Wind swept match resulting in a fustrating ending
By Mark Taylor
Sometimes as a coach you regret a decision and when agreeing to allowing Basingstoke, to make numbers up, to play a 15 year old, whom was known to be a very strong attacker having caused the U16s a lot of issues the previous week, it was with trepidation. Unfortunately her inclusion was to be a critical deciding factor in the end result.
Andover dominated in a game where we really should have been 5 or 6 goals up, there was a force field protecting the Basingstoke goal that coupled with a very effective keeper, meant Andover really struggled to capitalise on their domination and massive number of chances.
Andover opened the scoring after twenty minutes with a now signature goal from Jess on the left hand post. This seemed to spur the attack who smelt blood and three minutes later T took us to 2-0. Game ebbed and flowed with Basingstoke’s ringer causing the defence a lot of trouble with her speed and strength, able to wrestle the ball off our players in their D and run it all the way down the pitch forcing her way in to our D time after time. Some excellent defending from all managed to keep Basingstoke out, but with 5 seconds left of the first half she managed to make it to the right hand post and with a deft kick of the ball followed by some excellent football style diving she managed to disguise the football.
Despite numerous attacks from the Andover girls with several open goals, we just could not finish and with Basingstoke pressing hard too it was only time before one side gave way and a shot from Basingstoke just sneaked past Josie in the 45th minute to draw us even.
Andover continued to press hard and continued to be frustrated with ooos and arghs emanating from the Andover supports as shot after shot after shot after shot went wide or was saved.
Against the run of play in the 57th minute Basingstoke’s u16 once again broke from their D and drove down the pitch to secure a short corner. She then preceded to hammer in to the back of the net from the top of the D shear pace and power defeating the defence. 2-3 to Basingstoke with minutes left tension on the side lines grew and the coach was contemplating having to pack his bags.
Not to be out done, from the whistle Andover charged the ball up the pitch with a pass from T to Imi at the top of the D, which was then one touch passed to Indie just off the left post, saw Indie slamming it home less than 30 seconds from the whistle!
Andover continued to push and dominated the final minutes but just could not score to leave the match drawn 3-3. In hind sight allowing Basingstoke to play their U16, who then scored all three of their goals was possibly not the best call, but very difficult to say no.
Well done girls. There was a lot of fantastic freeflowing hockey that showed just how well you have come on as a team over the season.