Rugby Borough Girls U12s welcomed Anstey Nomads U12s to a very wet and windy Kilsby Lane for an early kick off on Sunday morning with both teams looking forward to playing some football on the 3g.
The girls warmed up and the team talk was of keep ball, quick passing & drive forward, when possible use the wings and make the pitch as wide as possible creating space in the middle. Melissa complained of a sore ankle from the warm up so took the first sub position as she tried to walk it off. With just one sub available for Borough this week due to half term holidays, it was a little easier to control on-field times with an easy rotation.
The game kicked off and the rain started to pour down on the whistle, it was clear from kick off that the weather was going to play a part in todays game with a strong side wind blowing straight across the pitch but the girls started the game well doing their best to keep the ball on the ground and pass it around quickly.
Its always a good physical battle when playing Anstey and this game was no different, Madi was left on the floor after a shoulder barge and it set the tone for a good physical contest, she got up and brushed herself down and carried on like nothing had happened, getting in some of her own in the 50-50 balls.
It was good to see a large crowd watching the game considering the weather and the girls didn’t want to disappoint.
The team welcomed Katie back into the fold who had been absent since around October through her Olympic swimming trials, she slotted straight back into her defensive position and looked like she’d never been away. Ever dependable Marley backed Katie up when required and the pair worked well together passing the ball out from the back. When Anstey broke, Marley’s pace and excellent tackling ability won the ball back for Borough.
Jasmine has now made the sweeper position her own, she’s a very calming influence at the back, seeing everything that’s going on in front of her and with her superb vision and technical skill, reads the game and acts on her decision straight away, usually the starting point for most of Borough’s attacks.
Madi started the game brightly and once she’d realised how much tougher this game was going to be physically she set about putting herself about and not being bullied in the 50-50 balls winning the majority of her bouts after that. To top off her fine performance she scored a brilliant first half hat-trick too.
Anstey got a very lucky goal after the ball rebounded off Jasmines leg at pace into the net from a corner. Nothing she could have done with it or Erin in goal, just one of those things.
Borough jumped straight onto the front foot from kick off and immediately piled the pressure back on Anstey’s goal with Madi passing the ball to Jasmine to score her first of the game and put things right. Melissa then scored after coming on from the bench. Her speed with the ball was no match for the Anstey defence, even when they caught up with her, her trickery and skill got past them and they struggled all game to contain her.
Millie is now completely settled in the team and looks like she’s loving playing in her free role as main striker, lots of skill, pace and tenacity chasing the ball down from defenders and midfield, giving them no time to think and scored in the first half. The girls went in at half time 6-1 up and were dominating the game. Erin was frozen in goal and struggling to keep warm with an ankle injury plaguing her running to keep warm.
The second half got underway with the half time team talk of more of the same. Holly is playing some of the best football she has ever played, in all positions too. She will quite happily play wherever she is asked to and will always give 100% effort in that position, didn’t score although she did provide an assist for Millie and her work rate was faultless.
Melissa’s turn to burst down the wing, past two players and crossed to Millie who fired in a deflection for her second goal of the game and 7-1 to Borough Girls. At this stage Rugby looked to be cruising, controlling the game and enjoying their football but a couple of lapses in play allowed Anstey back into it with 2 fairly weak efforts which a usually fit Erin would reach a lot quicker. The ankle was playing up and she was also very cold and struggled to get to them quick enough before they sneaked into the net, maybe her sight was blocked by the defence a little too but in any other game they would have been collected by a fit and warm Erin. 7-3
Millie scored another with a lovely pass from Holly and got her second hat-trick in as many games. If getting her first competitive hat-trick wasn’t enough for her last time out, she wants more now she has a taste for them. Her strike partner Ella had a bit of an off day, she should have also had at the very least a hat-trick today but just couldn’t get the ball under control, when she did it wasn’t hit properly although she did lay on an assist for one of Madi’s goals.
Jasmine capped off a fine performance once again with a solo effort from half way, twisting and turning the Anstey midfield inside out before unleashing her left foot. Marley wasn’t to be out done after seeing her fellow defender score and had been trying all game to get forward to score and when her chance came she took itl for a very well deserved captain’s goal.
Lila scored with the final kick of the game, after some nice individual skill through the left midfield side took the ball to the edge of the box and unleashed a shot. She had worked hard in the centre of midfield with Madi for most of the game, their job was to stop any play though the middle and they did that most of the time, once in possession to find a through ball to the strikers or wingers.
A good all round team performance from the girls, great team work and playing good football.
Players of the match were the 2 hat-trick heroes Madi and Millie, not just for the goals they scored but for all the extra hard work they put in too. Well played girls!
Thank you to Charlie for running the line, Emma for officiating and all the parents and supporters who came to cheer on the girls, great crowd. They didn’t disappoint!