Matlock Baileans’ fifths faced a skilful and well-organised Amber Valley on Saturday and it was the old cliché of a game of two halves.
The first half saw Baileans pinned back by the opposition due to their quick passing.
Baileans were chasing shadows and found themselves 3-0 down at half time. However, an inspirational talk from captain Lauren Craven saw a very different Baileans team emerge onto the pitch.
The second half saw the whole team step up a gear and put in a more resilient and gritty performance. Netty Reddish made tackle after tackle and deservedly shared woman of the match with Chloe Farmer, who marshalled the midfield with Fran Lilley. Both seemed to be everywhere.
The whole team were a tight defensive unit and worked with energy and passion. Man-to-man marking put pressure on the opposition and more interceptions and tackles were made, allowing Baileans to win the ball, keep possession and attack.
Liz English was cat-like in goal and made save after save, backed up by Rachel “Raymondo” Hunt and Jenny Allwood with hard hitting tackles.
Theresa “Trixie” Windle’s workrate was superb, as was Lauren’s, helping to take the ball from a defensive position into attack.
The younger players in the team are improving every week with further game experience.
Becky Doxey, Becca Knowles, Jenny Brown, Nadine-Jadine Parkes and Lottie Frazer are gaining confidence and learning to be more robust when in possession of the ball.
The final score was 4-0 to Amber Valley, but the second half was an exhilarating and competitive battle between the two teams and Baileans showed they can put in a determined performance.