn’s playbook, resulted in two very good goals. Holly hit a strong shot on target, which was well saved and Anna P was perfectly positioned for the rebound to score 3-2. Then following more sustained pressure Holly found the goal again 4-2. It could have been more with Anna P hitting the post and the Chichester Goal Keeper making some great saves.
The final quarter Martyn must have simply said “more of the same please” but a few parents caught the tail end of a little Shakespeare Henry 5th from him…“once more unto the breach…..” as the girls ran out onto the pitch. Havant’s very impressive fitness came into play in the final quarter giving limited possession to Chichester and with Caitlin making a couple of excellent saves, they closed out the match with a very impressive 4-2 win. The Havant Supporters clapped loud and gave a standing ovation, (mainly because there were no chairs!) such was their appreciation of a great display of hockey and such hard work! This maintains Havant U12 Girls unbeaten run at home now for over a year! It’s the lucky Green Shirts Holly will tell you!
A big thanks to Nicky for refereeing today and to Scott for providing the team with some extra coaching. Also to Mel who does a lot of secret things behind the scenes and sorting our new impressive automated match fee system.
Holly Illing - 2
Lara O’Dea - 1
Anna Parnell - 1
Players of the Match (Voted by Chichester)
Looking forward to the next exciting game. Paul Illing