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By Tim McLoughlin

Supernova 2 began their 2016-2017 league campaign with a scrappy 9-7 away win over newly relegated Mitcham 1. With a largely new squad consisting of individuals who have rarely played together in competitive matches and the absence of a korfball to warm up with, Supernova 2 struggled to find their attacking momentum for much of the contest.

The game started with the home team getting an early goal, but with his first attempt John Coughlan replied with a long range effort to level it at 1-1. Shortly after, Supernova 2 took the lead for the first time through another long shot, this time from Jenny McGuckian. After a short lull in attacking opportunities, Martin Petrie was able to create his own goal scoring opportunity, turning swiftly from a feed position, and catching his marker unawares to double Supernova’s advantage to 3-1. Things were looking reasonably positive for Supernova to this point until Sarah Halpin was the focus, twisting her ankle whilst on defensive duties. Unfortunately, the resulting injury meant she was unable to continue and was subsequently replaced by Anke Robjins. This appeared to unsettle the away team, as Mitcham scored again, meaning the score was 3-2 going into the half time break.

After some encouraging words from Coach Dinos around their defence, and a few adjustments required to get the attack flowing, Supernova started to gain more confidence. Goals from Tim McLoughlin, Simon Mackie and Jenny extended the lead over Mitcham to 6-2. However, an inability to maintain the scoring run eventually saw the home team gain confidence as they restored clarity with four successive goals, taking the score to 6-6. This added pressure seemed to kick Supernova back into life at the attacking end, as some strong play between Pippa Messenger and Tim McLoughlin resulted in two further goals for the visiting team and an 8-6 advantage. Mitcham were not about to give up on the contest as the match entered the final minutes and they were able to claw back another goal, reducing the deficit to one, at 8-7. In the closing moments Supernova were rewarded with a penalty after a significant spell of trying to create running-in shots for their girls. Neil Kempston converted the opportunity to close the game at 9-7.

Overall, a good result for Supernova 2 as they aspire to improve on last season’s fourth place. Nevertheless, they will look to build on the team cohesion and improve on converting goal scoring opportunities. Up next is an early season central London club showdown versus Highbury 2.