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A warm glow lingered over the Meerkats during the warm up either from anticipation or a bout of flatulence. The air was cool, the Evans ground was soft and muddy but the Meerkat troops were poised for battle.  Skye Lee the Meerkat shot stopper donned her war paint: mud that had flicked up onto her face during the warm up, she was ready for a war! The Meerkat gaffer Dave ‘Bloke’ Youd opted for a change of formation for the visit to Stafford. Faith Youd was to play alongside Eloise for the first time in Meerkat history, and boy did it pay off! From the minute the whistle touched the refs lips the Meerkats were all over it. Every ball was contested for; every battle if not won on the first attempt was on the second. Tackle were flying in left, right and centre, nobody backed down. Erin ‘The General’ Waddilove was displaying her repertoire of Roy Keane’s greatest tackles, luckily for all she refrained from an ‘Alf Inge Haaland’ challenge.  The Staffordians didn’t  like the challenges and began to display content towards the referee, Booooo hissssssssss!!!! The challenges were hard but mistimed, we should not discourage this from our girls. I was always told if you dont commit fully, you could get hurt!!

The pressure was relentless and as with every chance the Meerkats lay siege to the Tigresses box. Eloise provided a pin point cross from the right flank that fell straight to Mellissa who unfortunately shot wide of the target. Ellie was putting a shift in up and down the right wing providing the width to the attacks and consequently provided the vital pass that allowed Eloise to turn on the box and curl a shot into the bottom left hand corner. The Meerkat cheerleaders on the sideline erupted with a wall of noise as the deadlock was broken. The relief was clear to see by all and reflected in the play, the girls looked confident and buoyed by the goal so continued the offensive.   Tigresses broke a couple of times in the first half and every effort was dealt with Skye ‘Deck Troll’ Lee.  Two notable occasions were when she made a double save and then scampered after the ball on her hands and knees in the mud, and when she was the last man / girl in defence and was brave enough to cross the boundaries of her box and clear the danger –Outstanding!

The second half continued in the same manner as the first with the Meerkats contesting every ball possible.  A throw in down the line to Erin looked inconspicuous but as Erin turned and caught the ball in the sweet spot it looped and curled over the keeper, hitting the post and rippling the net.  A Goal of the Season contender and surely worthy of a £5 reward (mom and dad………)

The Tigresses continued to try and press forward and on one sortie where the Meerkat defence failed to clear their lines allowed the Tigresses to sneak a goal back.

Rather than drop their heads the Meerkats just like their name sakes stood tall and continued the barrage. Some careful interplay by the girls allowed the ball to drop nicely for Faith to hit a right foot shot which smashed the upright to which the Stafford defence cleared.  Undeterred, Faith continued to battle she was beaming, this was her game and she wanted to leave her mark. Another precision pass from Eloise fell to Faith, this time she was not going to miss. She drew back her right foot and walloped it! The keeper had no chance – great finish!

Another master stroke from the Gaffer or was it a comment from Erin requesting defensive cover ensured that the lead was maintained.  Some good work by our defensive duo Millie and Abbie meant that Staffords chances were limited.

Elation at the final whistle, a battling performance by every Meerkat!!

Things to work on

Fitness

Clearing your lines

Calling for the ball

Defending a free kick 

Girl of the match – Faith Youd

Bring on Stoke!!!

“Simples”

1 comment for this article:
  1. avatar
    Keith Hardy (Chairman)

    Well done Meerkats – improving week after week! Great report too – challenging our Under 10s girls’ reports for entertainment!

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