BEHC WIN DESPITE UNINSPIRING PERFORMANCE
BEHC Ladies 1s return from Marden Russets with a 2-0 victory, although it was not their finest display.
BEHC left the familiar surroundings of South East London to venture down the winding country lanes into Marden. The squad was at almost full strength, apart from Jenna Stonebanks and her continuing toe injury. Expectations were high following recent convincing wins and their unbeaten start to the season. The team were boosted by huge support, particularly for an away game, with partners, children, dogs and a great compliment of BEHC Ladies 4s who stayed on after their earlier match.
Before the game began there were a few tense moments, which may have given an early indication that it wasn’t all going to be plain sailing. A lightly signposted diversion almost lost a few players, the entire team and coach were locked in the changing room for a nail biting few minutes thanks to Vicky Pitts’s over enthusiastic door closing, and mascot Bergen left a mark mid warm-up that resulted in his dog sitter handing in her resignation.
BEHC were hoping to make a big impact as soon as the game got underway, with calls from captain Jenny Seale to get an early goal. BEHC would have loved to oblige, however Marden were not going to make it easy. The opposition seemed to be getting the better start, winning more tackles and making more interceptions . BEHC were not able to get into their usual rhythm of passing around the back and spreading the ball wide. Marden had a few early chances, however thanks to some great saves from Sarah Marsters-Bright, they were kept at bay.
Later in the half, BEHC managed to gain control of the ball and dictate the play, and were rewarded with some chances of their own. After many searching balls into the area from George Light and Sally Wallace, one resulted in a goal mouth scramble. Emma Letchford managed to guide the ball over the line, from point blank range, for BEHC to go 1-0 up. Shortly afterwards, a textbook short corner routine ending with a Jilly Lloyd special in the bottom right hand corner and the lead was doubled.
This wasn’t enough to allow BEHC to relax, so they pushed for further opportunities to score. The game began to get heated, with both umpires offering warnings. After complimenting the opposition on avoiding the ball, and ‘ducking well’, the umpire appeared to have misheard Kate ‘I’m from Bradford, mate’ Petherbridge and brandished a card. Kate won the egg on face award for this, although she was run close by Vicky for losing her stick and attempting to go after the ball with her hand, changing her mind and going back to get her stick, working out which was in fact her stick, and finally lobbing said stick after the ball. Coupled with the previously mentioned imprisoning of the team, it seems Vicky may have got off lightly.
Back to the game, and in the last ten minutes Marden piled on the pressure. It took more acrobatic saves from Sarah, dogged defending from the majority of the team, and a goal line clearance from Kathryn Sales to deny Marden a goal, and to keep a clean sheet and take the win. Sarah Marsters-Bright and George Light shared the honours for player of the match.
It wasn’t their finest display, but BEHC were happy to come away with a victory and, although early in the season, one that takes them to the top of the table.