Ashford 5-4 Yateley
Yateley Ladies 1s travelled to Ashford HC in glorious sunshine for a pre-season friendly. It was good to see old faces and returning faces on pitch for what turned out to be a real battle in an evenly matched game.
YHC started strongly. Ruth ran the ball straight into the D, winning a corner, which Gemma converted with a blistering strike from the top of the D putting YHC into the lead within five minutes. Ashford were rattled by the early goal and attacked in earnest and scored a well worked goal a couple of minutes later to pull even.
Yateley came back fighting and, with some great play across the pitch and movement off the ball, allowed Gemma to pick the ball up and dribble half the length of the pitch and fire the ball home. Ashford again came back on the counter attack and despite YHC tracking back, a player on the far post was able to tap in from a metre out. Gill continued to be kept busy in goal and pulled off some great saves, really earning her Player of the Match votes!
Credit now goes to Ashford’s youngster who caused all sorts of problems for YHC across the midfield. Showing a frightening turn of pace and quick hands she wove her way through the defence and scored a cracking goal from the top of the D to make it 3-2 to Ashford.
There is a theme to this match of goal and equaliser and that continues just before half-time when KJ took a well-timed strike to make it 3-3 going into half-time.
In the second half Yateley continued to fight hard with great runs from Lynn, Janette, Rappers, Caty, Becks and KJ up front. The pressure paid off when Yateley won another corner only to see Gemma wiped out by the Ashford number one runner and have to go off with a head injury. Despite a change in formation and position for YHC to compensate for Gemma’s absence, Yateley went ahead with a great strike from Becks.
The defensive team worked incredibly hard with Jen, Lizzie, Emma and Gibo soaking up the pressure from the Ashford team who seemed to attack as 10 players constantly!
The heat started to take its toll and Ashford scored to make it level at 4-4 with only a few minutes left of the game. Despite continuing to push forward as a unit and having plenty of time in the Ashford D, Yateley could not find the net again and with 2 minutes left of the match, a momentary lapse in concentration allowed Ashford to pounce on a misplaced pass and slot the ball away to win the game 5-4.
Ashford were fabulous hosts and it was a great match all round. Lots of positives for the Ladies coming into the start of the season with a new look squad. Huge thanks to the Ladies who doubled up on matches today too!