Girls' Football v St Paul's 2013
Under 10's power to victory!
On a beautiful, still and mild December afternoon, the Year 5 girls team took to the leaf-strewn pitch to kick off against St Paul's. Our neighbours had strolled up the road in good time and had warmed up well but on this occasion they were no match for our fantastic team. Inspired by Joey and Sophia, the girls put in a fantastic team performance and ran out convincing winners by 4 goals to nil.
During the first half, Alex in goal was largely redundant due to strong defensive work by Philippa & Emilia, tigerish midfield work by Joey, Ellie and Sophia and the 'drift anywhere for the team' tactic employed effectively by Venere. Most of the attacking action was at the St Paul's end of the field and it was only a matter of time before we took the lead. Philippa passed to Ellie who released Joey and she did the rest, turning inside the last defender and shooting powerfully past the goalkeeper into the goal. Inspired by taking the lead, we charged forward again and soon we were two nil up as Sophia drfited inside two tackles and lifted the ball beautifully over the goalkeeper. For those who weren't there, it was a finish reminiscent of Lionel Messi at his best!
The half time team talk was upbeat and all the girls were confident and enjoying the game. "Let's see if we can score 3" were Philippa's words as we headed back to the centre circle to re-start the second half. Once again, we were on top and the St Paul's defence were performing heroics to keep us out. Ellie was a constant threat and hit the post twice before Joey deflected an Ellie corner towards the goal and it trickled agonisingly through the goalkeeper's legs and just over the line. Philippa's third goal request had been answered. More great play continued, Sophia whirled through the leaves as though she was powered by a giant dynamo, Venere drifted serenely, Emilia and Philippa kept the defensive door well and truly locked down and Alex remained largely unemployed between the goalposts. With time running out, Joey then burst over the half way line on a mazy run and slotted the ball calmly into the corner of the goal for a personal hat trick and number 4 for the team. This was a tremendous team performance and all the girls should feel very proud. With Ella and Emily to return to the squad in January, we should feel very confident about the upcoming fixtures in the Spring term.
Under 11's perform heroically against St Paul's
Folllowing the Year 5 victory was always going to be a tough task for the Year 6 girls but to make it even more difficult, they were up against the current District Champions. St Paul's are a very strong Year 6 team and all their key players were on the pitch. We were focused on performing to the best of our ability and giving them a hard match...and our girls certainly did that! I was immensely proud of how our team battled away and never gave up. We were determined and stuck together as a team...and we played some good football despite being put under immense pressure. Despite losing the game 4-0, we can take a huge number of positives out of this match. St Paul's first goal was largely due to an individual error and that can happen in sport. Their other goals were down to high quality and powerful shooting and that can also happen in sport when you are playing against very strong teams.
With our squad rotation system in full operation, we kept interchanging and the girls deserve great credit for the way they adapted throughout the game. Stand out performer today was Kelsey-Jane who was absolutely everywhere for the whole game. She tackled, passed the ball and kept going for the entire 40 minutes without a rest... a very strong performance indeed. Tiffany also showed that she is arguably the best two-footed footballer in the school with strong defensive clearances with both her left and right foot...boys, take note! Alicia, as always, was full of energy and enthusiasm and her work broke up many of St Paul's attacking moves. Brogan, Caitlin, Charlotte, Lucy and Yasmine all made strong contributions at different stages of the game, Natasha was doing well until a power drive from St Paul's best player rattled into her wrist and Isabelle pulled off the bravest piece of defensive work all day when she stopped another power drive from going into the goal by getting her cheek in the way of the ball. A large splodge of mud on the side of her face spoke volumes about her bravery.
This was a very good team performance and should give the girls lots of confidence for the fixtures after Christmas. We will not always play against a team as strong as St Paul's so if we maintain the same level of commitment, we will achieve success. Well done to all the girls!