Kettering 0-4 Daventry
Kettering give title chasers a good run for their money.
KETTERING LADIES 3RD TEAM v DAVENTRY (11th November 2017)
A number of long term injuries, illness and annual holidays left the Kettering 3rd team decimated for this very important league fixture against high flying Daventry. With the team battling hard to stay in Division 1 and no one available from the higher teams a number of players were called up from the 4th team squad. We wondered briefly how they would cope in Div. 1 against one of the best teams in the league but we need not have worried because without exception they all stepped up to the plate and were outstanding in the effort and determination they put into their play.
Daventry is a well drilled and well organised team and this was always going to be an extremely difficult fixture but Kettering held firm against an extremely strong attack for the first 20 minutes of the game.
Sandra Mandziuk who had been pulled back into a defensive role, was more than a match for their forwards, and with most of the early attacks coming down the left, Daventry was soon frustrated by their inability to get the ball past her to set up goal scoring chances. They tried switching to the left but to their dismay soon found out that Laura Newlyn was also in excellent form as she made a number of telling tackles and clever runs down the left which opened up the Kettering attack. Sam Bedford worked unbelievably hard up front throughout the match trying to find a way through the Daventry defence and was backed up by Harriet Mills who played well having stepped up from the 4th’s. Unfortunately the Daventry defence was far too experienced and thwarted their very best efforts.
Beth Hardy and Julia Telford continued to control the mid field and Daventry struggled to find a way through and when they did keeper Kate Metcalfe was on hand to clear. The very tight marking of the highly disciplined defence forced many of the Daventry shots wide of the goal and Kettering were very pleased with their defensive efforts. Unfortunately it was not to last and when Daventry eventually found the smallest of space they were able to fire home an unstoppable shot from just inside the “D”. This was followed by a second when Daventry were awarded a penalty corner and a third following an uncharacteristic lapse by the defence. Lack of concentration just before the break left a player free and following a clever 1 – 2 the ball was slipped to the unmarked player who made no mistake as she swept the ball into the goal.
Normally a 3 – 0 score at half time would have demoralised any team but the thirds were still up for the battle and started the second half with the same determination they started game. The defence continued to deny the Daventry forwards while the midfield and forwards began to make more inroads into the Daventry half. Harriet Mills and Simran Pelhay worked well together in an attempt to bypass the Daventry defence and Sam Bedford and Natalie Irons continued to hassle and force mistakes by the opposition. Tireless work by Eleanor Izzard and Lydia McCarrack in midfield caused Daventry many problems and the effort, determination and hard work put in by Lydia and Eleanor was outstanding. Daventry was certainly not having it their own way.
Kettering grew in confidence and seemed to have more of the play for much of the second half thanks to the hard work put in by all players but as the game progressed the intensity of the match eventually began to take its toll. The defence were put under more and more pressure and towards the end of the fixture one penalty corner after another was awarded against them. Kettering defended these very well but Daventry did manage to add one more goal to their total, albeit from open play. Just to add to the pressure felt by the Kettering defence one more corner was awarded just as the final whistle blew and this was followed by two more before Julia Telford eventually managed to clear the ball out of the “D”.
We would like to thank Daventry for their very positive comments about the standard of our play and for providing two excellent umpires after we had a slight Umpire malfunction