The Lower School girls enjoyed matches against Danes Hill and there were some impressive performances. The 1st and 2nd teams took on a strong Reed’s, with the 1sts drawing 3-3 under lights.
Lower School U12s & U13s vs Danes Hill
The Lower School girls enjoyed their matches against Danes Hill last weekend, and there were some impressive performances.
The U13As can be consoled with a winning second-half performance, but Danes Hill proved too strong in the first half. Sophia Moores (Wa) in goal was outstanding at keeping the score down to 8-2, while Maddie Selman (Wa) scored an excellent goal.
The B team drew a thrilling game 2-2, with Sacha Rogers (Wa) showing composure under pressure to score her second and Epsom’s equaliser with the final shot of the game. Jare Salami (GH) was player of the match for her determined play in midfield.
The U12s proved too strong for Danes Hill. The A team won 8-0, with Kate Coursey (Je) scoring four times in a player of the match performance. Kitty Mumford (Je) also scored twice.
For the B team there were even more goals as they won 10-1. Chia Brown (GH) scored a hat-trick and Georgie Hibbert (Wa) netted two. Jemima James (Hu) also scored twice and was player of the match.
We hope for more matches after half term.
1sts vs Reed’s – Drew 3-3
The 16-strong 1st XI squad has trained hard over the last few weeks with intensity and a strong desire to improve, both individually and collectively. Patterns of passing, creating positive channels of attack and raising fitness levels have been the focus and all were keen to try out new tactical and technical advancements on high-quality opposition. The girls have missed genuine match play and the buzz before the game was evident in both camps.
From the beginning it was clear that the two accomplished sides that were assembled were fairly evenly matched.
Epsom started the stronger, and as the game settled, probably secured the majority of the early possession. Chances fell to both sides in a fast-paced first 20 minutes, with captain Izzy Mitchell (R) and Katya Millard (Wh) providing a solid foundation in the heart of the defence from which to build.
Attacks down the right wing proved most fruitful, with Bea Nalder (R) and Maggie Fairn (R) causing the Reed’s defence problems, and a creative passage of play from Emma Tyson (R) and Bea made space for Katya to enter the top of the circle and power home a super strike to give Epsom the lead.
End-to-end play ensued, with Epsom seeing much of the ball. A penalty corner was awarded in the last seconds of the half and as Epsom flooded the circle, Reed’s came under huge pressure. In a frenetic goalmouth frenzy, it was Maddie Fairbank (M) who forced a way through the melee to find the back of the net and secure a 2-0 lead going into the break.
Reed’s however were certainly not going to lie down gently and came out much the stronger side in the second half.
As Epsom lost their shape, Reed’s found theirs, and passes that had previously gone astray now found their targets. Forcing Epsom on the back foot, it was only a matter of time until they scored to trail by just one goal.
Izzy Berry (M) came under attack and produced two stellar saves to maintain a one-goal buffer and, a little against the run of play, Epsom scored again. A terrific piece of individual skill from midfielder Alex Nienow (R) helped the home side fashion a clear cut goal scoring opportunity that Bea stepped up to take. With a clinical finish leaving the goalkeeper stranded, the ball was slapped home with precision and the lead was back to two. Again, Reed’s summoned their reserves, as Epsom fell foul to over-commitment in attack, leaving the defence exposed. This allowed the visitors to score twice in fairly quick succession, bringing the scores level.
As the final whistle blew, Epsom were again on the attack and in the ascendency, but the teams were not to be separated. On reflection, a 3-3 draw was a fair result in a game that Epsom dominated in parts but that Reed’s dictated in the second half and the later stages.
Considering the lack of match play experience that both sides have had this season, the quality and level of skill execution shown by all players was superb. A great spectacle under lights on the Chapel Astro and one it is hoped to replicate in a rematch that all are looking forward to after half term.
Goalscorers: Millard (Wh), Fairbank (M), Nalder (R)
Players of the Match: Izzy Mitchell (R) and Bea Nalder (R)
2nds vs Reed’s – Lost 1-7
A cold and very wet afternoon did not dampen the spirits, as it was great to have the opportunity for another game. However, Reed’s U18s were tough opposition with four 1st team players and a couple of other squad players in their U6th hockey bubble. Nevertheless, Epsom ran all afternoon with spirit and determination, keeping Reed’s honest and in sight, and the scoreline reflected this at 1-3 down well into the second half.
Epsom spent most of the afternoon with their backs against the wall and Bella Watkins (R) and the defensive line worked tirelessly throughout the match. Unfortunately the game ran away from them in the later stages and Reed’s scored several towards the end of the match. Epsom did show glimpses of excellent passages of play but could not quite get the rub of the astro and Reed’s thwarted lots of attacks. The girls will come back stronger after half term.
Goalscorer: Alexis (R)
Players of the Match: Sabrina Singh (Rv) and Bella Watkins (R)