Stoke Ladies U11 2 v Wyrley Meerkats U11 1

Saturday had the Meerkats travelling North to visit Stoke Ladies, a fixture we were all relishing after a previous close game. Luckily for us, the Sturch’s travelled with the Waddiloves, as apparently Mrs Sturch gets lost anywhere other than Walsall and would still rely on a Sat Nav to get her home!

A sharp wind whistled across the Longton pitches, luckily our parents were all kitted out with long johns / Bridget Jones style belly warmers.

After a game of hunt the pitch we finally realised that Stoke were to play on the 3G pitch, I thought 3G was something you used when you had no Wifi – what do I know!

Any way the Meerkat army had a quick warm up and were given the orders and tactics by Dave ‘Bloke’ Youd.  This week he reverted to a 2 man defence of Abbie and Millie, midfield of Katy, Erin and Ellie with Eloise up front.  Noted absentees Sophie Marlow – who’s injured her foot whilst fire walking and Faith Youd who had drank too many Sambuca’s during the ‘Bloke’ gig and was being sick at the side of the pitch – Get well soon Girls!  – Bloke can be seen playing at the Stumble Inn, Bridgtown, Cannock on Boxing Day – well worth a visit!!

The game kicked off with the Meerkat’s attacking the goal to the right or the left, dependant on where you stood. The first Stoke attack was wiped out (literally) via Erin ‘The General’ Waddilove who mistook the Stoke player for the ball, and kicked her up in the air! I don’t think the Stoke scouts were watching as she would have been signed up in a flash!

The game ebbed and flowed with both sets of girls having attacks at either end. The game changed after a Stoke cross deflected off Erin’s foot and struck the bar and bounced on the line! “Play on” we were expecting the shout to be, but oh no! The Referee blew up and pointed for a goal saying that the ball had closed the line in mid flight.  How he could see this? Were Stoke utilising the Hawkeye goal line technology? I along with many others was baffled with the decision. After a quick search (using 3G) I identified the man in the middle as Jorge Larrionda the Referee who took charge of the England v Germany game where lampard’s strike that hit the crossbar and bounced (2 foot over the line) was never given. He was obviously trying to make up for his past errors to boost his reputation.  We accepted the decision well and didn’t moan much even though it was a dubious decision and that it never went over the line.

The Meerkats battled on, Eloise took a whack to the chops from a Stoke head that resulted in some claret being spilt! The call was sent over to the gaffer to replace Eloise with Chloe ’Terry’ Venables. Her introduction was welcomed as she battled the Stokey’s for possession at every opportunity. Ellie was again working hard up and down the right flank trying to provide an outlet to give Chloe an opportunity.  The defensive duo of Millie and Abbie were working hard quashing the Stoke attacks and clearing their lines.

The first half finished with Stoke leading by the one goal.  The Meerkat’s regrouped as Dave gave out the tactics for the second half.  The game restarted with the Meerkat’s eager to get back the goal that was dubiously given. Some strong work down the flank by Melissa created an opportunity where the ball popped up for Chloe who struck the ball with her weaker left foot and produced a great save from the Stoke keeper – excellent shot and excellent save!!

Some good cameo appearences from Katy and Lauren who both battled well during their time on the pitch.

Stoke made another sortie into the Meerkat’s area which resulted in a corner. The corner was whipped in, it evaded Melissa on the near post, and it bobbled past Skye residing in the goal and consequently hit Ellie on the boot and trickled over the line. Ellie has been trying to get on the score sheet for an age; the time she manages to it was in the wrong net! Never mind Ellie everyone scores the occasional OG (including me). Ellie managed to dust herself down and continue the battle.

Abbie was swapped for Eloise for the final 10 minutes meaning that Ellie dropped into defence with Millie.

Some intricate interplay between Eloise and Chloe created another opportunity that just whistled past the upright. Our attackers had the speed and guile that terrorised the Stoke defence. Another sortie into the Stoke area by Ellie, Chloe and Eloise caused panic, and a shot by Eloise that was going wide of the mark, cannoned in of the Stoke defender! Game on? Unfortunately the goal came too late on in the game for an equaliser and Jorge Larrionda blew up for full time.

A strange game where 3 own goals were scored, one for the record books Norris McWhirter!

The Meerkats came off the pitch not too disconsolate but will be eager to get back to winning ways against the Puma’s.

Good points

Abbie managed to tie her own shoe laces – Congratulations Abbie!!

In general we defended well, ensuring that we marked goal side of the attacking player!

We attacked with pace and all defenders hate quick strikers!

We passed well and didn’t panic when we were on the ball!

We kept our heads high when we conceded a goal!


Things to work on


Pressing / forcing back the attacker

Clearing your lines

Calling for the ball

Girl of the match (Managers choice) – Ellie Parker

A mention in despatches goes to Mrs Sturch (Millie’s Mom) who has organised a Parents Player award (Sergei Meerkat teddy thingymajig) that is to be presented to the girl with the most votes from the parents. She obtained the teddy / Meerkat after purchasing insurance for her mobility scooter, thanks Mrs Sturch!

This week the parents voted for Chloe Venables

 ‘Where I mock the referee’s decision, I actually sympathise with their occupation as they are on a hiding to nothing’


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