U12 Lionesses through to County Cup Semi-Final!

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BHFC U12 Lionesses 2 – 0 Hornchurch Urchins U12
Scorers: (Lola & Mia)

Report by Mark Camley

January Blues (and Blacks)

It has been a long time since the Lionesses pulled on the traditional blue and black of Buckhurst Hill for a competitive match. Long enough for the most depressing day of the year, Burns Night and Australia Day all to pass. And as if that wasn’t shocking enough, time had stood still so long that it looks like Arsenal might even put on a title challenge.

But it was the Quarter Final of the County Cup and the pitch was (unbelievable for recent times) playable. It was an early start – allowing plenty of time for extra time and penalties. Thankfully (having watched penalty practice in training the last two weeks) it wouldn’t come down to spot kicks. It was through a bruising (black and blue) encounter with some rather robust challenges, along with some fraying tempers and heated words. Mind you the heated words were welcomed because despite the pitch being fine it felt freezing on the sideline.

The Lionesses started well and had a couple of early chances but waited until everyone (including Suzanne) had found a parking space and made it to the pitch side to open the scoring. The goal, when it came, was well worth the wait – Lola with a fantastic shot from around 20 yards. If there had been a commentator then all the cliches would have come out – “What a hit”, “Pick that one out”, “The keeper never got a sniff”. And all of them would have been well deserved.

The Lionesses continued to pass the ball well but the Urchins’ defence was pretty solid and there were few close chances at either end. Stuart made his team changes in the quarter, including goalkeepers – making it feel more like American football there were so many players swapping in and out. However, the pattern of the game didn’t change – with Hornchurch defending stoutly and trying to test the Lionesses’ defence on the break – and the half-finished 1-0.

The second half followed a similar pattern but was a bit more disjointed – a bit like a Seurat painting. Cliche bingo would have been on any commentator’s lips, with quips of “The match is finely balanced”, “This could still go either way”, and “At 1-0 it is still anyone’s game”. So it was with much relief to those supporting that Mia scored following up on Lola’s shot that came back off the post to “Put the game beyond doubt”.

So much to the relief of Stuart and to bring a potential all-Buckhurst Hill final closer to reality, the Lionesses “go marching on” – BINGO I hear you cliche spotters call. As a Hornchurch supporter said, “Buckhurst Hill deserved it, they passed the ball well and all the girls wanted the ball”. So with Muddy Waters as a soundtrack, the blues (and blacks) become celebratory.

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