LTHC Ladies 1st XI 2 at Lindum Ladies 1st XI 1

England Hockey Investec Women’s Tier 2 Championships

Sunday 24th February 2019

For their second game of the weekend, Loughborough Town Ladies 1st XI made the trip to Lincoln to face Lindum Ladies 1s in the final 16 of the England Hockey Championships Tier 2 Championships. Having not met before, Town resolved to go out strong and press their opposition high from the outset. 

Barely 5 minutes had elapsed before Emily Hill’s blistering run outstripped the Lindum defence. Unselfishly, Hill picked out Grace Thompson who made no mistake in slamming the ball home to give Town the 1-0 advantage. Lindum appeared shell-shocked at Town’s dream start, but as the game progressed they began to settle into the game and Town found themselves on the defence. Some smart play from Lindum saw them awarded a string of short corners in the last ten minutes of the half. Despite some strong running from Katherine Laws and Gabrielle Morgan, a Lindum strike slipped under keeper Harriet Galpin only to strike Shana Featonby’s foot on the goal line. Lindum stepped up to take the resulting flick and Galpin was unlucky to be beaten low to her left. 

With the score now 1-1, Town pressed back against their opposition straight from the restart.  Hill again outstripping the Lindum defence and drawing a foul in the circle to give Town a short corner of their own. In their trademark short corner routine, Ashleigh Godfrey saw her shot blaze agonisingly wide. The final minutes of the half saw Town enjoy more possession, their high press yet again causing Lindum problems as they struggled to get the ball out of defence. Lindum’s young keeper produced an impressive performance and cleared a number of close range shots, ensuring the half finished 1-1.

Town emerged from the break with renewed confidence as Lindum became ever more frustrated in their attempts to score in Galpin’s goal. Katie McKinlay and recent call-ups Jess Cooper and Leo Penry impressed in midfield, managing to break down Lindum’s advances in the early stages. Town’s chance came mid way through the half when Emily Hill was brought down in the circle by a wild and reckless challenge by the Lindum keeper. With their keeper in the sin bin for five minutes, a Lindum defender had to face Hill’s penalty flick attempt. Despite her best efforts, Hill saw her shot saved by the defender with an incredible dive. Knowing that they still had five minutes with an unguarded Lindum goal, Town’s stepped up a gear. A fantastic move between Cooper and Georgina Godfrey saw player of the match Emily Hill pounce on a loose ball in the Lindum circle and slam it home to give Town the 2-1 advantage. 

With 20 minutes still to see out, Town’s defence worked tirelessly to shut down Lindum’s advances with Izzie Limb producing a top-draw performance at centre-back. As the clock ticked down, the tiredness of the Town players began to show.  First Ash Godfrey saw yellow for a late challenge on an advancing Lindum forward, with Galpin making an excellent save to preserve Town’s slender lead. Limb then saw yellow for a perceived deliberate foot on a Lindum attack. Each time, Town worked well as a team to absorb the pressure placed on them by a player deficit as Lindum’s players and coach only became more frustrated by their lack of reward. 

With five minutes remaining on the clock, Lindum withdrew their keeper to try to exploit the advantage of an extra on field player. Town’s resilience was again tested when captain Shana Featonby was sent to the sin bin for 2 minutes for hitting the ball away after the whistle had blown much to the confusion of the Town players.

In the dying minutes of the game, Lindum were awarded a short corner that threatened to derail Town’s glory late in the day. However, Town’s defence rallied together as they had all afternoon and saw the ball out over the halfway line. Finally the final whistle blew and Town revelled in an incredible win – they now progress to the quarter finals of the national competition on the 17th March.

Ladies  1st XI - 24/02/19: Vs Lindum 1st XI, EH Cup

Back row (L-R): Ashleigh Godfrey, Gabrielle Morgan, Jess Cooper, Emily Hill, Shana Featonby, Georgina Godfrey, Katherine Laws, Katie McKinlay

Front (L-R): Leo Penry, Grace Thompson, Sally Eastwood, Harriet Galpin, Izzie Limb, Rebe Casselden

Categories: Match Reports