On a beautiful sunny spring afternoon (Wednesday 20th March), the Stretton Handley team travelled to Grassmoor for their first league match after the winter break.
Stretton started very well and within 4 minutes took the lead through a wonderful strike by LH as she swept the ball into the bottom corner. 1-0. However Stretton looked nervous in defence and gave away a corner which resulted in a cross hitting a defender and trickling into the net, 1-1. Stretton lost their concentration and again from a corner the Grassmoor attacker scored a good header which put them in the lead. Stretton equalised soon after with a long throw from LH which was flicked on by LR allowing MH to tap the ball into the net, 2-2. Just before half time GH and GT made a couple of good tackles but couldn’t stop a long range shot which flew past goalkeeper MH. Half time 3-2 Grassmoor.
After a team talk involving shooting more and being tighter in defense, Stretton scored in the first minute of the second half to equalise. A good tackle and pass by RJ left LR with the ball near the half way line. LR looked up and fired a rifle of a shot into the top corner. Nobody would have saved the strike! 3-3. Stretton grew in confidence and KH played a good ball to LH who managed to knock it forwards to MH who dribbled through and shot into the roof of the net, too powerful for the keepers out reached arm. Stretton were back in the lead, 4-3.
With 10 minutes to go a good piece of skill from the Grassmoor attacker saw him through on goal and he slotted it into the net to equalise and create a tense finish. 4-4. A tactical change saw LR move into defence to prevent Grassmoor from scoring anymore and it worked! Stretton piled on the pressure to try and score the winner but a counter attack from Grassmoor meant that the striker had what appeared to be a clear shot of goal. Up stepped LR with a diving block followed by Stretton goalkeeper MH to make a magnificent save with his legs to keep the score at 4-4.
With 1 minute left Stretton completed the comeback win. MH put pressure on a short goal kick by Grassmoor and managed to win the ball from the defender and then dribbled into the box and slotted the ball coolly into the bottom corner to complete his hat trick and the win for Stretton Handley 5-4.
What an end to end game with lots of good attacking on show by both teams. The Stretton team really played the game in good spirit with excellent support from the travelling parents. Player of the match, MH.
Next match is Thursday 28th March at home vs North Wingfield.