Match Report
Forres Sandle Manor School Girls-U13A vs  Ballard & Embley triangular
On: Wednesday, 17 Nov 2021
Venue: Away

Upon arrival at Ballard, the girls watched Embley play the hosts in the first round. This was a close game, with Embley edging ahead.

We played Embley next. They had beaten us 1 - 0 in last week's tournament, despite us having most of the play and the possession, so we were keen to reset the balance! FSM's girls were tasked with making their first touch count - getting the ball and putting it exactly where they wanted it, be that on their own stick, just ahead of a team-mate... or in the back of the net. Play was end-to-end, with both teams making excellent use of the pitch width, and the wingers, Boo, Livi and Jess really being put to work. After a good few minutes of this, Immy slalomed her way around several Embley players to take on the goalie with one of her perfectly timed shots: get said goalie to commit, then pop it past her. 1 - 0 to FSM. Further well-matched game play ensued, with Freya and Poppy keeping things safe at the back, aided and abetted by Ella's deft kicks. Another goal from Immy gave us a bit more breathing space, as Embley had been working hard for an equaliser. It wasn't to be - and, just before the final whistle, Immy walloped another strike - saved by the keeper, but Martina was ready to scramble it over the line. A well-deserved 3 - 0 victory to FSM.

Next up was Ballard. Again, a well-matched team, with several of their players showing super pace and stick skills. FSM kept in mind their target (that first touch) and worked hard to do just that. Pace was good, and there were some cracking passes out to the wings. Sometimes, we need to run a little faster, and a little more directly, but progress in this area was evident. Clearances from the back were strong, and there was a huge improvement in the speed with which we were taking free passes: we were away before Ballard were completely ready, which meant we were able to move the ball up the pitch more efficiently, taking advantage of space. Another zig-zag run from Immy secured our first goal, but Ballard were quick to respond, netting an equaliser mere moments later. Battle recommenced, with both teams looking for a winner. There was some super hockey on display! Eventually, another beautifully set up attack from FSM's girls saw Immy again knock the ball over the line. There was a final cracking raised strike later, which Ballard's keeper saved with a brilliant reflex reaction, getting her glove to it and clearing it outside the post. However, FSM had done enough to claim a 2 - 1 win.

Fantastic work, girls! Both Embley and Ballard named Ella (our GK) as Girl of the Game (and she was delighted that her Dad was able to watch the game!), but AN was impressed with the whole team dynamic, which Immy led by outstanding example.