2018-19 Season: Berrylands 3 – 0 Croydon & Midwhitgiftians (2s)

Following last week’s disappointing performance against Merton, Berries arrived in the sunshine at Ricards Lodge ready to take on the self-styled COWS of Croydon, resplendent in their cow-hide socks and shirts ….. T warned us that they would be quick to take their free hits and ready to stick
their elbows in to gain advantage. Having waited a short while for their umpire to arrive, the whistle blew and battle commenced.

Differences between last week, and this week …

• Our shots on goal were more successful – three times, in fact! The first goal, scored by Grace from the edge of the D, was a corker (her words) and flew past the keeper. Second goal came courtesy of Sophie D who having completed one of her trademark runs down the left hand side of the pitch, and despite being closed down by both defenders and the keeper, executed a perfect reverse shot angled from the edge of the D, behind the keeper
and out of her reach, and into the goal (followed by mutterings from the COWS ‘ who in our league scores from a reverse shot?’. Answer, obvs, Sophie!

• The third goal in the second half, proving that persistence and positioning pay off, followed a ping-pong with the ball between the goalie and Sophie D – the final clearance by the goalie fell at Niamh’s feet and she calmly slotted the ball into the net.

• Play was much more spread out – possibly due to the fact that Croydon were playing a very passing game, putting together moves across the whole width of the pitch – and at one stage, this reached 9 passes as Gerry noted and even complimented them on this during the game – and this helped us to avoid the bunching that plagued the match against Merton.

• When the defence and T cleared the ball – it actually was cleared, and didn’t fall kindly for the opposition.

• Croydon had one excellent chance, when their young midfielder ran from the halfway line, managed to dribble around several of our team, past T and then screamed as she shot for goal about 3 feet out, and shot wide …. But once again, T proved formidable in goal, coming out to block shots and clearing with a strong right foot.

Interesting fact – we were awarded not one single penalty corner thoughout the entire game!