As the team got to Feltham, a cloudburst threatened to put a shadow over the girls’ first game of the season. But, the Sun reappeared just in time for a dry warm up, setting the tone for the day. With a few girls missing, the opposition kindly agreed to play 5v5 and so Limehouse lined up with Faith in goal, Alice (captain) in defence, Sigourney and Gabi as our midfielders and Sophie upfront. In a game where Sigourney, Faith and Sophie made their debuts and the opposition’s smallest player was still much taller than ours, the girls could be forgiven for being a little nervous. Faith bravely protected the goal, with Alice leading at the back, and the girls were unlucky to concede 3.
Alice was chosen for the day’s captain as her attitude in training to never give up is a great example to her peers. Rather than lose their spirit, which would have been easy at 3-0 down, the team settled and started to test the Hearts defence. Gabi and Sigourney drove with the ball, linking up to play in Sophie who calmly slotted in her first ever goal to everyone’s delight. This shocked the opponent and another attack finished with Sigourney hammering another goal into the top corner. As the opposition tried to make amends, Alice made countless interventions, bravely tackling and clearing away. One more goal from Sigourney followed another goal by Teddlothian. So, half time and the score was 5-3.
Sigourney and Faith swapped positions for the second half. Again, our stand in goalkeeper, Sigourney for this half, was brave and catlike. The confidence from scoring two goals had Limehouse dominating for the first five minutes. Great runs from Gabi opened up their defense and Sigourney’s long kicks put Sophie in on goal but for the opposite keeper to make some great saves. When Sophie wasn’t bombarding the goalkeeper with shots, she was making runs in behind defenders and linking up with our midfield. The team suffered due to the heat and inability to bring on a sub to give our players a rest left some looking and feeling tired. Similar to the first half, Hearts scored a few goals on the counter despite some big saves from Sigourney.
It seems that conceding goals just made the girls more determined to try their best and one of those big goal kicks was rewarded as Gabi was able to finish from a tight angle. Hearts scored a few more but not without reply. Faith, on her debut, made the pass of the game taking out three defenders and in their haste to defend it, were unfortunate to knock it into their own goal. The final score was Limehouse 5, Hearts of Teddlothian 10, but you only have to look at the team photo to see how happy the girls were.
We had a few rules before the game, that everyone would try their best, and try their best to have fun. Already, a strong team spirit is emerging and it was an absolute pleasure to be a part of it. Faith was voted player of the match and her efforts epitomised what Limehouse is about: being unselfish and playing a position that she may not be comfortable about playing in, working her socks off and refusing to rest, and finally, having an enormous smile regardless of whether she was playing world class through balls or taking a ball in the face.
Well done everybody, parents who were supportive and celebrated every goal like it was our first, as well as players for trying their best! Bring on next Saturday!