On a bitterly cold and wet Saturday morning, Oaklands girls football team took part in a 7-a-side tournament at St Edmund’s School in Ware, Hertfordshire.
After meeting early at the school we made our way to the venue on the mini-bus with the girls excited at the prospect of competing against the other schools.The pitches were in immaculate condition despite the weather and it made for some excellent football being played throughout the morning.
We played our first game against St Edmunds and narrowly lost the game 1-0. It was their only shot of the game in a match where we created plenty of chances but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
Our next game saw our girls come up against Howe Green School. Again they got an early goal and we went in at half time 1-0 down. After a positive teamtalk in which they could take great self-belief from their performances, they knew they could get back in the game if they continued playing in the same vein.
Our pressure paid off and Maya got a well deserved goal for her relentless attacking play. The game was drawing to an end but the girls did not want to finish the game with a draw and after a flowing attacking move involving Livvy, Maya and Evie, the ball found Hannah in the box and she made no mistake in dispatching the ball into the back of the net.
We finished 2nd in our group and that meant progress to the semi-finals of the cup competition. Our opposition was a very strong St Josephs in the Park School who had some very talented individuals.
As was the pattern in our games we got off to a slow start and found ourselves 2 goals down. The girls did not drop their heads and led by Estel who organised Emmy, Lillia and Evie to excellent effect in defence, managed to stop their attacking threat. Annabel turned provider for lots of our attacking play and distributed the ball to our attacking 3 of Livvy, Maya and Hannah who all interlinked well. We got a goal back through Hannah and we were unfortunate not to get any more goals, but a very good effort.
The girls were packing up thinking their morning was over but we had 1 more match in the ‘3rd/4th place play-off’ match. Our now weary troops pulled their socks up for one last effort against Duncombe School. We were very unlucky to lose the match 2-0 but our play, sportsmanship and attitude was outstanding and they can be extremely proud of their achievements.