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Ladies 1s Vs. Alton 1s - Saturday 25th February 2023

Another slow start costs the Banbury Ladies 1s

Banbury HC Ladies 1s - 3, vs Alton Ladies 1s – 4

Banbury travelled down to Alton for this re-arranged game buoyed by some excellent recent results and were hopeful of a good performance.

Within the first couple of mins of the game Banbury attacked up the right wing and earned the first of their many short corners. This didn’t produce a goal, but it was a promising start. However, it was a bit of a false dawn as Alton immediately broke up field and caught Banbury cold and with little defensive cover; fortunately, Sammy Bates pulled out a great save and kept them out. For the next 15 mins of the game, Alton pressed hard and were looking the team most likely to score and it took further great saves by Sammy to keep the scores level. Unfortunately, possession and pressure told and after 17 mins Alton broke in numbers, and caught the Banbury line napping and it was 1-0 Alton.

However, Banbury started to get into it little by little and earned a short on 19 minutes after a lovely piece of attacking play by Vic “Pagey” Coombs. This was well defended by Alton and they got a short of their own 5 mins later, which Banbury kept out. The last 5 mins of the half was good for Banbury and they played in the Alton half for that time, earning another short, but the teams went in 1-0 Alton at half time.

The second half started poorly for Banbury as it was all Alton to start with. They won themselves

short corners after 3 mins, 7 mins & 8 mins and it took some good defence and more great saves by Sammy to keep them out. However, something had to give and 12 mins in, an Alton player seemed to dribble the ball most of the length of the pitch and slotted the ball into the net; 2-0 Alton. A minute later, Alton got another short which wasn’t cleared by the Banbury defence and it was 3-0!

This didn’t look good, HOWEVER….., a few mins after the Alton 3rd goal, Banbury did work their way into the Alton D and earned another short of their own. This didn’t produce a goal, but 2 mins later, after some sustained Banbury pressure Molly McCusker got a chance and she calmly put it into the net; 3-1. This didn’t phase Alton and they earned a further short which wasn’t cleared and on 22 mins they fired in their 4th goal. As sometimes seems to be the case with the Banbury ladies, adversity seemed to fire them into action and the last 10 mins of the game was all Banbury. On 26 mins after some good work in the D by Pagey, somehow Jaz Bixley, in the act of falling to the ground, managed to keep the ball in play and passed it across goal to Clemmie Morrison who put it into the net to make it 4-2. A minute later Banbury worked into the D and got a short. Another followed a minute later, and after a bit of passing between players, Pagey dribbled past a couple of Alton players and slotted home; 4-3. Surely Banbury couldn’t rescue this could they? I think Alton were shell shocked, but they did manage to get out of their half and earned their last short on 32 mins.

Banbury had to keep this out, which they did, and with the last play of the match Banbury got a short of their own. EVERYBODY up. This was it. The bench were holding their breath….. Unfortunately, it was the teams’ worst short of the match and it came to nothing. 4-3 final score.

MVP – Pagey received the most nominations this week for her tireless midfield and attack play.

“As is often the case when travelling away, the team seems to take an age to get into the game. We were well behind in this match before we found our feet and started to cause Alton issues. To

be honest, we were second best today, but almost found a way to take something from it, which is testament to the will and determination of the ladies and their never say die attitude, but it does make things difficult. Another away game next. Let’s hope that we can start better and get a win."

Bryce Wilkinson - Ladies 1s Manager 25/02/23

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