Baileans fall to heavy defeat in opener

Matlock Baileans endured a tough start to their MRHA Womens Premier League season with a 5-0 home defeat to University of Birmingham.

Matlock hadn’t had the ideal preparation for the season with the majority of the team not having played together.

However, the team whilst under pressure, held Birmingham until just before half-time when a midfield error allowed the visitors through to make it 1-0.

Matlock continued to battle away with the defence of goalie Ali Milyard, Ruth Whittaker, Rachel Moore, Laura Boddy and Jo Blackburn constantly soaking up the Birmingham attacks.

For a period of time, Matlock seemed to have a concentration lapse and allowed Birmingham to capitalise by scoring three goals in 12 minutes.

The midfielders of Gemma Phipps, Jody Carson, Sara Wain, Laura Donaldson and Iris Kleckova battled to create chances for the forwards but the well drilled Birmingham Uni never allowed the team to get into their stride.

The new players in the team, Nina Smedley, Niamh Wallack and Emily Renshaw, all showed they’ll be assets once the team has played more together.

Laura Boddy was awarded player of the match in her new position of centre back.

Meanwhile, there was great excitement for Matlock players last week when ex-Baileans player Ellie Watton came to put them through their paces at training.

Ellie, now a full-time hockey player and member of England’s Commonwealth Games squad, worked the U14 squad hard, putting them through their 3D drills on the new training pitch at Wirksworth and then spent time with the older club members, many of whom remember playing with Ellie when she was a junior at the Club.

Ellie brought along her silver medal from the Commonwealth Games to show the girls.