|Date||17 September 2016|
|Team||Ladies 1st XI|
|Opposition||Wisbech Town 3|
|Venue||Horncastle Hockey Club - Astroturf Pitch|
|Result||W 1 - 0|
|Time played||Normal time|
After being promoted at the end of last season and the work gone into funding a new pitch, the team wants to get off to a strong start. Pre-season training had not gone as smoothly as we would have liked through no fault of our own so understandably there was some anxiety in the changing room. Our opponents Wisbech were the other team to be promoted from our league last season pipping us to the top position, so there was determination from the team to settle a score.
The game started with Horncastle managing to main a lot of the possession but struggling to get the ball forward. The defence were patient and managing to move the ball around well between themselves. Once the nerves had settled we started to drive the ball forward with a couple of great chances at goal that couldn't quite find the target. The whole team Working back together to put pressure on the Wisbech counter attacks. The pace of the game quickened with the ball travelling end to end and the fitness training was being put to the test. At the end of the first half the game remained 0-0.
The second half began and both teams hungry for the win. With good runs down the wing from two of our newest players Lottie Hopwood and Fliss Beall looking dangerous. Eventually those runs paid off and secured a series of short corners. The second, injected by Tamsin Roark and a strong shot by Stephanie Brayshaw, resulted in the first goal of the season and putting Horncastle into the lead. Wisbech trying to come back at us meeting a resilient Horncastle back three in defence. A Wisbech attack lead to conceiving a short corner in the last 10 minutes of the match. Good work from the defence and goalkeeper kept them at bay. Horncastle continued to push forwards as well with more good runs and playing the ball round but struggling to find the back of the goal, leaving the final score 1-0.
Overall a really positive start to the season, a good win over a strong Wisbech team. There have been a few changes in the team with some of our more experienced players being unable to play this season, meaning that we have a number of younger players stepping up into the team. Today they all really got stuck in and working hard with the ball, including Lottie Hopwood who won the honour of Man of the Match, which is very exciting for the future. Next week we will be travelling to Newmarket for our second match.