Cambridge South Mens 1
3 - 1
City of Peterborough Mens 3

M1 3-1 City of Peterborough Mens 3

CHAMPIONS.



From the Cambridge Independent:

Cambridge South clinched the East Men’s League, Division 2N title in style by beating City of Peterborough III 3-1.

They took the lead when tidy play through midfield set up Jim Hockley to sweep home at the back post.

Chris Pearson doubled the advantage at the start of the second half, but Peterborough pulled a goal back.

James Bailey’s reverse-stick shot made it 3-1 to South, and a goalline clearance from skipper Stuart Rimmer and some smart saves from man-of-the-match keeper Darren Farmer confirmed the title.

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Cambridge South Mens 2
2 - 1
Spalding Mens 3

O Captain! My Captain!

It would not be representative of the Cooper era to concentrate too much on the actual match in this report – a more muddled and incoherent, Hugh Grant-esque babble of events will probably suffice.

Before any hockey was played, Colgate’s own, Shin Kim, spent twenty minutes in pure wonderment at the concept of catching. It is understood that no chemicals were inhaled at any point by the perpetrator and there will be no further investigation into the matter.

Similar to the recent goings on with Brexit and the political decision making of our dear country, the match began with a push back. Actually, again similar to the current political climate of our nation, before this the leader of the home team decided to change ends - no-one quite knows why (attention/one last gasp effort to showcase power, maybe?)

The start of the actual hockey commenced with good intensity from South who took control of the first portion of the game, defending confidently, moving the ball around the midfield and attacking with pace and movement. This resulted in the first goal which was finished off by a greying James Menzies after a delightful bit of pass-and-move build up play by the team. One-nil.

Midway through the first half Spalding started to work their way into the game, asserting authority from there on until the half time break. Within this period of play they began to build pressure on South, forcing a couple of smart saves from Gower and some good defensive work at the back. Alas, this did not stop the men in white scoring a deserved equaliser. One-one.

A bit of argy bargy late on in the half and some not-so-eloquently-put feedback led to Anns having an extended half time break - one extra minute before and one afterwards (probably a good idea as he was quite stroppy at this point).

After a rousing half time team talk and some big names saying some of the same things that they have been saying for the last however-many years, the 2s were ready to take back control of the game and ensure third place in the league.

The last goal of the era could not have been more representative of the M2s:

Short corner…
Cooper injection…
Anns stop…
Manny slap to the right post…
Menzies deflection…
Goal.

The match ended with South having most of the possession and defending solidly. A great match to end the season on and – hopefully - earn us a place in the division above again if the rejig of the divisions above us goes in our favour.

Post-match activities did involve beer and fizz - partly to toast the outgoing skipper, partly to toast the end of the season and a good performance, but mostly to remind Paresh that he prefers playing for us.

Cooper may have topped the ball to more centre forwards than anyone in the club’s history (there definitely should be a tally of assists for the opposition), committed some of the most heinous stick tackles that Long Road has ever seen and got his luminous yellow astros in the way of more hockey balls than the fence behind the goal when he is practising his shooting, but he has managed (with some help from his more attractive and loveable sidekick) to get a group of blokes - most of whom should be spending their Saturdays with their wives and young children - to trek up to the seaside towns of Lincolnshire and the faraway fenland fields to run around on a pitch for seventy minutes and then drive home again. The final match of his reign summed it up quite well: a team that played and worked for each other, enjoyed playing (and showering) together and could dig deep and get a result when they needed to. In order to redress the balance a bit, as this is starting to become a little too positive, he also has some pretty bad back hair…

Anyway, now that the season is over here are some statistics - the majority of which are true:

  • Man of the matches for the season (not bad for the old guard):

    • 1st S Cooper with 4

    • 2nd T Anns and T Steed with 3

    • 4th A Artaman, C Walsh, J Menzies and M Puddefoot with 2

  • Lemon of the matches for the season:

    • 1st D Reeve with 6

    • 2nd M Rosenvaig, N Patel, T Anns, M Allsopp and J Chalk with 2

  • Goals:

    • 1st J Chalk with 9

    • 2nd J Menzies with 8

    • 3rd A Artaman with 7

  • Clean sheets:

    • 1st T Anns, J Chalk and J Mann with 5

    • 4th C Walsh, D Reeve, M Puddefoot, J Menzies and S cooper with 4

  • Appearances:

    • 1st T Anns and J Chalk with 24

    • 3rd S Cooper with 22

    • 4th C Walsh with 21

    • 5th D Reeve with 19

  • S Cooper has spent 14% (to 2 significant figures) of his life as captain of the M2s.

