Leamington Lions 3 - Starlands 0 (A) 31/3/12 10am Kick Off
Starlands travelled 40 miles down the motorway for an early morning kick off at Leamington.
The Starlands girls were half asleep at the start of last weeks match - So, there was uncertainty over how they would start today with such an early rise!
Following this weeks Indian Summer - It was a surprise to be faced with a biting wind and over cast conditions. The ground was rock hard - and Holly was already expresing doubts over her diving for any balls!
Leamington looked a well drilled side and had some big athletic girls - having been on the end of a 6-0 defeat at home - The Starlands girls were going to have to pull out all the stops.
They were also facing playing with one of their defensive lynchpins 'Sinead' who was missing this week. But, encouragingly they were still able to field a full team with two subs.
From the kick off, LIONS were pressing and looked dangerous with Rhianna their No.10 shooting at will.Starlands were forced to conceed corner after corner - but were defending bravely.Hannah on more than a couple of occasions was clearing the ball with some fantastic headers.However, it was a defensive mix up that gifted the first goal - withneither Holly or Hannah taking charge and clearing the ball. The LIONS No.10 slipped in and went between the two and buried it from close range.
It should have been 2-0 soon after, The No.10 again went clean through and uted a superb power drive from distance- that took the spectators back to The 1966 World Cup Final. The ball hit the cross bar and came out with such power it bounced down over the line and back out! GOAL!...But the Starlands girls played on - and the referee did not give the goal. A valuable lesson in playing to the whistle - but What a strike! Holly stood no chance.
Again, it should have been 3-0 but Holly came off her line and managed to defelct a superb chip shot from The No.10
It was yet again a defensive mix up - that gifted Rhianna her second goal.This time between Laurice and Holly.Yet again it was The Lions No.10 who took full advantage. Only then did it become clear ( not to Lauris) that she had forgotten to put her contacts in!!! Oh dear!
Starlands now managed to close down the No.10 with Sam and Alex making nuisances of themselves and breaking up play by pressing the Lions. Georgia had a shot go agonisingly wide that should have made it 2-1.
There was a lovely one two pass between Alex & Georgia starting an attack down the right handside and when the ball was later crossed Martha looked certain to smash it into the net.She just took her eye off the ball - and swung wildly at the ball missing it completely.Heartbreak for the girls - and fans alike.
Lions were becoming increasingly frustrated at not adding to their acount.
The half finished 2-0 with Lions the better team, but could and should have been 2-2.
The second half Becky made some changes - and Jade and Hafsah came on with fresh legs.
The No.10 was subject of a few tough tackles and had to leave the pitch - but this was not before she got her HATRICK. It was not a brilliant goal - and more down to Holly (for once not coming off her line) having to watch the ball tucked into the bottom corner.
Starlands then pressed - with a lovely clearance from defence which ran through for Martha. Unfortunatley, rather than just run after the ball - she controlled the ball and turned allowing the defence to gather their thoughts. Martha then shot from distance,failing to look up and see how far out she was.Nevertheless, it was a shot and positive play.
Georgia was back to her best - and was unlucky on a couple of occassions not to get the run of the ball,a few mazy dribbles could have resulted in shots on goal but were deflected by Lions. Jade got hold of one rebound and had a long range shot too.Hafsah was also busy in attack and defensively - effortlessly gliding across the pitch.
Starlands were under the cosh for long periods - and Bookmakers were thankful no spread bets had been offered on the corner count! which was well into double figures for Lions.
The game finished 3-0 to the home side - a deserved victory. But, let's not forget LIONS beat Starlands 6-0 last time away from home. So, to hold them 3-0 at their place was very creditable.
More evidence that STARLANDS are improving - particularly as a defensive pressing team. What we need is some LUCK and a RHIANNA.
GIRL OF THE GAME went to HANNAH for partnering her sister in defence and the number of headers! Hope the concussion clears up soon :)
Next week brings the return of Wednesfield - probably the best team we've played to date.So, DON'T OVER INDULGE ON THE EASTER EGGS!!!!!