There was doubt as to whether this fixture was to be played due to the severe battering of rain we received over the days prior to the scheduled fixture.  However the mystery of why the fixture was on became apparent! Mr Youd had used his list of Rock n Roll contacts to enlist the help of Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) and his helicopter.  The two of them proceeded to fly onto the long lane site and with precision accuracy hovered over mini pitch #1 which proceeded to expel the water onto mini pitch #2.  GAME ON!

The team rocked up to the long lane site to be greeted with force 10 gales whipping across the pitches.  It was like a scene from Trawlermen, without the sea, fish or waves. This was going to test the girls especially their ball control.  11 healthy Meerkats turned up with the only absentee being Skye Lee (goalkeeper).  She had injured her back after jumping off a wardrobe or something! This meant that we had to reshuffle the pack, hopefully without detriment!

The gaffer picked the team: – Ellie ‘The Enforcer’ Parker stepped up to go between the sticks, Millie & Abbie at the back, Melissa, Erin ‘The General’ and Faith in Midfield with Eloise ‘The Engine’ up front.

Like a scene from Saving Private Ryan (without the guns, bayonets and Germans) the girls were out of the trenches and running at the enemy from the second the whistle was sounded. It was literally less than a minute into the game when The General whistled a shot that curled into the net.  The girls were up for the game, they were all switched on and were all giving 100% commitment. Another sortie into enemy territory saw some nice interplay between Eloise and Melissa to which Melissa rifled her first goal past the keeper from a narrow angle.  The girls celebrated with great gusto and was good to see their faces beaming with smiles.  The third goal came from more continued pressure from the girls which resulted in a corner. The corner was whipped in by the General which struck a Tigress defender and into the net.  The girls were attacking at every opportunity and were playing some delicate passes to create the space and chances.  Melissa had evaded a bout of attempted tackles and crossed the ball to an onrushing Eloise that unfortunately missed the target. Some good running and close control by Faith meant that Eloise was receiving some good support.

The defence of Abbie ‘Delap’ Clay and Millie ‘Stonewall’ Sturch ebbed out any threat to the Meerkat goal. Consequently meaning that the Enforcer had very little to do, but when she was called upon Ellie dealt with everything with confidence. The whistle blew for half time and the girls retreated for some well deserved refreshments.

Halftime brought changes to the line up: Abbie was replaced with Sophie, Chloe came on for Faith meaning Eloise tucked into the left of midfield. The wind was still blowing a gale to which the girls had coped well with.  The instruction from the gaffer was to kick into the wind when shooting! the girls took heed and within a few minutes of the game recommencing the ball was in the back of the net from a swerving shot off the boot of Eloise. The attacks were relentless and the girls were using this as an opportunity to pepper the Stafford goalie with shots at every given opportunity. The Meerkat cheerleaders were in fine voice if not a little cold – obviously the belly warmers / apple catchers weren’t working! Maybe next week they’ll turn up in thermal underpants! The crowd were calling for more goals as I was reliably informed by Tina ‘Stato’ Parker that we needed another goal to have a 0 goal difference. Their request for another goal came when a precision pass that evaded the Stafford defence was picked up by Chloe ‘Terry’ Venables who poked it passed the keeper. Were the fans content? No just like the film ‘Oliver’ without Fagan, Oliver, Bullseye and Nancy they wanted MORE! Eloise gladly obliged and smashed her second of the game from just outside of the area.

The girls donned their tin hats and continued to contest all balls within all areas of the park.  The Engine was replaced with Melissa who was keen to try and bag another goal. The game was spent camped in the Tigresses half which is testament to the girls effort.


For her efforts marshalling the defence the Managers player was awarded to Mille ‘Stonewall’ Sturch.  The parents player teddythingymajig was give to Eloise ‘The Engine’ Yates.  Well done to both for great performances.

Good points from the game:

The girls were looking up prior to passing, ensuring that the pass was the best option and didn’t put the recipient in danger – great to see.

Long throws are a weapon that were used to our advantage – great work

Ellie tucked into the Keeper role with consummate ease – Great work  Ellie

Defenders didn’t back down from tackles – Well done Sophie, Millie and Abbie


Things to work on:

Although there were very few negatives I would like the girls to work on the following:

Fitness levels

Tighter ball control


Midfielders to not back out of tackles and flinch when a high ball is coming their way

Pass and move philosophy


The gaffer decided to treat the girls to a McDonalds as a reward of their efforts.  I tried to thwart this and advise on going to a salad bar but I was over ruled !!



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