Well deserved Victory for the GU12s
A victory is always enjoyable but I think you will agree that the girls thoroughly deserved their victory against a robust Surbiton side. Whilst we had a couple of girls playing Surrey county matches last Sunday, Surbiton were also lacking a few more key players. However, from my knowledge of Surrey Schools hockey and Surbiton key players, that was about as strong a team as they could muster to make a mixed A/B side. Their forward line contained the former Danes Hill captain and the current St Georges captain, both sports scholars, among other strong players. I have to confess we got what we asked for as I challenged the Surbiton head coach to bring his best available 14 players.
I was particularly pleased that everyone appears to be learning from each 11 a side game and starting to think about our tactics in matches. I thought our range of passing was probably not as wide, or as long as the match against Wimbledon, but that was because Surbiton were much better drilled defensively to cut out a good number of our attempts. However, it was a testament to our tireless running upfront that we continuously stretched them. I thought it interesting they felt the need to revert to a back four to deal with the diagonal and wide runs of Tallulah, Ruby, Evie and Lucy-Rose.
There is a term, often heard on football terraces, when fans talk of players going to another level of effort in a match….”putting a shift in”. Well I think we saw 13 Wayfarers players do just that on Sunday. I have not seen some of them look so tired after a game before. But the will to win came through in a tough last third.
We set up as 3-1-4-2 (from the back), deliberately to combat our traditional slow start but also to allow our 4 in midfield to try and get further forward in support of our forwards who had been isolated for much of the previous game. The tactic worked well with both Stella and Georgie breaking up numerous attacks. Despite both Ruby and Maya playing in the team for the first time, I want to make a special mention for their overall play. 11 a side can be a frantic game in midfield but both adapted immediately.
We edged possession, and thanks to the great tackling and distribution from Pippa, Ameena, Arabella, Grace and Immie, we broke up play and got forward. Defensively, we still need to watch runs behind us, but thanks to lsie in goal we had good calling from behind. Elsie’s defensive kicking was first rate and her coverage of angles also very good.
2-1 was a fair result, but we could just as easily have won 3-0. Just one lapse of concentration caused the concession of the goal, but our scores were clinically executed with Tallulah getting the first, and Pips’ long range blast, from the edge of the D, an unstoppable rocket to seal a well-earned 2-0 lead in the second period.
Player of the match (as selected by Surbiton), but also the coach was Tallulah. Best game in a London Wayfarers shirt. Notable mentions for everyone else in the squad. Extremely well done to all.
Thanks to Group Captain, Richard Alderman, for submitting!