Bristol Brunel Academy, Bristol Women’s Casual League (7-a-side)
6th February 2016
Another fine victory for the Drocks saw them take their points tally into double figures and consolidate a top-half position against hitherto unbeaten opponents.
In a match dedicated to the Football Vs Homophobia campaign, the players could hardly have done the cause of social justice and equality more credit with a display of teamwork, determination and inspiration in the face of hostile elements.
Beginning brightly, the team capitalised on a following wind and the penetrating kicking of Alex to pin the Bristols back, and it was not long before leading goal scorer KP spun on a sharp assist from Harriet to guide the ball low into the net. Having established the advantage, it was over to the defence to deal with the inevitable backlash; with Hennie an imposing barrier and Meg R outbattling anyone with the nerve to take her on, and both using the ball calmly and accurately, the Drocks saw the first half out with few serious threats on their goal, a confident and constantly improving Alex diving low to cover a firm drive on the sole occasion the keeper’s skills were truly called upon.
With the gale in their favour, the Bristols ensured the result was never secure in the second period, but the Blues rallied round the badge, Harriet covering every soggy pellet and blade of artificial grass to keep the team moving forward, Shona an icon of dependable defending and Ruth a solid outlet on the counter-attack. There were some elegant passing phases too, with Bethan and KP in excellent form and Meg H intimidating the left-sided defenders with her willingness to run with the ball at her feet. One superb angled pass from Bethan narrowly evaded the oncoming Ruth in the Dragons’ most dangerous moment of the half.
A series of Bristols corners towards the end of the game had the Drocks chorus (the vocal powers of Sue thankfully recovered!) lifting the pitch of their singing and the quieter ones biting their nails, but the team—with the reassuring presence of Alex behind them—threw body and soul into defending the clean sheet. The crucial role of Meg R in this phase, winning every ball, thwarting every attempted cross, and clearing the danger deep into opposition territory at every opportunity, won her the Dragons Rock of the Day vote ahead of impressive competition (six nominees for the second successive game).
Congratulations to Meg, the squad and manager Ryan, and thanks to our indefatigable supporters Sue, Amos, Darrin, Anthony, Muzz and Amy M for taking a real soaking for the team. Special thanks are also due to The Bristols and referee Bob (can he whistle? YES HE CAN!) for supporting the FvH day and lining up with us in the post-match photos.
The only downer is that just one more game remains in what has been a fantastic season. It would be amazing if as many members of the club as possible could come along on the 5th of March and celebrate the finale with Dragons Rock. You won’t regret it!
Dragons scorer: KP 4
Dragons Rock: Alex; Beth, Harriet, Hennie (C), KP, Megan H, Megan R, Ruth, Shona.