Year 13 vs Leavers (Score: 3-2)
The Leavers took the match against the current Yera 13s seriously, having conducted a few secret training sessions. They looked the part in their matching kit; they were definitely in for a competitive match!
We were blessed with another sparkling day, with clear blue skies, so we were keen to get started. The current Year 13s were on the attack immediately, with Millie and Ella Fennell passing with pace and accuracy and creating space with darting runs out on the wing. They were rewarded with a rapid-fire goal, with Brittany Wakeford connecting cleanly with a cross and putting it in the back of the net inside 2 minutes. The Leavers were having difficulty adjusting to the style of play that is suited to a full-size pitch, and while they were still attempting to change their style of play, Millie was able to capitalise by scoring another for the Year 13s. We had a quick drinks break halfway through the first half and the Leavers were able to discuss the strategy change needed.
After the re-start, we could immediately see a change in the style of play and more effective spacing. Marina was able to pass the ball to her forwards, Tamara, Keren and Heidi and they had more time and space on the ball. Just before the end of the first half, the Leavers were able to pull one back, despite tough defending from Rosina Morton and Iola Fidler, through an excellent goal by Keren Brown.
The Leavers have obviously kept on top of their fitness as they had the run of play in the second half. Caroline Holley and Rosie Farrant made it particularly difficult for the Year 13s in defence, and Beatrice Diffey made an excellent diving save to deny them a third goal early in the half. The Leavers attacked relentlessly for the first 20 minutes of the second half. They had grown in confidence over the ball and passed with pace and accuracy. Ella Browning was putting the mid-field under pressure and causing turnovers. All this pressure was worthy of a goal, and they were rewarded when Tamara Matley levelled the match. For the final 15 minutes, the Year 13s found their rhythm again. Ella, Ketsia and Millie were making excellent runs and testing the defence. The Leavers rose to the pressure and shut-down the attacks again and again. However, with 30 seconds left in the match, a cross made it across the circle to Kealan and she struck it with such power at close range that Beatrice was unable to pull off another save.
An excellent match played in fantastic spirit. Thank you to the Leavers for taking the time to ensure this match happened – it was thoroughly enjoyed by all!
Year 13: Brittany Wakeford, Millie Fennell and Kealan Suckling
Leavers: Keren Brown and Tamara Matley
Players of the Match:
Heidi Morrish and Millie Fennell