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Match Reports, Team Jottings and Diary of a Season
Hethersett Athletic's newest team, U11 girls, travelled away to Dereham Town for their first ever match. The team are one of six teams to have entered the Norfolk Women's & Girls League and league matches will begin in November. Today's match was a friendly against another new team so competition was fairly even. The
girls are managed by Joe Cooper and currently have a squad of 12 players. Training takes place at Easton College on Monday nights, 7-8pm.
Earlier this week a kit was kindly donated to the club by West Norwich Girls. The girl's have a kit on order but were
gratefully receptive of this. It was quite large though and even when the girls tucked the shirts in, the shirts then re-appeared out of the bottom of the shorts. Still, this was irrelevant and the girls proudly came out of the changing rooms, sleeves rolled up, so they could see their hands, and ready to go.
TEAM: Adelaide Mott, Alice Wells, Teagan Faulkner,
Sophie Rock, Sophie Cook, Nancy Bussey, Emma Bunn,
Danielle Homer, Georgia Clements, Constance Canning.
November 18th: Aylsham 1 Hethersett 3
Hard work on the
training ground certainly brought results.
The girls met Joe and
Tim at Aylsham, everyone arriving on time. The ground was a bit on the
heavy side following the rainfall late Friday afternoon but it was a
glorious morning the sun was shining very brightly.
As has become the
custom over the early games so far this season an early arrival by all
the Hethersett players allowed for Joe to do a quick run through what
had been practised in training the previous Monday while Tim took our
aspiring young keeper Alice to one side for some warm up practice.
During this warm up period Joe very astutely noted that due to the grass
being fairly long and the heavy under foot conditions that the ball
would need to be passed quickly. He
conveyed this to his players, as things go the first few moments of the
game brought a few new lessons to our fledgling side. Aylsham were
awarded a corner which the Hethersett girls defended well in the first
instance. However, the ball broke loose to the edge of the area and an
Aylsham player then had a good shot on goal the ball passing two players
before creeping in at the near post with Alice in very close attendance
but not quite able to get to the ball.
With roughly five minutes gone one or two of the players looked at each other for the next ten minutes or so and Aylsham enjoyed good possession, passing and moving well. At this point Aylsham appeared to have the measure of our team. However, with good support from the sidelines the team kept its shape and gradually the one and two touch passing game started to come together. As the half continued the back line of three that Joe had put together came to terms with the job in hand. They chased, they ran for every ball, they listened and acted on the instructions given. Hethersett were playing a relatively controlled game at this point.
Further corners were
conceded but the lessons of the first five minutes were taken on board
and the defenders picked up their opposition players, got to the second
ball and became increasingly well marshalled by Alice. The old saying
that “every thing comes to he (or in this case she) who waits” came
good as the girls kept the ball moving and just before half time a
sweeping move down the right hand side brought a goal of real quality
scored by Adelaide. The goal was well received by the travelling parents
and the girls continued to improve their passing game with the
confidence of the equaliser.
Half time arrived and
Joe delivered a team talk which must have been of unprecedented
motivation as once the girls took to the pitch for the second half it
was only a short while before Hethersett took a 2 – 1 lead with the
goal being scored by Sophie.
The team were now playing further into their opponents' half with the defenders trying to hold a high line, which in general worked really well. As the girls from both teams started to tire slightly the pace began to slacken. As a spectator no one could really fault either team as they were both making huge efforts to chase and close down players. In a five minute purple patch Hethersett played some very good football adding a third goal by Adelaide. The game finished 3 –1 but that does not tell the true story of the final period of the game.
Aylsham changed their
formation during this period and put the Hethersett goal under pressure
on several occasions Aylsham had two fine efforts saved by Alice who
earlier in the game had also come out on top with a one- on –one with
their forward and for Aylsham their goalkeeper also foiled two good late
efforts as Hethersett had worked the ball forward well to create scoring
positions. The final whistle arrived and it would have been hard not to
admit that the girls deserved their win. The game was well contested by
both sides who both tried to play good football on the floor. The
referee contributed to deliver a flowing game as much as was possible
under the conditions, for which he should receive thanks from both
The really special
thing about this game was that drills and practice that had been run
through the previous Monday night at training were the cornerstone of
the success, for this the girls must take great credit. Having seen the
team in action in most of the games they have played to date the
progress is staggering and Joe Cooper has done an incredible job as the
team remain undefeated. If the girls all stick together it bodes well
for many of these players to go on and follow in the footsteps of the
illustrious all conquering ladies team at Hethersett and could in the
future find themselves playing against the likes of Arsenal, Crystal
Palace and other heavyweights of the ladies game.
