|GLFC U11 Mets||2|
With such an important game ahead of them, it spoke volumes of the U11 Mets that they were all happy to do their bit at the bag pack and spend an hour on the tills at Asda raising money for the GLFC Kit Kash fund.
As soon as their shift was over, it was time for the girls to gather themselves together, board the minibus and head up north to theCountyGround, Letchworth.
The Mets have swept most of their opponents aside this season but having played Hoddesdon Owls in the League Cup final last weekend, they knew that they would have a game on their hands today. Hoddesdon were the Division Two champions this season and will do well in the top flight next year.
The game started with Garston in the ascendancy and with Abbie running things in midfield it seemed like it was a matter of when the Mets would score rather than whether. Libby was looking dangerous down the right and came close to opening the scoring after being well set up by an exquisite pass from Abbie.
Libby soon went close again and seemed to have forced the ball over the line as the keeper attempted to smother the ball. The Garston supporters were celebrating before the referee ruled that the ball hadn’t fully crossed the line – it may be a while before goal line technology is introduced at this level of the game and the best we can say is that referees can’t give a goal unless they’re absolutely certain.
The next chance fell to Katie who had only just come on when she came desperately close to scoring with her first touch. The chances kept coming and just as it looked as if the first-half would end goalless, Garston finally broke through. A slick move was started by Katie on the left; her pass found Libby, who in turn threaded an excellent ball into Raaya’s path. It was the chance that Raaya had been waiting for and her finish was calmness personified.
1-0 at half time but the game was by no means won. A fact that was quickly established when Hoddesdon grabbed an equaliser soon after the restart. Once again, the need for goal line technology was raised as our keeper Lauren and the whole of the Garston defence were convinced that the ball hadn’t crossed the line. But the goal was given and the girls were forced to dig deep and start again.
They continued to press. Katie went close to grabbing a second when her powerful shot came back off the upright. Then Raaya fired over after Abbie’s piledriver came back off the keeper. It was all Garston but Hoddesdon always looked dangerous on the break and Jazzy and Nicole (who replaced the excellent Gemma at the back for the second half) had some work to do. But with Jazzy’s speed, Nicole’s decisive tackling and Lauren’s lightning reflexes there was never any real threat on the Garston goal.
Jamie was putting in some great work down the left and she fed Abbie whose first time cross was met at the near post by Megan. Beating the Hoddesdon keeper to the ball, her crisp volley found the back of the net and the Garston support erupted! Having played against Garston in last season’s final, it was fitting that Megan should have claimed the vital second goal.
There was still about ten minutes to go but our purple heroes stood firm and when the final whistle blew the girls were able to celebrate a well-earned victory.
Nobody who’s watched this group of girls this season can have failed to be impressed by what they’ve seen. Some of the passing, the movement, the shooting and the general all-round awareness of how the beautiful game of football is supposed to be played were simply stunning today. And let’s not forget that these girls are still at primary school!
Their record speaks for itself: two seasons of competitive football – two league titles, two league cups and now two county cups. Oh, and they haven’t lost a game yet. There have been some great Garston teams over the years and these girls are undoubtedly among the very best. They really do make you proud to be involved with this wonderful club.
Congratulations to the whole squad (including Lana who played in the early rounds) and, of course to Leigh and Andy who got the reward for all the work they put in week-in, week-out. And let’s not forget Julie and all the other parents without whom none of this would be possible.
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