An outstanding Andover performance demolishes a strong (unbeaten top of the league) Aldershot side
By Mark Taylor
Andover U16s had their first evening match playing away in Aldershot. With 50:50 U16:U14 playing against the top of the league team it was never going to be an easy game. Indeed when the girls looked over the opposition, who have not been beaten all season and had only drawn one game which was against us early in the season, there were a few nervous mutterings about not being able to win due to the oppositions size and skill, but the overwhelming belief was that they could do it and the girls were really up for doing so.
The game was incredibly free flowing with Andover producing some of the most wonderful hockey that we have seen from them all season. Despite not training together the U14s and U16s gelled seamlessly and linked with skill and panache. Aldershot did not know what to do as their best players were rendered useless as the girls dug in in defence and Andover carved through them like a hot knife through butter in attack.
After 16 tense minutes Andover drew first blood with a lovely shot from T calming the Andover nerves. Continuing to build on this lead Andover pushed hard with renewed confidence seeing Gabrielle increase the lead in the 27th minute.
Going in to half time with a small lead, the girls knew that Aldershot would come back hard from the restart and try to get even. Sure enough Aldershot pressed from the whistle and before Andover could shake off the half time cold and wake back up, Aldershot had slotted one home less than 2 minutes in to the half.
This just served to jolt the girls back in to action and 5 minutes later Andover pulled further ahead with a lovely goal from Liv. Andover pressed harder and harder, completely out skilling Aldershot and making, what is a very effective team, look very second class. When Marta took the score to 4-1 in the 60th minute all effective resistance died as the Aldershot team looked tired and sorely beaten. Andover gave no quarter and in the 65th minute Gabrielle turned the thumbscrews once more and took the score to 5-1 with a lovely driving goal.
What a fantastic result and totally justified. Everyone played they heart and guts out showing a level of determination and skill that words just cannot describe sufficiently nor do justice. It was an honour to watch and a game that will shine bright in the dulling memory bank. When the top of the league team, who had a 35 goal difference lead before this match, are only able to get one past the Andover defence and go down 5-1, it is one for the underdogs and record books. Well done girls just AWESOME!!!