Good work girls keep it up
TEAM: Adelaide Mott, Alice Wells, Teagan Faulkner, Sophie Rock, Sophie Cook, Nancy Bussey, Emma Bunn, Danielle Homer, Georgia Clements, Isobel Wells.
provides the steel for another fine home performance
2nd December 2006
Hethersett under 11 girls again provided a fine performance in their match against Blofield today. We were very lucky with no rain and the air temperature being of a more than reasonable level for the time of year.
The team were without the Wells sisters who were
away in London this weekend however the squad is such now that this was
not too much of a problem Constance Canning was given a quick
goalkeeping refresher by Tim while Joe followed his tried and tested
pre-match routine with the rest of the girls before kick off.
With Constance warmed up Tim changed from goalkeeping coach to match official and checked both teams boots etc ready for the off. I decided to take up a position behind the goal that Hethersett were defending. From the off the girls were quickly on the attack and in a very short space of time found themselves a goal ahead
(Sophie) I believe it was only the second attack of
the half. They continued brightly and were awarded one of only two or
maybe three free kicks awarded in the entire game. The free kick was on
the edge of the penalty area and from the kick the ball went narrowly
wide of the goal post. Danielle was running the defence and reading the
game exceptionally well which in turn allowed the team as a whole to
spread the play, the game was being played at an excellent pace and
considering the commitment level from both teams it was surprising that
half time was reached with no further gaols.
At half time the girls were encouraged to try to
get the ball quicker into the wide areas of the pitch as it had been
noted in the first half that Blofield were very keen to clear their
lines when we were moving forward this had resulted in Blofield
conceding possession to a throw in on numerous occasions allowing
Hethersett to get the ball wide down the flanks. As in the first half
Hethersett started with a bang Teagan scoring a nicely taken gaol. At
this point two goals to the good Hethersett had a slight drop in their
tempo and indeed it was during this period that Danielle convinced me
she was our player of the match, Blofield were now enjoying a fair bit
of possession in our last third Connie made some fine saves Danielle was
shifting the defence pulling back the mid-field. There were two moments
of real class during the course of the second half one involving
Danielle and the other Sophie Rock which I will come to in a moment.
Danielle was standing just out side her own penalty area she had two
players arriving from each side she calmly waited for them both to
arrive within a few inches of her she then moved the ball from one foot
the other took two steps forward leaving her two opponents facing each
other with about an inch between them. As tends to be the case in
football the attitude and perseverance of the Blofield team eventually
brought them a goal a good finish from a loose ball just outside the
area. The girls still had some way to go to make the game safe however
my thoughts at this time could not have envisaged the quality of the
final goal of the game. During the final throws of the game Joe had
encouraged the girls to push forward and shoot, well to say that Sophie
took him at his word would be an understatement “Rocky” as she is
know picked the ball up travelled a distance over the ground then let
rip with what was a thunderous shoot from long distance the poor
goalkeeper stood no chance. It was as I say another moment of class from
our very quickly developing team. This goal of course made the game safe
with the girls finishing with a richly deserved 3 – 1 victory. The
game was play in great spirit by both teams and I am sure the girls will
be looking forward to the return latter in the season.
In any other game “ Rocky” would have been
recognized as the player of the game for her excellent strike however
such was the influence of Danielle on the game as a whole I think she
just piped it for me.
On behalf of Joe and Tim and the girls I would also
like to thank the parents and supporters who on more than one occasion
broke into song during the course of the second half and also for their
support of the raffle held at the game.
We have also now secured some shirt sponsorship for the girls from Crompton Lamps there will be more information and detail on this in the near future.
TEAM:Constance Canning, Emma Bunn, Danielle Homer, Sophie Cooke, Teagan Faulkner, Adelaide Mott, Sophie Rock, Nancy Bussey, Georgia Clements, Erica Hall
Hethersett Under 11s 1st Loss of the
Season - December 9th
No body could have do anything about it, On
Saturday Hethersett suffered their first loss of the season as Georgia
played her last game for the team before leaving for pastures new in
Australia I am sure our loss will be some other teams gain down under.