  • T Anns has spent 21% (to 2 sf) of his life as M2s vice-captain (17% under Cooper).

  • D Reeve has spent 38% of his hockey career as an 8/10 on the anger scale.

  • S Cooper has spent 72% of his adult life as a virgin.

  • C Walsh has spent 38% of his adult life trying to read the first half of ‘Biff and Chip Go For a Walk’.

  • M Saint-Gower has spent 100% of his life being a lovely bloke.

  • A Artaman has spent 56% of his time in a South shirt being slightly underwhelmed.

  • When off the pitch, J Mann has spent 76% of his time with his hands on his hips and a slightly disappointed look on his face.

  • N Patel has spent 83% of his time at South being a massive, massive lad.

  • 100% of the time, Shin has been a social schmoozer and all round cool party guy.

  • Cambridge South M2s finished third in the league; third place is often referred to as the bronze medal position. J Chalk has a bronzed statue of himself which is hidden behind a curtain in the residence of fans’ favourite, H Chalk (unbeknownst to him).


To ensure that this match report is not lacking in length, here are the lyrics to ‘Under the Sea’ from ‘The Little Mermaid’ to play us out:

The seaweed is always greener
In somebody else's lake
You dream about going up there
But that is a big mistake
Just look at the world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you lookin' for?

Under the sea
Under the sea
Darling it's better
Down where it's wetter
Take it from me
Up on the shore they work all day
Out in the sun they slave away
While we devotin'
Full time to floatin'
Under the sea

Down here all the fish is happy
As off through the waves they roll
The fish on the land ain't happy
They sad 'cause they in their bowl
But fish in the bowl is lucky
They in for a worser fate
One day when the boss get hungry
Guess who's gon' be on the plate?

Under the sea
Under the sea
Nobody beat us
Fry us and eat us
In fricassee
We what the land folks loves to cook
Under the sea we off the hook
We got no troubles
Life is the bubbles
Under the sea (Under the sea)
Under the sea (Under the sea)

Since life is sweet here
We got the beat here
Naturally (Naturally)
Even the sturgeon an' the ray
They get the urge 'n' start to play
We got the spirit
You got to hear it
Under the sea

The newt play the flute
The carp play the harp
The plaice play the bass
And they soundin' sharp
The bass play the brass
The chub play the tub
The fluke is the duke of soul
(Yeah)
The ray he can play
The lings on the strings
The trout rockin' out
The blackfish she sings
The smelt and the sprat
They know where it's at
An' oh that blowfish blow

Yeah, under the sea (Under the sea)
Under the sea (Under the sea)
When the sardine
Begin the beguine
It's music to me (It's music to me)
What do they got? A lot of sand
We got a hot crustacean band
Each little clam here
Know how to jam here
Under the sea
Each little slug here
Cuttin' a rug here
Under the sea
Each little snail here
Know how to wail here
That's why it's hotter
Under the water
Ya we in luck here
Down in the muck here
Under the sea

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Cambridge South Mens 3
1 - 6
Spalding Mens 2

Outpatients XI Hobbled at Spalding

The match was a good game, with Joe proving to be a much better goalie than our actual keeper, George! South took the lead when Johnny smashed home a rebound from Mr Toynton through a quick counterattack from Sev at the back. Joe saved a flick and was outstanding, conceding only two of the remaining four attacks that were four-on-one against him. A somewhat shocking and very disappointing voting cabal left Nev to snatch the Lemon from George. Current state of the squad is as follows:

Joe Whittaker

GK

Ankle injury - before game. Massive MOM superstar. Saved about twenty shots (and a penalty flick) and only let in six. Spalding were indeed guilty of rushing some good chances and flashing some very speculative efforts wide. Joe has to be praised for not giving up and doing amazingly with an injured ankle to boot. When you have a non-goalkeeper in goal, teams are usually altruistic in limiting chances. I think some of the chances that Joe faced, even Moses couldn't have parted South's defence any further.

