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Ladies 1s Vs. Slough 2s - Saturday 29th January 2022

Slough too clinical for our Ladies 1s

BHC Ladies 1s - 2, Slough Ladies 2s - 5

After last week’s good performance, but disappointing result, the ladies were hoping for better this week against mid-table Slough.

The first few minutes saw a cagey start, with both teams looking for openings and it looked like it could be a close open game with chances for both sides. Banbury had the better of it for the first 5 minutes and it took until after that time for Slough to even get into the Banbury half, but when they did, they looked dangerous with some very skillful and quick individuals. 9 minutes in saw Slough earn a short with their first entry into the Banbury D, and through this, Slough scored their first well-executed goal. One Nil Slough. On balance, this was against the run of play, but it was a good example of efficiency and clinical finishing; if you get a chance – take it. Some more Banbury pressure saw Slough sit back and soak it up, and they again broke quickly in 13 minutes into the Banbury D and earned another short. This brought out a stunning save from Sammy Bates who stretched to her right to push it away. Back into the Slough D went Banbury, and after 18 minutes Tash got a shot off, which unfortunately hit the side netting. After a period of end-to-end play, Banbury earned their first short on 23 mins, but nothing came from it. Back came Slough and they put Banbury under real pressure for the next 5 to 10 mins, and on 30 mins, after some quick movement up the right, Slough fired a bullet-like pass across into the D and it was rocketed into the back of the net. Two – nil Slough. Clinical finishing!

Banbury were still playing well, had plenty possession, but not getting that many shots on target; it all seemed a bit rushed and some of our passes, particularly, the final pass, were not finding the mark. The last 5 minutes of the half saw chances for both teams, with Maddy winning a short, from which their goalie managed to trap it between her feet and keep it out. Both teams had breaks into the opposition half, but neither seriously threatened the goal. Two – Nil half time.

I think we thought that the 2 nd half would follow a similar pattern, and we just needed to be more clinical with the chances that came our way, and we also needed to better close down and stop those one or two players that seemed to be running the Slough attack. However, within 2 minutes of the restart, Slough had penetrated the Banbury line again and forced Sammy into another fine save. Up the other end went Jecca, with Rosie and Tash in support; Tash got a shot off, but unfortunately found the side netting again. A few minutes later, Slough broke at pace and after some lovely accurate link play, they fired another shot into the goal. They were certainly making the most of their chances and doing it very efficiently. Three – nil Slough.

Banbury still had lots of possession though, and were pressing and looking for openings; they got into the Slough D on 43 minutes, but nothing came from it. Slough immediately broke upfield at pace and were bearing down on goal with just Sammy to beat, who again saved well. A few minutes later, it was Banbury’s turn to attack, and Tash broke on her own with the goalie to beat but was unfortunately forced wide. However from this position, she expertly won a short, but the Slough defence dealt well with it - and the score remained the same. Still, this was a good period for Banbury and the Slough goalie was forced into a sliding save to keep the ball out a minute or two later, and shortly after that she did the same again, but this time illegally taking out a Banbury player in the process – Penalty flick to Banbury. Up stepped captain cool and Becca dragged it straight down the middle to get a goal back. Three – one.

Banbury continued to press and was in the Slough D more and more, but were having difficulty

penetrating the opposition's final line of defence. After 53 mins and more Banbury pressure, Slough gave away another short, which was well executed this time, but Becca’s shot was saved. 2 mins later, Banbury won another short, but nothing came of it; Banbury were camped in the Slough D, but as earlier, Slough were patient and were ruthlessly efficient in their attack. After 58 mins, and a rare foray into the Banbury D, they somehow managed to get the ball over the Banbury line. No one was quite sure how, but it trickled in and it was four – one Slough.

Banbury still pressed, but couldn’t really find the final shot or final pass that was required to trouble Slough, and despite Banbury having most of the ball, when Slough got it, they always looked more dangerous. 11 mins from the end Slough worked the ball upfield and into the edge of the Banbury D from where they loosed another rocket shot that flew into the Banbury net. Five – One Slough.

That looked like the end, but in the last minute of the match, an accurate pass from the Banbury

defence found Jecca, who moved quickly up the field and she passed a perfectly weighted ball

through to Libby, who had found fantastic open space. Then it was one on one against the goalie,

and Libby calmly took it round her and into the open net. Five – two Slough. This was simple, but a fantastically well-executed goal. Literally 3 passes and in the goal! The final whistle sounded shortly after.

In summary, Banbury had more of the ball, spent more time in the opposition half, and more time in the opposition D – than they did in ours, but the scoreline reflects the Slough accuracy and clinical way in which they put the ball in the net. Their passing was very accurate; they never wasted any ball, and they took the bulk of the chances that they made. There were certainly lots of good things to take away from the game for Banbury, not least of all the huge amounts of effort put in by everyone, and the great work done in the middle to control possession, but we need to now move forward and learn how we can make the most of the ball we have, and if ever there was a lesson in clinical execution, then perhaps we learned that today. Our 2nd goal was simple and came about from good vision, accurate passing and finding space, and finishing off with calm execution. If we can do that with all the possession we have in some of our games, then surely the goals and results will come.

MVP – Molly McCusker

Bryce Wilkinson

Ladies 1s Manager 29/01/21

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