By some strange coincidence Georgia was captain for
the day however for some reason the captains armband was not worn (I
think this may have been some new covert scheme that Joe and the girls
had worked out)
The game started with a change of faces from the
last game Alice was restored to the goalkeeping position and Izzi came
in playing left side of defence. The girls are obviously now very sure
of what they can and can not do as again on our travels they decided to
left the opposition (Red Rose in this case) have an early one goal
start, in fact only fine minutes had passed when they conceded the
opening goal. A well placed shot from their player managing to put the
ball round Alice from the edge of the penalty area. So one nil down with
only five minutes played, Joe shouted some memorable words (which I
can’t remember) something along the lines of being here before, hard
The girls responded and started to play some
reasonable football on 15 minutes the equalizer was delivered with
Teagan finishing really well. Just like buses after waiting some 15
minutes for our first goal the second arrived little over a minute
latter the goal scorer again being Teagan The game was slightly more
physical than the last couple of games but again was played with great
attitude by both sets of players. Half time arrived with the girls still
2 –1 in front.
Joe made some changes for the second half with
Georgia coming off for a rest, for a period during the second half Red
Rose gave the girls a real run for their money however Joe urged the
girls on from the side lines and again lessons in shape and discipline
allowed the girls to stand firm during this period Alice made a couple
of really decent saves, one from a one-one which she seem always to come
out on top and the other a really great double save where from my
vantage point she seemed to be crawling around the goal line on her
hands and knees ( As they say goalkeeping is a dirty job but some one
has to do it !) After a period of time the team appeared to get a
second wind one thing I do know is that our team has had more stamina
than all the teams we have played so far this season undoubtedly down to
Monday night training. For those of you that have read my utterance on
the last game you will recall how in our last game Sophie Rock scored a
spectacular long distance goal well today just to underline the fact
that this was no fluke she again contrived to score a gaol of equal
quality, she may have been slightly closer to gaol this time however the
outcome was the same a perfect strike goalkeeper no chance!
So there we were 3-1 up the game as good as won
despite the fact that Red Rose kept plugging away and still looked
capable of catching us on the break as the girls continued to press
forward for further goals. The final goal arrived to make the final
score 4 – 1 to Hethersett. Teagan being credited with a shot which hit
one of their players before finding the net. I was the official goal
adjudicator judging that had the ball not hit their player it would have
still gone in. So another first for the team a hat trick for Teagan
(the first of many we hope) not bad for a player who before her
international transfer played most of her football in defensive roles.
This game again was a truly superb team performance and I am pleased to
note that as things stand Hethersett top their league by three clear
points with almost half of the fixtures completed the team as a whole
should take great satisfaction from what they have achieved thus far but
must remember that the final product they produce on a Saturday morning
is the fruits of hard work, application and good attitude to learning.
They are now a scalp to taken for other teams playing against them and
their continued success will be down to working harder and harder to
maintain their performance level.
On behalf of the girls Joe, Tim and Sue I would also like to thank Georgia for her efforts for the team in very simple terms she will be missed enormously we wish her and her family well in their adventure in Australia.
We will be thinking of you when you are gone please try to stay in touch and look out for my waffle on your team on the club web-site you will always be one of our team where ever you are, you were here when we started something which is very special and good.
Again before we break for Christmas I must thank the parents for the exceptional support the team has received.
On a different note I know many of you know that Hethersett operates innumerable teams at all age levels and genders and I do have to admit that I have become quite a fan of the ladies team this year managing to be at most of their games. For any one at a loose end on a Sunday I thoroughly recommend going and giving them a look they are flying high at the top of their league have turned Easton College into something of a fortress and to boot are playing some very attractive football having also recently acquired a goal machine now playing upfront their latest exploit being the 7 -1 destruction of Brentwood Town who are the only team to have taken all three points from them earlier in the season a narrow 4-3 loss. This team has the potential to go a very long way with the emerging talent on board the only thing holding them back being their manager Toastie (Joke Toastie !)
This team deserves more support and I can honestly
say I have derived more enjoyment watching them this season than my
yellow and green team who over the years I have followed near and far at
If you are tempted to come and give them a look
please do so, you will be afforded a warm welcome by every body involved
however remember to bring some small change as Sue Milne is quite handy
with a raffle ticket book.
If you are able to offer any form of help to any of the club teams this is always gratefully received, else where on this site you will find a definitive list of contact names.
the return to training last Monday it looked mid-week as though Saturday
would be game less for the girls as the Pitch at Easton at been partly re-turffed
and was still water logged however the intervention of Jon Eaton from
Norfolk County F.A. facilitated the fixture being reversed from Easton –
Docking, for his help and everyone at Docking who enabled this fixture to
go ahead I would like to place on record sincere thanks from everybody at
Cooper phoned early Saturday morning to confirm that the game was going
ahead, Tim and I set off and after one false turn in Docking arrived to
find that we were the first arrivals at Bradmere Lane. As I had missed the
turning I walked back down the hill to ensure that everybody found the
ground (it is always an anxious wait at away games when travelling
independently) once every one expected had arrived Joe and Tim readied the
girls for the start of the game.
game started with Hethersett playing downhill into the sun, knowing that
Docking had played only a few games we did not really know what to expect.