Sev Warren

Defence

Dislocated knee - before game. Played through the pain barrier. Was complimented as being the only player with two working legs left, despite only having one. Reportedly injured toes and groin as well!

Neil Sneade

Defence

Stress fractured toes - during game. Provided very little "Sneading it up" after South took the lead. Proceeded to be the stalwart at the back until a chunky centre forward melted one at his foot from close range. Neil is the toughest guy on the M3s and nobody would like to meet him down a dark alley near the Maypole if he is on the sauce. Just got on with it and carried on playing.

Adam Catley

Defence

Broken toe - during game. Played in the terrible socks of a terrible club. A hit which was penalised with a flick in his own interpretation of "Bambi on Ice" injured Adam's foot beyond repair. Then, actually played well up front in spite of being unable to turn and run.

Matt Kern

Def/Midfield

Cramp - during game. Decided the best way to relieve himself of further cramping up was to sit out alone on the left.

Ollie Kenzie

Defence

Incredible dizziness - during game. Used every opportunity to impress upon the spectators his ability to pirouette with a hockey ball when close to contact.

Jonny Camp

Midfield

Fingers in shreds - during game. The backs of Jonny’s hands after the game looked like he had had a bad argument with a cheese grater. Timely reminder to chaps in next week's fixture: "Don't fall over!"

Seb Dias

Midfield

Incredible dizziness & muscle bruising - during game. Not only did Seb show his ability to pirouette with a hockey ball when close to contact, he also was the recipient of many wayward "friendly" stick tackles. The shock-absorption of his arms and legs would have meant considerable bruising after match proceedings.

Nev Warren

Forward

Pride - after game. After a near-perfect display of how to not re-injure yourself, Nev delayed a penalty flick with Joe to hand out expert advice and add pressure to the flick taker (flick was saved). Trapping a three foot high crossfield pass to assist George in the run-up to South's goal was not to gain plaudits in the post-match refreshments. He would only gain a Lemon again.

George Toynton

Forward

NO INJURIES. As the experienced goalkeeper in the team, one may possibly have thought that his input in keeping kit selection and other goalkeeper-related facets would have been invaluable to Joe. This was not the case and he allowed himself to sink to low levels in the Lemon voting. "I'm not upset George, just disappointed!" - Nev Warren

Josh Oldfield

Forward

Incredible dizziness - during game. Used every opportunity to impress upon the spectators his ability to pirouette with a hockey ball when close to contact.

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Cambridge South Mens 4
2 - 5
St Neots Mens 2

End of Season Climax

Nail biter: South M4s started the day in tenth position of twelve with the bottom three set to be relegated, meaning an ignominious immediate return to East 6 North West (South) – which, despite covering all points of the compass, is the lowest league that it would be possible for South to play in.

Challenging: We were playing St Neots 2s, who we’d had a feisty clash with earlier in the season with many cards brandished but who had nothing on the line. By contrast the teams in ninth and eleventh, Horncastle and Leadenham, were playing the league leaders who were aiming for an undefeated season and the team in second who needed a win to guarantee promotion. On paper, ours was the easiest of the three games but none of the three teams in the relegation battle could have been expected to win.

Pressure: South are a growing and aspiring club. The Men’s 1st team have already secured promotion to Division 1 and with a glut of players available for a 5th team, having two teams in the bottom division stunts the growth of the club and halts any chance of creating an additional team that will enable us to continue to grow and improve our competitiveness. So not only was personal pride and team shame on the line, the fortunes of the 4s are intrinsically linked to the aspirations of the club.

Everything is meaningless: Prior to the match, Jan had got his abacus out and stated that we could win ten-nil and still be relegated, and yet lose ten-nil and still stay up. The maths of it were that we needed to better the result of Horncastle by two or more goals, and not lose if Leadenham won. Horncastle had the same points as us, one better goal difference and had scored several more goals (like almost every other team). Our game pushed back at 11.30am and the other two not until 1pm so we played in the metaphorical dark, with no idea whether our result would be sufficient.

