Ladies 1s start to turn the corner
SHC Ladies 1s 3, West Hampstead 1s 0
Sonning Ladies 1st v West Hampstead (South League Div 3A 11th v 4th)
After an unexpected week off last week due to a frozen pitch, Sonning had a “home” tie, not on our pitch but on the Reading sand.
The home side had a full strength team and got off to a good start with some good passing and some long balls finding Coops in good space behind the Hampstead defence. She had an early opportunity to test the keeper from a tight angle and this was shortly followed by Mary getting into good space and flicking the ball just into the side netting.
The game turned in a 5 minute spell midway through the first half from their only short corner of the game. The ball was slipped left to Alice who played the ball to the far post where Claire Hickey was waiting but the ball was stopped by a Hampstead foot on the line. The umpire gave a penalty flick but Hampstead objected as they said (quite rightly) that the ball was going wide. Sonning were quick to point out that the defenders foot denied a goal scoring opportunity for Hickey on the post.
The umpires agreed on a stroke which skipper Maips calmly put away and a Hampstead player said something and was given a yellow card. When she returned to the pitch Sonning had taken advantage of playing against 10 and increased their lead to 3-0.
Firstly the half court press did a great job and Alice drove down the right channel and entered the circle where she unleashed an unstoppable shot inside the near post – I think she surprised herself with the power & accuracy.
Within a minute or two Sami picked up the ball on the left and passed to Mary who was aware that Sami had continued her run and played her into the circle where she calmly slotted the ball past the keeper.
Readings midfield continued to work hard with Annie, Katie and Sophie winning the ball and setting up attacks and they were helped out by Emma who had come hotfoot to bench after a 2-0 win for the 2s on the adjoining pitch.
Halftime saw Sonning regroup and get ready for the Hampstead onslaught. The visitors won a couple of early corners which the Sonning defence led by keeper Anna kept at bay. The Sonning back 4 of Maips, Lars, Pikey and player of the match Joy looked secure in possession and transferred the ball at pace and with composure round the back to set up attacks in the 2nd half.
Whenever Hampstead had an attack they were channelled by one of Maips, Lars or Joy who either won the ball or were joined by a teammate to win possession. On the rare occasion they got through, goalie Anna was on top form. Sonning had a few opportunities in the 2nd half especially when Katie and Alice combined down the right but no further goals.
Towards the end another Hampstead player was given a yellow card – for knocking the ball away.
A jubiliant Sonning team were pleased with the win – it’s been a long time coming (last time Sonning won any league point was 8th Nov) and they aim to build on this next week when they have a double header: Milton Keynes away on Saturday (who are 1 point ahead of us) and a re-arranged home game v Banbury on Sunday at 2pm.
Player – Joy for great tackling & distribution
Muff – Katie for trying to keep warm to prove to Mark & Rob she should come back on the pitch.
Special mention to Claire for providing muff cakes again as she brought them last week but as we didn’t play we didn’t get to nominate another muff – good work!!