Hethersett enjoyed good possession of the ball in the early stages played
much of the game in their opponents half forcing several corners.
Hethersett battled away to get the opening which their played deserved it
was evident that some of the fluency from the pre-Christmas games was not
on show and that Docking were a well organized team the later possibly
having an effect and the flow of the game.
around fourteen minutes
Hethersett scored to take the lead through
Teagan. The pattern of earlier play continued with the girls pushing on
for further goals this at times leading to a few scares at the other end,
the defence as a group were mopping up most of what came their way and on
the few occasions the defence was breached our ever improving goalkeeper
Alice was on hand to deal with the shots that came her way.
time arrived, Joe spoke to the girls calmly about the game and dictated a
few tactical changes with the hope that this might open the game out a
bit. The second half got under way and after a short period of time a
second goal was scored this time by Sophie Rock.
On most occasions this season after giving themselves some
breathing space the girls have gone on to up the performance and play some
very good football, but today they struggled to find that next gear,
Docking were improving as the game progressed and were out fighting us in
some areas of the pitch there was much to be admired in their performance
especially for a team which had only played a handful of games.
around ten minutes of the second half the hard work of Docking brought
them a well deserved goal there was no doubt that in this period of play
Docking had the bit between their teeth and looked likely to rescue a
point from the game.
continued to enjoy good procession and again on a number of occasions
worked further good openings.
teams made substitutions we then had a passage of play which with out
doubt decided the outcome of the match Docking scored an extremely good
goal with a flowing move which took them form deep in their own half to an
excellent shot from just outside the goal area which Alice stood no chance
of saving however the young ref had already whistled to stop play for an
injured player in their own half ( Who would be a referee! ) I am not sure
if his decision was right or wrong (although I did discuss at length with
Tim on the way home) I guess he knew this was a kids game and at this age
level you really do have to put the welfare of the children first.
The injury was dealt with however it should be noted that the
injury was such that the girl had to be helped to leave the field and
unfortunately for Docking this also now gave Hethersett a player
the girls came to terms with this advantage they spread the play and I
think it was inevitable that they went on to score further goals through
Teagan and Sophie Rock. The
final score was a very flattering 5-1 to Hethersett, the record books will
show another good away win however for those of us that witnessed the
match we know how easily this could have been our first loss.
things being equal we look forward to entertaining Docking at Easton pitch
girls may remember being told that it is tough getting back to levels
achieved after the Christmas break they will need to remember this with
our return fixture next week.
We have set ourselves high standards to which we must return, high concentration, playing as a team, best foot forward with us deciding the pattern of play.
February 10th Wendene Warriors 2 Hethersett 3
TEAM - Sophie Rock, Sophie Cooke, Nancy Bussey, Constance Canning, Erica Hall, Danielle Homer, Alice Wells, Isobel Wells, Adelaide Mott
February 24th Blofield 3 Hethersett 1
TEAM - Sophie Rock, Teagan Felknor-Edwards, Alice Wells, Isobel Wells, Emma Bunn, Constance Canning, Danielle Homer, Adelaide Mott, Erica Hall, Nancy Bussey.
March 3rd Hethersett 4 Red Rose B 1
TEAM: Sophie Cooke, Adelaide Mott, Nancy Bussey, Erica Hall, Sophie Rock, Alice Wells, Emma Bunn, Teagan Felknor-Edwards, Isobel Wells, Danielle Homer
April 1st Hethersett 6 Docking Devils 0
TEAM: Sophie Rock, Sophie Cooke, Adelaide Mott, Nancy Bussey, Teagan Felknor-Edwards, Constance Canning, Emma Bunn, Sanielle Homer, Erica Hall.
April 8th Hethersett 1 Aylsham 1
TEAM: Sophie Rock, Sophie Cook, Adelaide Mott, Constance Canning, Erica Hall, Nancy Bussey, Emma Bunn, Danielle Homer
April 18th Hethersett 4 Wendene 0
TEAM: Alice Wells, Isobelle Wells, Adelaide Mott, Sophie Rock, Sophie Cooke, Constance Canning, Erica Hall, Emma Bunn, Nancy Bussey, Danielle Homer
April 28th Hethersett 0 Aylsham 2
TEAM: Sophie Rock, Sophie Cooke, Alice Wells, Teagan Felknor-Edwards, Erica Hall, Constance Canning, Emma Bunn, Nancy Bussey, Adelaide Mott. Danielle Homer