Shuffling the pack: with the unusual luxury of six defenders available, George W was pushed into midfield and Pete D was given licence to start in the front line. To say he was slightly giddy at the prospect of scoring would be an understatement and he nearly earned himself Lemon for predicting a hat-trick for himself before half time! Jo D turned up having delivered a mystery package somewhere in the vicinity, giving us an additional option in the game.

On your marks…: In glorious sunshine South started unbelievably quickly. Combinations of passing, pressure and running off the ball led to Ollie W and Rob B earning an early short corner. Without the option of JJ dragging it wide, option one was a Jurassic smash, which went wide.

Danger man: Unlike the rest of the defence the Monckosauras recognised the threat of the spritely Danny, so fired a sixteen straight into the opposition striker’s arm. Sadly this neither slowed him down nor reminded the defence of his speed and sharpness in front of goal. Perhaps over-confident with the early run of the game, South pressed too high, giving Danny space in behind which he used efficiently as he slotted in neatly passed a stranded Michael.

Short…on quality: Frustrated to go a goal down against the run of play and in a game we were dominating, Jelley, combining down the left with the commanding Matt in midfield, worked the ball into the D again, earning another short. Devoid of options, the Jurassic smash was employed once more, slightly more accurately but with the same result – no goal. Moments later St Neots broke again, sweeping the ball into the goal. South, hoping for a positive result, now faced not only a defeat but the very real probability of relegation…and worse was to come.

Playing against the odds: The game was evenly contested throughout, both teams looking threatening on the break though with only one team capitalising on their excursions into the D. James H and Simon K thwarted attacks and released the scampering Pete D and Oli W. St Neots developed neatly into the D but Michael, recognising the danger, stepped out, smothering the ball and repelling the initial threat. The ball didn’t go far so Michael continued to shovel the ball away before it was eventually cleared. Somewhat to everyone’s surprise the umpire blew for a penalty flick. Danny happily slotted St Neots’s third, and we weren’t even at half time yet.

Regroup: Half time came. Somehow we were losing a game in which we could have scored three. Symptomatic of our season perhaps. A tactical shift saw the wily John G move to centre-mid and the youthful zip of George W to right mid. We were in the game, we just needed to make the most of the opportunities we were creating.

Peppering: South came out with a bit more zing. Andi and Danny either snuffed out threatening moves or had space to stretch the opposition. George found he had the run on their left back and repeatedly went round him, crossing the ball back into the D and causing havoc. Shot after shot came and went with St Neots holding firm. Then followed a series of shorts.

Short…on scoring: Following the lack of imagination of the first half, Matt decided he’d try and bamboozle the opposition with an injection of all of one metre. That didn’t work. Then we tried letting the ball through the initial stop but that didn’t work. Next a slip right to John G who played an exquisite flick heading in to the top right, past the keeper but not their post man, who plucked it out of the air preventing a certain goal. Back to a couple of straight smashes, which were accurate and hard but kept out by the keeper, who then saved follow up shots. Better quality but the same result… No goals.

Shellacking: Despite sustained pressure and significant opportunities, St Neots always looked threatening on the break. Their fourth goal came when a defensive slip created an overload which they worked neatly and their fifth from another flick, this time somewhat less controversial. A penalty corner strike was heading in and Pete decided hitting the goal bound shot away with his stick was too risky so kicked it away with the calm of a seasoned keeper. Unfortunately he is not the keeper, so it was a flick and he was lucky not to find himself on the sidelines watching on. Five-nil.

Violence: South continued to press though, knowing that at multiple points we had been a whisker from scoring and that five-nil was a poor reflection of the parity of the game. Oli W, known for his large physique and angry temperament, was blown up for violently barging an opposition player to the ground. John G had an interesting conversation with the same umpire over a similar incident when he apparently fouled the opposition. He was given a talking to like a naughty schoolboy, irrespective of his protestations of innocence.

Character: Despite being five-nil down South were still making the better opportunities. As George W rounded their right back for the twelfth time in the half the ball found Jo who nudged it on to Rob, turning as ever on to his reverse stick and…eventually…goal to South. Five-one. A sense of optimism and confidence flowed through the team. Slight naivety in thinking we might be able to score another five, but hope none the less.

