Its been a long time coming! 29.11.2014 to be precise since the Meerkats took to a field in anger. We all rocked up at Littleton Green School to be greeted with a nervous Hednesford manager, he was unsure whether the pitch was playable and that the finite decision should be made by the man in black. Johnny Cash was unavailable so we took instruction from the Ref. The Ref turned up and I had to look twice! Was it Jeff Sutton walking towards me or his doppelganger! It transpired that it was his doppelganger as he was slightly more mobile than our Jeffica and had more hair. He gave the thumbs up after a thorough pitch inspection and girls readied themselves for battle. The girls had obviously preempted Sir Keiths request of over 50’s walking football as the Meerkats adopted the slow pace themselves. The ‘ring rust’ lingered with the Meerkats as a Hednesford corner was delivered with pin point accuracy that was met with a fierce volley that rifled passed Skye into the back of the net, very reminiscent of the Giggs / Scholes of yesteryear. The Meerkats marking was woeful, i’m intrigued to understand their definition of goal side – touch tight marking!!!!!! The Meerkat cheerleaders increased their din to try to rally the troupe, and it seemed to have an influence. Almost immediately the Meerkats decided to play a little football where a through ball to Eloise ‘The Engine’whose shot rippled into the back of the net, 1-1 game on. The goal gave the girls the impetus and was knocking on the Hednesford door on regular occasions. Erin ‘The General’, Melissa ‘Mini’ Cooper and Mya ‘The Magician’ carved out an opportunity that allowed the Magician to neatly took her shot past the Hednesford shot stopper. 2-1 up and the wind was in our sails – (Elite Sails part of SP Boats our valued sponsor make quality Sails, go to www.spboats.co.uk for further details). Mya managed to bob and weave her way down the right flank and unleashed a bomb of a shot that the keeper spilled into the goal mouth. With the keeper grounded and the onrushing Engine closing down the ground we were surely going to see the net ripple again! You’d have thought, with no keeper to beat, it looked harder to miss, and guess what? She did. This miss would enter the Wyrley Juniors Sporting bloopers of 2015, remember the Ronnie Rosenthal miss – this was worse!! The ground opened up and swallowed the Engine up and spat her out!! Don’t worry your dad wont mention it too much….. Half time whistle sounded in time for us to regroup and appraise.
The gaffer rallied the troops and made some changes with Abbie ‘Delap’ and Faith ‘Mouse’ Youd entering the fray.
The ground, now confirmed as ‘soft’ was going to test the girls! They were all doing great diving renditions similar to Jurgen Klinsmann / Tom Daley, all we needed was the Chumbawumba backing track to accompany the visual spectacle! Parents were going mad suggesting that I should clean their children’s kit – how very dare they suggest such a thing – Washing is a woman’s job and we all know it!!! More over what were the Moms doing at the game they should be in their kitchens cooking or washing or something – Oh how society has changed!! Anyway back to the game! Luckily for the Meerkats we have an absolute gem of a defender in Millie ‘Stonewall’ Sturch. She reminds me of Paul McGrath that great Villa legend – not very pacey but boy can they read the game. Without ‘Stonewall’ at the back we’d have conceded without a doubt. Her game, like I’ve mentioned is all about her ability to read the game to perfection, which allows her to thwart the attacks by being that one step ahead. The Hednesford team near enough camped themselves in the Meerkat half and wave and wave of attacks were thwarted by the defence. Abbie ‘Delap’ Clay, Molly ‘The Bouncer’ Cattell and Sophie ‘The Terminator’ Marlow all played their part in keeping the attacks at bay. The General who had covered every lump of mud on the pitch was supporting the back line and trying to release the forward line. When the defence was breached Skye Lee was on hand to stop any shot at her goal.
The Meerkats had to dig deep to earn their win which I guess is testament to their resolve! They also say the great teams win when they don’t play that well!! Just don’t do it every week as the supporters and coaching staff are having kittens on the sidelines.
For an absolute rock of a game both Managers Player and Parents Player was awarded to Millie ‘Stonewall’ Sturch! Goes to show how well the supporters perceived the game and ultimately her performance – well done Millie.
Things to work on:
Fitness – Half of the girls were gassed after 15 minutes. Heavy pitch granted but not a plausible excuse for 11-12 year old girls
Marking – Lack of marking led to the goal. We adopt the man (girl) to man (girl) marking not Zonal. Stay goal side and touch tight.
Spacial awareness – know what and who is around you in order to exploit or act accordingly.
Tackling – Too many times I witnessed a foot dangling in some kind of lazy attempt to tackle. Go into a tackle with 100% commitment otherwise by leaving a foot dangling could cause an injury.
Don’t duck when an aerial ball is coming towards you – it makes you look daft and whats the worst that can happen? A sore head or a dirty head – c’mon girls…. this is football.
Concentration for the duration of the game. A few instances were the girls were either wiping mud of their hands or basically not concentrating led to them being bi-passed by the opposition.