The sun was shining, the smell of urban manure was prevalent and match day excited chat hummed in the background ("did you tread in it?", "I can STILL smell it", check your shoes".)
With new players and new drive we started off strong and focused. This was helped by pre match cake eating to celebrate Jasmines Birthday and the birth of her new senior kit. It felt like we would dominate. The first goal soon followed. A real team effort with several passes into the 'D' that Pia finally batted it into the goal securing our lead.
There was a lot of good linking play all over the pitch and through Jasmine, Lucy, Hannah R and Karen - we looked threatening. However, the home team seemed buoyed by our goal and started to bite back. They had countless (literally, I stopped counting) attacking shorts which were bravely defended, Zoe seeing the balls off the pitch and Hannah M making the big tackles. The heat started to take its tole and we were fortunate that we had the subs to keep rolling and Jill, the super supporter, keeping time for everyone and providing positive vibes on the bench. Sian occasionally intercepted their attacks and glided to the other end of the pitch with the ball giving the defence a chance to compose and catch our breath whilst turning defence into a quick counter attack. However, their efforts became relentless and a goal for Maidstone ensued, 1-1. We had many attacks in the first half to try to snatch another goal. Robyn got herself in great positions but it didn't quite finish up in the goal. Vicky hypnotised the defenders time and again with her stick skills and popped a shot at goal, which was saved. Netty and Karen continued to feed balls into attacking positions.Their goalie was having a cracker of a game.
After half time we re gathered our focus and energy. Amanda ended up one on one with the keeper. Did the Club's top goal scorer of last season falter? Hell no. She dragged the goalkeeper out right and pushed it passed her into the goal. 1-2 to us. What followed was a very heated game in temperature and temperament. The smell of 'you know what' was replaced with the sound of smashing sticks. Several warnings went out with Netty offering to take herself off in frustration. Not long after that, Yanoulla was green carded because of her stick tackle and a previous stick tackle. There was another pile up of stick tackles with Sian then being shown the green. Momentum was building for Maidstone and it was tough to watch from the side lines. Ali saved balls off the line to keep us in the lead. At last, the whistle blew. 1-2 to us.
A special mention goes out to Netty's cakes and Beth's bling.
Woman of the match: (WOM)Amanda
Lobster of the match: (LOM) Yanoulla