This weekend the U16s were at home to a strong Islington Borough U16s on the 3rd October at Millwall Park. Truly a game of two halves, the first half of the match saw the Laces produce some of the best football this season so far with two exceptional goals, but after a reshuffle of the formation in the second half and some tough moments to manage, the final score ended 11-2 to Islington Borough.
The game saw Eli, a promising new addition to the team, make her debut for the Laces. In the absence of a goalkeeper, four of the Laces rotated roles in goal once again and despite some fantastic saves they could not stop two well taken shots from Islington going into the back of the net. With Beattie taking on a new role as left back to develop her skills running with the ball and using her other foot, the flanks were on fire in the game with much of the action happening on both the left and right wings. Ella and Anouk teamed up on the right and Ella’s impressive strength and skill on the ball was clear again in this match. Great communication from the back line up to the wings and midfield produced some beautiful combination play all over the pitch. Beattie’s hard work was rewarded when some great play out from the back found Julia on the wing, who lobbed the keeper beautifully from 25 yards for her second goal in two games! Islington got their third goal, but just before the break, Max reduced the deficit to make it 3-2 to Islington with a stunning 30 yard strike into the top corner of the net.
The second half started well but Islington were strong on and off the ball and dominated possession from the Laces. Hannah defensive heroics in the first half – which included putting her body on the line to block a strike from the edge of the area – meant she had picked up a knock and needed treatment. Emily and Nell took control of the defensive line with Maxine dropping back to block and clear out of the Laces half. A handball in the area gave Islington a chance to extend their lead from the spot, but Maxine, trained as a goalkeeper, produced a fantastic save to not only keep the ball out the net but hold on to it. Islington got a goal back minutes later with a Maxine-inspired lob from distance, and pushed harder and harder to extend their lead. Anouk, Eli, Emily, Nell and Millie, all protecting the Limehouse goal, did everything they could and left it all out on the field. Manni’s close ball control on the half way line, dragging the ball back and across defenders with ease, and Millie’s positional awareness screening the through balls showed real potential across the Limehouse squad. Despite the result, Limehouse showed their strength of character and humility. Their performance in the first half and the quality of the two goals they scored were worthy of the three points. There will be tougher challenges to face, and learning from defeat will undoubtedly make the team stronger over time.
A real example of the Limehouse Laces spirit, Girl of the Game goes to the U16s captain Hannah! Proud of their achievements and ethic, the U16s returned to training on Monday with the U14s who all look up to the older girls and showed how great an example they are to all girls who play sport. The next game is away to Old Actionians.
EDIT: Arianna returned her bib at training on Monday. In case anyone was worried after last week.