The under 13 girls’ team made the trip to Pen Mill on Saturday and for the second week in a row went behind to an early goal. As the whistle blew the players moved towards the ball en masse; like the British light Cavalry in the Charge of the Light Brigade. The team pressed too quickly too soon, which opened up space at the back, and Pen Mill broke through the ranks on several occasions; one culminating with a well taken penalty to put Pen Mill 1-0 up.
The Under 13 Girls teams’ reaction this week was like the England lionesses comeback victory over the Netherlands in December, where the Lionesses superb second-half showing (and three goals) won them the game and kept their dreams of Nations League finals qualification alive. Likewise the Under 13’s let their training do the talking and their ‘recycling and forward penetrating passing’ moves bore fruit, with one drive into the area culminating in the ball being handled by a Pen Mill player. Everyone was a little bemused as the referee initially gave an indirect free kick but after some prompting from the lines person the decision was rightly rectified and Pip Stephens buried the penalty to hit her 19th goal of the season thus far, 1-1 at half time. The team stuck to their passing philosophy and Hannah, playing up front, made the home team defence have to make decisions (and concede possession) as she chased down every ball. It wasn’t long before Pip got another (a crashing free kick), followed by one for Mia Frounks (with an individual finish) and a poachers goal from Esme Humphreys. A deserved 4-1 victory to Bishops Lydeard on the day. Graces imperious playing in front of the defence, and Hannah were players of the match.