BLACKHEATH FIREWORKS START EARLY IN ASHFORD
BEHC Ladies 2s beat Ashford 4-2
Early on the 4th November the Blackheath & Elthamians Ladies 2’s travelled to Ashford to face an opponent who held an unbeaten record at home. Unlike previous visits, the weather had turned to show that winter was on its way with a grey and drizzly welcome, however this did not dampen the ladies spirits; with hair done, reindeer socks removed and a team talk to rally the spirits out on to the pitch for a thorough and focused warm up led by coach Rob Hughes, players limbered up, and had accessed the pitch and ways to attack their opponents.
With the weather lifting slightly, the fireworks began with Blackheath on the attack from the start, winning the ball back from the push back and beginning the attack. Within 2 minutes of the starting whistle, B & E had been awarded a penalty corner. This penalty corner was well worked with the ball being pushed back to the injector, Lucy Harford, whose shot was saved on the line by an Ashford player’s foot. Penalty flick awarded! Lucy Harford, calmly placed the ball on the spot, composed herself and confidently put the ball over the keeper’s right shoulder high into the top corner. 1 – 0 to B & E after 2minutes.
Restart of the game, saw B & E win the ball back again and start another wave of attack, this time with possession of the ball down the right hand side, with a powerful drive from Kat Allix with a swift and accurate pass to Amanda Huggett, who received the ball facing away from the goal, who on the turn saw a beautiful strike on goal, again beating the opposition keeper. 2 – 0 to B & E with 6 minutes of the game completed.
This level of intensity continued throughout the rest of the first half, with the team linking together well showing a determination and fighting force to keep Ashford at bay. This half saw further pressing by the whole team, with Karen Stevenson directing and distributing the ball to the left and right setting up the drives and passes in to the forwards of Amanda, Robyn Mansfield and Grace Isbister who worked tirelessly and were all very unlucky to narrowly miss the target and to be stopped by the Ashford defence. The defence also helped with the pressure by stepping up and tag team any attack by Ashford with goal keeper Becks Ward calmly clearing the balls and taking command of her D, with the support of Hannah Morrell, Ali Prior and Caitlin Chick all meeting and stopping the attacks before entering the danger zone and releasing the ball for another B & E attack to begin.
Half time score 2 – 0 to B & E.
After a calm and instructive team talk lead by captain Jeanette Grabham and coach Rob Hughes, the team were again focused on the job at hand to continue with the press and create more attacking moments. The second half again started and Blackheath were again back on the attack with a run down the left hand side and Hannah producing a defence slicing pass through to Amanda, who again cleanly picked up the ball turn and slotted the ball in to the back of the net. 3 – 0 to B & E.
This high intensity and press continued, with further penalty corner press, drives and linking play however all being stopped by the Ashford defence. However Ashford started to fight back against the B & E pressure, and the team found themselves battling against waves of the oppositions attack, and even with a bodies on the line, and a first save by Becks, Ashford strike back. Goal! Score 3 -1 to B & E.
This goal also led to an injury to Hannah Morrell, who unfortunately led to her hobbling off the pitch to seek first aid, which meant that B & E were down to 10 players.
Even with the team being a player down, and a reshuffle of positions, they came together to show an united front by again putting pressure on the Ashford defence, with good linking play between Lucy, Karen and Jeanette, who all narrowly missed the target. With this energetic thinking, Amanda went on another drive across the pitch in the Ashford D, where she took a decisive and powerful strike at goal, Goal! 4 -1 to B & E. Goal scored at 62 minutes and a hat trick for Amanda.
Ashford attack where not halted by this score line, as they started another attack on the 10 player team of B & E. With this, Jeanette, asked the injured Hannah, to goal hang and entice the Ashford defence to leave a defender with the newly promoted forward to stop any more goals. However there was a lapse in concentration and communication with the B & E defence, Ashford claimed their 2nd goal. Score 4 – 2 to B & E.
The final whistle was met with cheers of delight from the B & E players after an amazing team effort and determination.
Final score B & E Ladies 2’s - 4
Ashford Ladies 2’s - 2
Player of the match went to Amanda Huggett for her amazing play and goals.