A hard day at the office
Banbury HC Ladies 1s - 0, Trojan Ladies 2s - 9
Today’s away game with a round trip of some 192 miles saw 12 ladies and their manager travel to Southampton to play Trojans, who were top of the league, knowing that it was likely to be a
challenging 70 minutes.
From the off, it was soon evident to see why Trojans were top of the league. Within 1 minute they
broke at pace and it was soon 1 on 1 against Sammy Bates, who rushed out and put the attacker off their stride, but would this be a sign of things to come? For the first 7 or 8 minutes, Trojans kept control of the ball and moved it about at pace, but our midfield coped, and there was the occasional foray up into the opposition final ¼ with Becca, Jecca, Libby, and Charlotte all combining well. Charlotte managed to spin and get a shot off on 8 minutes. Soon after, Evie broke up another Trojan attack and passed to Becca, to Libby, and then on to Charlotte, who just shot past. Trojans had most of the ball, but Banbury was able to break into gaps that they left, and Rosie had a shot on goal, which was stopped by their goalie. It was hard work, but the ladies were coping quite well at this stage. Unfortunately, all the possession that Trojans had begun to wear down the Banbury resolve and after some slick passing and very quick movement, Trojans broke into the D, and after a bit of a melee, the ball was in the net. One Nil Trojans.
Within 2 minutes, Trojan players were dribbling through our midfield at a great pace and won a short which Banbury defended well, but couldn’t get out the D, and despite a good Sammy save, a 2nd shot found the goal and it was two-nil Trojans.
This seemed to galvanise the Trojan ladies even further and they were looking good. Within a
minute of scoring the 2nd, they passed left, right, left, and into the D and their shot rifled into the net. Three nil Trojans. They were moving so quickly and each pass always found a home player, that Banbury was finding it hard to stop the onslaught. It wasn’t like Banbury were playing badly, but Trojans were fast, powerful and clinical.
On 22 mins, Trojans won another short, which came to nothing after a fine goal-line save by Alice, but they continued to break hard and fast. On 25 mins, they split the Banbury defence apart, but Rosie made a great crunching tackle to prevent further goals. Shortly after, Evie made a similar tackle and sent Libby off on a run, but she couldn’t get a shot off, unfortunately. 2 minutes later, back came Trojans, dribbling the ball through the middle, and into the D, and yet another unstoppable shot found the back off the net. Four nil.
Four minutes from halftime, a Trojans attack again earned them another short, which was kept out, but unfortunately, they kept the pressure on and a goal-bound shot was stopped by a foot, so they earned a flick which Sammy was unable to stop. Five nil.
Despite the scoreline, the ladies were quite upbeat at halftime and went out in the 2nd half full of
hope and determination. However, within 2 minutes of the start, Trojans were back in the Banbury D and forced Sammy into a save, which, unfortunately, rose high off her glove and straight to the stick of a Trojan player who skilfully hit it into the back of the net. Not a good start. Six nil Trojans.
Despite starting to get a bit more possession, Banbury was still struggling to get the ball into the
Trojans danger area, and after 41 mins trojans forced Sammy into a good save and a minute later, they earned another short, which Banbury defended well. 45 minutes in and Sammy was forced into action again, saving another dangerous Trojans break. Banbury was still fighting though and was moving the ball about the middle of the pitch, but they couldn’t really penetrate the Trojan line and found it hard to get into the D. Trojans were not taking the foot off the gas, but as the half progressed, it looked like both teams were tiring just a little. After 51 mins, Banbury broke from the back, with Libby, Jecca, Charlotte, and Laurie all linking well, but they couldn’t make it count, but we were in the opposition D! For the next 5 or 10 minutes, it was a bit end to end with Banbury finally getting a few good chances (although Trojans still threatened and looked ever so dangerous), Libby broke into their D and shot just wide, Jecca broke fast and earned a Banbury short, which was defended efficiently by Trojans. These forays into their D by Banbury perhaps spurred Trojans on, as on 61 minutes, they poured through the middle at pace again, into the Banbury D, and fired a shot past Sammy. Seven nil.
Not put off, Banbury kept at it, and soon after, Charlotte and Libby combined well and found acres of space through the middle and it was 2 on 1, but with just the goalie to beat, Charlotte’s effort was unfortunately saved. A minute later Banbury was pressing again and was now somehow finding holes in the Trojans defence, Becca put Charlotte through, and again the goalie saved. Becca made a break of her own, but Trojans kept her out. Less than 2 minutes from the end, Trojans broke upfield again and passed and dribbled their way through the Banbury team and fired another ball into the net making it eight!
Trojans were still pushing and pressing despite being so far ahead, and at the last minute, they
scored their ninth, and final goal!
MVP – Charlie won the vote, just edging out Sammy
“I felt that Banbury gave it a real good go today; they played with tremendous courage and
determination, but were up against a team who were incredibly fast, skillful, and never wasted an opportunity. Trojans did everything well, and they did it at pace, and clearly have great strength in depth. We will welcome the opportunity to have another go at them next year at home.”
Ladies 1s Manager 11/12/21
Photo: Charlott Boland injecting on the short corner
Photo: Becca Atkins and Charlotte Boland closing down the Trojan attacker
Photo: Evie Wilkinson going in for the attack