Football: U11 Girls Come Second in ISFA South East Tournament
On a rather wet and windy day last week, the Bede's Prep U11 Girls' Football Team left for the ISFA South East Regional Football Tournament.
After a long and windy journey we finally arrived at Ardingly College and began our first match against Royal Russell School, last year's winners of the tournament.
It was a very close match and the Royal Russell team had an exceptional player in midfield.
Despite our fantastic efforts of closing her down she eventually managed to have a free shot on goal and score the first goal of the match.
Our heads did not drop and we quickly set to work to try and score an equaliser. Izzy Atherton, Mimi Cisotti and Matilda drew the opposition towards them with their dribbling delights and then the ball broke free for Katie Fenton to shoot into the net and equalise - 1-1.
The second half was end to end, with both teams trying to create an opening for each other to score. Eventually Royal Russell broke free and despite Kirstin's magnificent efforts in goal our opponents scored another goal to win the match 2-1.
The second match was against Ardingly Preparatory School and we rotated the players around to ensure every member of the squad had a couple of matches.
Izzy scored an excellent goal with a well-taken and composed strike at goal: Naya was skilful and fast in placing the ball into the net as she dribbled along the back line (rather like Courtino's goal vs Blackburn in the FA Cup quarter-finals).
The last match before lunch was against Gatehouse Preparatory School and they had a lot of small, fast and skilful players. Their goalkeeper was pretty exceptional and if it hadn't been for her amazing saves we could have been at least three goals in front. Unfortunately this was not to be the case and we conceded a goal on the break again to lose the match 1-0.
The first half of the tournament allowed us to learn more about the positions and our roles on the pitch. Kirstin grew in confidence as the afternoon progressed making some fantastic saves at her feet, on the floor and an amazing tip over the cross-bar in the closing minutes of our match vs Gatehouse.
Following lunch we started to kick the ball with more power and purpose attacking the space in all three thirds of the pitch. Mimi was fantastic as an attacking wing-back (similar to Alex Scott) as she defended and counter-attacked with speed.
Milly moved forward onto the right and was Messi-like as she danced through her defence to pass the ball to Lizzie and Matilda to shoot.
Matilda was awesome in the middle pushing forward with momentum ensuring the team kept possession with penetrative passing and good ball skills.
Whilst Katie, Naya, Izzy and Lizzie combined up front Arabella, Amelia, Mimi and Izzy ensured all opposition were marked with good channelling, tackling and good team play.
Amelia really developed in her role as left back and quickly mastered how to control her defensive third and release her forwards and Izzy on a run through the central channel once she had taken the ball wide to switch the play.
Arabella was relentless in her marking and ran everywhere to close down the ball and Izzy insured she was everywhere supporting the passage of play as well as making runs into the attacking third to score some lovely goals, especially the final goal she scored against Ardingly to win the match!
The afternoon was filled with hideous weather yet glorious football. Well done girls!
At the end of the day, when the scores were totalled, the girls came second. More importantly, they demonstrated the potential they have with a little training and regular play.
Well done Bede's!