AKS 1st XI knew after defeat in their first encounter with Rossall at the start of the term the return fixture on home turf was going to be a close affair and so it proved to be but the team raised their game to turn the tables on Rossall and come out on top with a well earned 2 – 1 victory.
We started on the front foot and attacked at pace with England International Mollie M leading the line and linking well with Grace W and Mille D on the right but good Rossall defending regained possession before we could get a shot at goal. Great pressing and closing down by Alex C, Molly M and Mille D upfront provide a superb first line of defence and made it difficult for the Rossall back line to get the ball forward. Jade F worked hard on the left and superb defending by Sophie B thwarted the Rossall attacks. With both teams playing good passing hockey and many skilful individuals on show the standard of the game was excellent and in a close fought period we were first to break the deadlock when Molly M pounced on a rebound in the circle and her reverse stick shot found the corner of the goal to make it 1 – 0 after 15 minutes. Rossall responded immediately and attacked at pace but more great defending from Cally B, Lily H and Freya B-S along with everyone working hard to defend as units helped us maintain our lead. It was however, Rossall who scored the next goal when a good passing move down the right saw a superb cross find a player free on the left post and her first touch deflected it goalwards and Emily P could do nothing about it and the scores were level at 1 -1.
After the break we again started well and came close to going ahead again when another driving run from Mollie M saw her slip the ball to Sally S whose instinctive first time shot hit the post rolled along the line and just spun wide of the goal. In an end to end game Rossall were always a threat and only a super save from Emily P in goal stopped Rossall taking the lead. With Rebecca W, Mollie M and Grace W controlling midfield and working hard to contain the skilful Rossall midfield we enjoyed a lot of possession and played some superb passing hockey to attack at pace and won several corners only to see a Mollie M shot saved on the line. The whole team worked hard and got our just rewards 4 minutes before time when a well worked corner routine saw the ball played to Mille D wide on the right post, her first shot was saved but when the ball fell back to her she made no mistake in finding the net to take us into a 2 – 1 lead. With minutes remaining it was backs to the wall defending as Rossall pushed for the equalizer but more great team defending from Farrah D, Lily H and Sophie B and an excellent penalty corner defence saw us hold on to the lead and at the final whistle we were celebrating a 2 – 1 win.
The whole team deserve credit for a superb team performance but players of the match were awarded to jade F for her work rate and hassling and Sophie B for her excellent defending.
The game was a superb advert for school hockey with both teams playing excellent hockey and many skilful individuals on show. The close score line reflects how well matched the teams were with AKS having bragging rights on this occasion.