Match Report
Repton School Girls 1st XI vs  Beeston National League Pre-Season Tournament
On: Saturday, 31 Aug 2019
Venue: Away

Pool Stages

Holcombe 0-2

Brooklands 0-1

University of Birmingham 3-0 (Claudia Swain 2 (F), (F), Ellie Barlow (F))

Stourport 2-0 (Georgia Brown (F), Joana Boehringer (PS))

Semi-Final

Beeston 0-3

Report

Following a pre-season playing against School teams, our girls were tested against National League Club sides and it couldn't have been a much more difficult start as they faced last year's Premier League winners, Holcombe. Their side featured several Internationals including Leah Wilkinson who was in our first ever National-winning squad (2005) and is now Wales' most capped sportsperson.

Despite enjoying a fair share of possession, especially in the opening ten minutes, we failed to create any openings as we failed to threaten forward and instead were content on retaining possession. Whilst it looked pretty and prompted positive comments from spectators, we actually weren't effective in creating anything meaningful in the attacking half. Holcombe's press forced a turnover in midfield midway through the game giving them their first scoring opportunity which they duly converted. Soon after they doubled their lead with their second. The game ended scrappily and a couple of chances did fall our way but we needed to show a little more composure.

A more positive performance followed against Brooklands (and another National Title winning OR, Annabelle Watton), but a continued lack of composure in the circle saw a number of wasted chances before we conceded a very soft goal that was poked in from close range. Although slightly deflating, this is exactly why we play these kind of games and prompted further improvements in the next games.

Our best performance was probably in our three-goal victory over UoB. Lily Walker created a good chance that Claudia Swain converted before she doubled the lead squeezing the ball in from close range. Ellie Barlow then broke clear and calmly finished beyond the UoB GK to secure the first points.

Joana Boehringer, calm and assured at the back throughout today, found Georgia Brown early in our game versus Stourport with an excellent aerial. Georgia collected the ball well and jabbed it past the GK as she came out to challenge her. Joana then converted a penalty after we had a shot saved on the line. Whilst we were showing a greater composure in the circle, we were also secure at the back with Scout Butler, Izzy Mansfield, Bea Bell and Bronte Brough beginning to gel and not allowing UoB or Stourport a single shot on target.

Our strong finish to the pool stages set up a Semi-Final against Beeston who overpowered us. They took their first two chances well and we struggled to build any structured play in to their final third. An excellent solo run from Claudia Swain bought a smart save from Beeston's GB International GK but that is all we could manage.

Our debutants Joana, Immi Swann, Luisa Northing and Sian Emslie all did well and looked as though they will all contribute well to the 1st XI this season. This is a very promising start for a talented group. Training over the next week will have some NAGS Assessments sandwiched in the middle. A friendly game on Saturday v Malvern with a number of absences will give a few more players opportunity to play before we select the squad for our first National Championship match against Sedbergh.