League’s top side visits Banbury
BHC Ladies 1s - 2, Trojans 2s - 7
It was below zero today; would the game be on? Would the long journey tire out the opposition?
Would needing to win put additional pressure on Trojans? Would Banbury find their lost energy?
Trojans were on it from the off and soon broke fast up into the danger zone and Banbury had to be on their game to make sure that they didn’t lose an early goal. On 2 minutes, Trojans played some clever hockey in the D and won their first Short Corner which Banbury defended well. Both teams started to settle, and for a few minutes there was nothing in it, however slowly but surely the visitor’s attacks became faster than those of Banbury, and their movement on and off the ball was top quality. On 7 mins they earned another short and despite not scoring immediately from it, the ball wasn’t cleared and it found it’s way into the back of the Banbury net; 1-0 Trojans. The Banbury ladies were not put off and attacked the Trojan goal with some lovely work by Tash Roberts and Maddie McCarthy, but nothing came from it. Back came Trojans, who after 11 mins, earned another short. Banbury defended this well, but didn’t manage to clear, and found themselves 2-0 behind.
Trojans were looking lively, but Banbury still believed in themselves and were giving it a good go, but it was Trojans who were moving the ball about quickly and they earned another short, which
fortunately came to nothing. It was backs to the wall for a bit with Trojans pressing hard, and looking for a 3rd, but Banbury held on. After 22 mins, and a rare foray into the Trojans D, Libby Haden earned Banbury a short corner, from which Vic “Pagey” Combs tried a drag; this didn’t quite come off, but Tash Roberts was on hand to stick the loose ball into the net; 2-1. Despite all their pressure, Trojans were not out of sight and the Banbury ladies were still right in this game. For the last 10 mins of the half, Banbury actually had the best of it, and the Trojans passing and movement seemed to have gone off the boil, which I’m sure was a result of how Banbury were playing. The opposition looked uncomfortable going in to the break only 2-1 up.
The second half started well for Banbury with Pagey dribbling upfield in the first min, past many
players, where she tried a speculative shot from the edge of the D; Tash Roberts expertly deflected this into the goal. It was now 2-2 against the league leaders. Could the unthinkable occur, and Banbury get a win against the team which humbled them 9-0 in the reverse fixture?
For the next 5 mins, both teams were equally matched and it was end to end stuff, but slowly,
Trojans started to gel again and get the upper hand. They were attacking at pace, and making things difficult for Banbury. Trojans pushed and pressed, and from a poor Banbury clearance, they scored a goal from nothing and were back in front. Unfortunately, this seemed to galvanise Trojans further and deflate Banbury somewhat. A minute later, Sammy Bates made a great goalmouth save, but Trojans earned a short, which was well worked, but just missed. Another short soon followed which Banbury were unable to clear and after some nice passing in the D, the shot into the goal was too hot for Sammy to keep out; 4-2 Trojans.
Trojans kept up the pressure, and soon another goal followed; 5-2. However, Banbury heads didn’t go down and they still tried to counterattack, and for the next 10 mins, the play became a bit scrappy and messy with neither team really threatening. On 62 mins, more Trojan pressure did result in a short, which was well defended; 2mins later they were awarded a hotly disputed penalty flick which they missed (karma?). A minute afterward, Trojans forced Sammy into a great double save, but they kept on pressing and Banbury couldn’t keep them out any longer; 6-2. The home side kept on trying though and with only a few minutes to go Libby and Pagey combined well to earn Banbury a short corner, but they couldn’t take anything away from it. In the very last minute of the game, Trojans came forward yet again, forcing Sammy into another lovely save low to her right.
Time was up, but the whistle hadn’t gone yet, and with what eventually turned out to be the last
play of the game, Trojans were awarded another penalty flick. This time they scored; 7-2 final score to Trojans.
MVP – A close run thing between Sammy Bates and Libby Haden, but Libby got the casting vote.
“As this was our last scheduled game of the season, and against the league’s top side who needed a win to guarantee the league title, it was a good opportunity to see where Banbury stood. The Banbury ladies 1 st team held their own for large parts, and it wasn’t until Trojans really put their foot down, that they looked to be on a slightly higher level, but our ladies did well.
The Banbury team has won 6 games and drawn 3 this season, finishing above 3 teams and just below 3 others. This has been a very successful season, and the team can be very proud of their
achievements. Next season, with a bit more team continuity, a little bit more luck, and the ability
to convert more of their chances into goals, we should be looking to be in the top half of the league.”
Ladies 1s Manager 02/04/22