Sunday, 14 October 2012

Notts County Ladies 7 v Appleby Frodingham Ladies 0 - EMWFL Div. 1 North

Sunday 14th October 2012
at Church Road, Linby
East Midlands Women's Football League, Division 1 North
Notts County Ladies (2) 7
Jasmin Bear 17, Alex Johnson 32,
Courtney Walker 57, 63, 84, 88,
Anna-Maria Casey Hoerton 85
Appleby Frodingham Ladies (0)
Admission Free, Programme not issued, Attendance not many.
Left click images for larger versions.
Hmm, match referee Daniel Taylor meant well I'm sure, but sometimes there is a very narrow dividing line between asserting your authority on a game and making yourself look completely silly.
For the record, the game was running smoothly enough, without much need for the referee to intervene very often and was hardly what you'd call ill tempered or niggly at all, in any way, shape or form.
In fact, although a few of the players skill quota and in one or two cases, fitness levels, were questionable, their conduct was exemplary.
And that goes for both teams.
But after extending the half time break to over 20 minutes, for reasons known only to himself, Mr Taylor summoned all of the players over to the side of the pitch, before the start of the second half and ordered them not to shout out to, or at, their team mates, in either a loud or aggressive manner.
You what!?
So pray tell, how on earth are they meant to communicate then?
Telepathy maybe.
Geeing team mates up, warning them of the impending arrival of opposition players (the term 'man on' is still prevalent in the women's game) and asking for the ball and letting your team mates know your whereabouts, is all part and parcel of the game.
Did you just speak young lady?
Quite often when a team's performance has gone a bit flat, you'll hear qualified coaches calling out for players to make some noise and liven things up a bit, or captain's rallying their troops.But I've never, in all my 45 years of being a football fan, heard anybody ask any team to be quiet and play the game silently.
For the first ten minutes or so of the second half the game was played in a slightly surreal atmosphere, where you felt almost obliged to whisper comments to the people stood around you, but thankfully the players were soon back in full voice and the referee had seemingly forgotten about his centre stage stealing moment of over the top histrionics, where he's tried, vaingloriously, to assert his authority, but had most likely actually lost the respect of everyone present at Church Road with his bizarre 'pep talk'.  
A lot of County's attacking play came directly from goal kicks, but they weren't a direct or long ball team by any stretch of the imagination.
The Frod goalkeeper, didn't get any power or distance behind any of her goal kicks or clearances whatsoever, which meant there was a 50/50 chance that any County player lurking around the edge of the visitors penalty area, would be gifted the ball in an advantageous position, facing the target, while the visitors keeper was still making her way back across her goal.
I know coaches, very good ones at that, who hate to see outfield players taking goal kicks, but if your keeper is barely making 20/25 yards with her efforts and more often than not the opposition are benefiting from it, then it's time to ignore everything you learned on the way to your coaching badge and employ an outfield player who can at least propel the ball far enough to keep it out of harms reach, to do the job, and then work with your keeper to improve their technique during training sessions.
Right then, apologies if any of this is incorrect, I only know the identities of about half of the Notts County side and only a couple of 'Frod' players names; so here goes nothing:
On 17 minutes, Jasmin Bear opened the scoring with a cross cum shot from out on the right wing that completely wrong footed the visitors keeper.
At this point Appleby Frodingham hadn't ventured anywhere near the County penalty area yet.
On 27 minutes the visitors finally attacked, but their efforts were curtailed by a raised linesman's flag before they squeezed the ball over the line.
Just after the half hour mark, Jasmin Bear put over a dangerous cross from the right wing that Alex Johnson headed home at the back post, to put County in control of a game that the visitors weren't really getting grips with at all.
HT: Notts County Ladies 2 v Appleby Frodingham Ladies 0
Courtney Walker's been scoring a lot of goals for the Magpies recently and she claimed herself another one on 57 minutes, when she fired home unchallenged with an angled drive from the right hand side of the box and shortly afterwards helped herself to another goal, with a headed goal, which once again went unchallenged.
There are two schools of though here: 1) The Frod defence weren't very good at 'man' marking, or 2) Courtney Walker's spatial awareness and movement off the ball is excellent.
I think, that although the Scunthorpe based visitors defending was out of sorts at times and non existent at others, I'm going to award Walker's option 2, a 70/30 ratio win in that debate.
I don't like criticising any team on this blog, but I think it's fair to say that Appleby Frodingham didn't really make much of an impression on the game and weren't very good today.
Local bloggerist and all round good bloke, Malc Storer, who joined us for an afternoon of fresh air and sunshine, wasn't impressed by the standard of the game, but you'd think, that as a Hucknall Town season ticket holder, he'd be used to this kind of thing.
On 84 minutes, Courtney Walker received a goal kick directly from Frod's goalkeeper, twenty yards from goal, took two steps forward and belted the ball home to complete her hat trick.
And within sixty seconds Anna-Maria Casey Horton, came straight off the subs bench to fire home County's sixth goal.
With two minutes remaining, Courtney Walker ran onto a well time knock over the visitors back four and completed this afternoon's rout, with her fourth and Notts' seventh goal.
It wasn't all Nadia Ballantyne's fault, she had ten outfield players who could've done a bit more as regards protecting her goal over the course of the game too.
FT: Notts County Ladies 7 v Appleby Frodingham Ladies 0
Next up: Tomorrow night, Staveley Miners Welfare U19 v Pinxton U19, NMU19L Division 1