This week the first team’s challenge was the rematch against Highbury 1, who beat us comfortably 2 weeks ago. Nevertheless, after the impressive commitment displayed by the team last week against Trojans 1, our heads were up going into the rematch. If we could maintain the level of intensity in both attack and defence, we had to be in with a shout.
And it did prove to be a close game, dominated by committed defence – in fact the first goal wasn’t scored until the 11th minute of the game when Highbury broke the deadlock. That was followed pretty quickly by a goal from Robin, a second for Highbury and a penalty conversion from Martin after a foul on Nomz under the post.
At 2-2, we settled in for another long spell of dominance by the defence. Martin, Ped, Edith and Nomz put on a masterful display of front defence, cutting Highbury’s options to a bare minimum – but at the other end we just couldn’t convert the chances and began to lose the open playing style that served us so well against Trojans. Robin finally found the basket again a few minutes before half time for a 3-2 lead at the break.
Ben came on for Tom at half time, but goals were still hard to come by and Highbury popped two in to lead 4-3 before Edith pulled it back level with a lovely running in shot. As Carole subbed on for Jo with 12 minutes to go, Robin put the team ahead with a short shot in front of the post. Seconds later, Holly ran past her player but was extremely unlucky to have the resulting shot called defended rather than a penalty and Highbury capitalised on their good fortune by equalising in the next attack.
After that unfortunately the new defence couldn’t match the heroics of Martin’s division and conceded twice in the final few minutes. We couldn’t pull it back and the game was lost 7-5.
It was gutting to lose such a close game. So we have lots to think about: we did create chances but need to improve our shot conversion rate and we had a disappointing number of one shot attacks. On the positive side, it was a vastly improved performance from two weeks ago when we conceded 19 goals to this same team and for long periods of time, Supernova did look like the better team – but we have to find a way to make that count on the scoreboard.
Martin (1), Nomz, Edith (1), Ped
Holly, Jo (sub Carole), Robin (3), Tom (sub Ben)