Fergie time: Spirits weren’t dampened and South strung together their longest period of dominance in the game, ball after ball getting into the D, rescued by clutch defence, excellent keeping and not much luck. A cynical foot as South were on the break meant a free hit just outside the twenty-three. South loaded the circle as the umpire said twenty seconds to play. Monckosaurus let loose a monster strike into the D where super-sub Jo poked out his stick to lift the ball over the keeper. Five-two. Never before has a second goal in a five-two defeat been scored with such glee and cheering.

Satisfied: As the players came off the pitch, St Neots had won but South had acquitted themselves well, and scoring with the final play of the match left a sense of enjoyment after a messy season.

Unsatisfied: Teas at the Anchor were good…for those that had them. Several players were forced to the chippy as they’d all been eaten by the time they turned up.

Hope: South knew that losing by three goals meant they needed Wellingborough to beat Horncastle by five and Louth not to lose to Leadenham. The first result came through… Wellingborough 6, Horncastle 1: South had moved above Horncastle through Jo’s last second goal!

Relief: South M4s were confirmed as finishing ninth and out of the bottom three, as news came in that Louth had beaten Leadenham. It’s not guaranteed safety as the leagues do their annual shuffle (and no teams are confirmed as relegated as yet) but it looks good. Jan’s complicated equations meant that a five-two loss was the exact result we needed, though we couldn’t have known as we played.

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Cambridge South Mens 5
0 - 3
Ely City Mens 2

A Season to Celebrate…

The final league match of the season saw us facing an Ely 2s side keen to hold on to second place in Div 6NW(S) and possible promotion. This wasn't going to be an easy one for the South side. Spirits were buoyed though by the presence of our defensive 'big guns' and doubling-up M1s' keeper, Darren, as our final line of defence.

The home team got off to a great start, putting the Ely defence under immediate pressure but were not quite able to grab the early goal that would have put the visitors on the back foot. James Y was looking as impressive as ever up front following his debut goal last weekend, supported by Rupert E and 'guest' striker, Ian M.

Alas it was the visitors who struck first, from a well disciplined short corner routine which beat the South keeper. Still reeling from this, the up-until-then-solid South defence were caught offguard, allowing Ely a rare free shot in the D which just sneaked between the post and the fully-stretched keeper.

Once again we found ourselves two-nil down at half time… A familiar but not insurmountable position!

The home team continued to press the Ely defence with MoM, Jamie C, making several penetrating runs into the opposition half before delivering some perfectly weighted passes into space, which alas we couldn't convert. Another well executed short corner routine midway through the second half gave the visitors an unassailable lead and in the end a well deserved victory.

This was another great M5s' performance however, for which we should all be justifiably proud. An interesting statistic is that out of fifteen league defeats this season, ten have been by a margin of just one or two goals, which shows how competitive we have been against some much stronger opposition.

Looking forward to many more great hockey moments with everyone next season. Have a great summer!

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Cambridge South Ladies 1
0 - 2
City of Peterborough Ladies 2

Tough at the Top

It was a beautiful sunny day at Long Road as we stepped onto the pitch following a hopefully promotion inducing win from the M2s.

With two games left of the season we wanted to finish on a high. Inspired by the performance of the M2s, with Southern crowds out in force cheering from the sideline, the girls were pumped and ready to take on the top of the league. This CoP side (Peterborough, Katie, not Pelicans) have won every game this year apart from one which they drew, so our aim of stealing three points from the league toppers was a tough ask.

We set out with Dave’s 3/4 press in mind, forcing the league champions to just transfer around the back. "ALL DAY LONG!" we'd shout as they yelled, "SCENARIO"…whatever that means. However things took a turn for the worse when I managed to injure my back about four minutes into the match, so retired and sat on the sideline telling people what to do for the next sixty-six. Definitely didn't deserve Lemon but here we are…

I popped several co-codamols so the rest of the match is a haze to say the least.

  • They scored two goals, one in each half, both from open play on a break (we need to practise our man marking)

  • We played in their D but unfortunately couldn't upgrade or get a goal.

  • The girls defended a couple of defensive short corners - no goals, hurray!

  • CoP hit the post twice - unlucky for them, lucky for us.

  • Loopy saved some worldie shots and earned herself MoM. She really kept us in the game.

  • We had some nice linking play up the pitch when we moved the ball at speed.

