Lydney II 3 - Avonmouth 0
Saturday 9th February 2013
Lydney: S. Mitchell (now broken), D. Legg, K. Alexander, R. Lugg, A. Bannister, K. Macaskill, A. Farr, E. Matthews, L. Black, J. Samuel, E. Richards (MoM), M. Royle.
In a scene to rival any Hollywood high speed car chase Lydney ladies travelled in convoy, on the rev limiter, over the bridge and through average speed zones at 70mph to play Avonmouth. Once the final third of the team eventually caught up (arriving inexplicably through the tradesman entrance) adrenaline was high (even if fuel gauges were low).
A hurried warm-up ensued on a pitch reminiscent of a dirty sandpit. Smokers on the sidelines added to the overall gritty atmosphere which had been set up nicely by the cold, grey weather. Lydney weren’t to be put off though. Years of inhaling Forest-exuded oxygen-rich air paid off as the team got stuck in.
A physical game rolled out with injuries to a number of Lydney players. Megan Royle was accused by the opposition of ‘putting it on’ for emitting an involuntary sound of pain on impact – the post match bruise tells a different story. Captain Sarah Mitchell was taken out of the game completely and now requires a cast.
Early play lacked a certain level of finesse as Lydney fought to try and play their game. Umpiring too seemed to have a certain ‘mystery’ element to it. Many Lydney players found themselves ‘mystified’ during the game. Balls travelled over sidelines and players feet without troubling the Avonmouth umpires too much. Curiously, opposition shorts were awarded for a lot less. All of these were kept out superbly by decisive goal keeping from Karen Alexander, who was only once caught out when a well saved ball disappeared temporarily out of view under her impressive mammary assets.
Supportive defending, however, cleared the danger every time and a number of tenacious attacks on the opposition resulted in a goal from a short corner as Abbie Farr crossed a strong ball to a well placed Emily Richards who efficiently slotted it away taking Lydney into a lead that they never conceded.
During another attack on the D a slightly better Rachael Lugg played a superb trick shot backwards between her legs and into the goal but sadly the whistle was deemed to have been blown just before these showboating antics.
A welcome reappearance of the once common tradition of oranges at half time refuelled Lydney’s determination.
(Actual oranges may not have been served like this. Photo should be taken as serving suggestion only).
With Ali Bannister stepping in as sweeper for the injured S. Mitchell the second half commenced at pace. A strike from the top of the D by Abbie Farr was stopped by the goalie but the deflection was pounced on by Rachael Lugg and Avonmouth found themselves another goal down. Short corners were given in both directions but it was a cool reverse stick lift into the goal by Emily Richards that sealed Avonmouth’s fate.
A sprinkling of bruises were distributed throughout the rest of the game (adding a pretty shade of purple to the post match showers) but Lydney held on bravely to the whistle to finish the game with a clean sheet and three goals.
An unexpected air of the continent was brought to the post match teas with the inclusion of pain-au-chocolate and croissants. We could almost have been sipping espressos in Place du Theatre in the shade of Montmartre.*
Player of the Match was Emily Richards.
* Except that’s just a load of bull. But kudos to Avonmouth for trying to raise the cultural bar.