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Ladies 1s Vs. Portsmouth 1s - Saturday 19th November 2022

A comfortable win for Banbury Ladies 1s

Banbury HC Ladies 1s - 2, Portsmouth Ladies 1s – 0

It was a very cold day at NOA where Banbury Ladies 1s met Portsmouth Ladies 1s. Would the hockey warm everyone up?

Within the first minute you could see Banbury’s intentions were clear; a lovely combination between Captain Rosie Gowing and Tash Roberts saw a short corner won for the home team. Nothing came from this one, but you could see the steel in the eye of the Banbury players this morning to get back to winning ways. Banbury had Portsmouth (who had travelled with only 11 players) pinned back in their own quarter and it was all Banbury. On 5 mins, Banbury had a another short, which a Portsmouth defender saved on the line. This was pretty much the pattern for the first 15 mins of the game; wave after wave of Banbury attacks (some just inching past the post, others hitting the post), but none finding the back of the net. Was it going to be “one of those games”? Occasionally, Portsmouth would foray forward, and on 16 mins they did just this; a beautiful injection of pace and some slick passing stretched the Banbury line, but didn’t break it, but this was a warning. However Banbury kept attacking and the midfield of Zoe Young, Vic Coombs, Rosie Gowing, Libby Haden and Abbie Stevens were causing all sorts of problems for Portsmouth and on 20 mins, the home team earned another short, from which they tried something a little different and less direct and after a couple of quick passes, Jaz Bixley rifled the ball home for her first Banbury club goal. 1-0 Banbury.

Tash Roberts had the ball in the net on 23 min, but unfortunately she had controlled the ball illegally and it was disallowed. It was all Banbury, and how it remained only 1-0 is a mystery. I feel that we were trying too hard and when we spread and passed the ball, we looked more effective. However, aside from the occasional break upfield, which goalkeeper Sammy Bates and her defence coped well with, Portsmouth didn’t really pose much of a threat. 1 – 0 half time.

The 2 nd half was very much more of the same with Banbury forcing Portsmouth to constantly defend their line. After 5 mins, Banbury got the 1st of some 4 or 5 shorts in the second half and Tash Roberts got on the end of some loose play in the D to lift the ball high into the Portsmouth goal; 2 – 0 to Banbury. Despite several more short corners and times where it looked easier for the ball to find the back of the net than not, the elusive 3rd goal just wouldn’t come. To be fair to the travelling Portsmouth team, they never gave up, and although they were under the cosh for most of the game, they did occasionally break forward and it took a number of good saves by Sammy and some excellent defending by Evie Wilkinson, Charlie Page, Alice Offord and Krissy Bull to keep them out. Final score Banbury 2, Portsmouth 0.

MVP – Five ladies received 2 votes from their peers, and two more received 1 vote, so I think it’s fair to say that this week was very much a team performance by all.

“The Banbury Ladies got a very well-earned win today. They played as a team and went forward today with numbers. I felt that we could perhaps have spread the ball a bit and used the players that were in space when moving into the danger area, as route one was very congested with the numbers that Portsmouth put in the way, but it was very encouraging that the team created so many chances. Another home game next week and hopefully another home win!“

Bryce Wilkinson

Ladies 1s Manager 19/11/22

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