Final score was two-nil and although we didn't get the three points we were after it was still a decent game. Good luck to CoP as they take on Div 1 next year! Last year they finished the league third and this year they've won it. That is good motivation for us, as we currently sit in third place.

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Cambridge South Ladies 3
4 - 0
Royston Ladies 2

There May Have Been a Few More Stick Tackles and Not Quite as Many Elephants

So last match report of the season fell to the L3s' vice-captain to sign off for the year. Unfortunately she spent the duration of the match in bed with a splitting headache. Still, a promise is a promise. So here's how I imagine it went…

I suspect the L3s turned up bright and early to continue the extended warm-ups that have been a key part of recent successes, only to find themselves locked out of the St Catz car park. Well, it wouldn't be a game at Catz without an impromptu Grantchester Road traffic jam. I'd have thought Laurie would have given an inspiring, perhaps extensive, pre-match speech, focusing on the need to win to keep the number of wins vs. losses for the season equal, as well as emphasising the fact that we were unbeaten against Royston in four games and keen to make it five.

I imagine Rhi led the team warm-up with the usual enthusiasm we've come to expect, no doubt with added cartwheels or something to keep everyone on their toes. Or their hands.

I imagine the L3s started strongly, dominating the possession as has often been the case in recent weeks. I suspect Zara dazzled the Royston defence with her pace and trickery and I imagine Rhi spent a decent amount of the game on her bum. I imagine Tabby's shoelaces came undone. I imagine Louisa was wearing a scarf.

I imagine goals were scored by Jess F on her debut for the L3s, Zara, Jess F again and Rhi, to add to Emma scoring earlier in the day. I don't have to imagine the moment Rhi morphed into Andy Murray as there's video evidence of it here:

I also don't need to imagine what Tom thought of the goal!

On the subject of videos, I suspect Tabby banned Marcus from sharing the one he took of her falling over her own feet.

I imagine the post-game picnic was enjoyed by all, and I imagine everyone is going to be sad to say goodbye to Lauren E, who has been a defensive rock all season. I imagine man of the match votes went to Lauren E for solid defending, Charlotte for great attacking play, Jess for a great debut but imagine the honours were shared between Zara and Laurie. I also suspect Rhi wrapped up her season with her sixth LoM award.

And with that the L3s' 2018-19 season comes to an end. Thanks to Laurie for her captaincy, Dave for transforming us from early season strugglers into a team more than capable of holding their own in Div 4, and to everyone that's made it so much fun playing for the L3s this year.

I imagine next year will be more of the same!

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Cambridge South Ladies 4
0 - 5
Ely City Ladies 2

Let's Make Lemonade

This week was the L4s’ final training session (a massive thanks to Bhav, Jack and Paul for developing the L4/5s through fantastic training this season) and final league match. Finishing the season at home, we knew it was going to be a tough match as we went up against Ely 2s who have finished top of the league but in true South spirit we went out with determination and drive, ready to take them on and show everyone how much the L4s really have improved this season. Unfortunately I was supporting from the sidelines after a pay and play injury involving my own feet, the floor and a Wednesday night in A&E.

Overall there was some incredible hockey played by all. A very eager Laura went on the pitch with her bib on (something the L4s definitely need to work on for next season), our defenders fought strongly, our attackers and mids did some fabulous running up the wings, Rhi and Zara did lots of shouting from the sidelines, Jack Chalk gave a very inspiring half time chat and the Percy Pigs were yummy.

The game reflected how much the L4s have come on as a team this season, getting to know and love each other. A gigantic 'THANK YOU' to Laura and Liz as captain and vice-captain this season, for managing the huge numbers of players for the Ladies 4s and 5s, ensuring we were putting out two fantastic teams each week and getting everyone games. MoM votes went to so many players, really reflecting the strength of the game, with votes going to: Laura (fantastic defending and brilliant captaining throughout the season), Nicole (good running and playing), Sammy (great defence), Katie (super defending), Lou (always being on the ball), Pauline (great space and clearances), with Alex getting MoM for her fantastic first time up front, having lots of breaks with the ball and working it around Ely’s defenders. LoM votes went to Laura for coming onto the pitch with her bib still on, with Zara getting LoM for being injured, not being able to play and, “Just for the season.” (New season, less lemons????)

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