Under 11 Girls

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Manager: Richard Santy

Mobile: 07736 618101

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Assistant Manager: Phil Wright

Mobile: 07557 048875

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The team play in the Leicester City & County Girls Football League – Under 11 Division

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Oadby Owls 2 Birstall United 6 - 22nd April 2012 (League)

 

Owls sunk by Birstall despite Lois' brace

The U11 girls finished their first season with a galant home defeat to an accomplished Birstall side. Birstall have demonstrated where the bar needs to be set for next year as they played attractive passing football in a good spirit, in front of a sporting group of supporters. On a day when many of the girls put in accomplished performances, captain Lois bagged two more goals to complete her seasons tally of 12. It was a failure to clear corners that was to be the Owls un-doing on the day.

Oadby were uncharacteristically slow out of the blocks and were overawed by the superior size of the Birstall girls, who had four girls pushing 5'9" in their team. A early corner was turned off Amie's hand onto the post and just over the line. The Owls looked stunned. However Birstall relaxed and allowed Oadby back into the game. Within 5 minutes they were level, as Lois barged her way through the middle of the United defence and clattered the ball past the onrushing 'keeper. With their tails up the girls pushed for an impudent second, and we did not have long to wait. Lois controlled a goal kick and passed to Anna. Anna drew in a couple of defenders and then slipped the ball back to Lois just inside the United box. Lois shaped a beautiful low curling shot with the outside of her right boot that beat the Birstall goalkeeper as she dived down to her left. What a goal!

Birstall were stunned back into action, and with minutes they had hit the bar twice in the same attack, before Amie could mop up the danger. Birstall eventually drew level and then ahead, as a long range shot and neat finish from a high cross undid the Owls just before the end of the half. By now the Owls were warming to the task. Fran was back to her tigerish best as she harrassed and crunched the Birstall midfield. Amie was also in fine form performing a number of good saves as Birstall pushed to extend their lead still further. Anna started to probe forward, using her pace to out-run their defenders despite being out-numbered.

At the half Ema was switched into goal, and Amie took to the outfield for the first time this year. Katy was having one of her best performances for the Owls, linking nicely with Lois and Anna with some neat passing. Katy had a shot blocked in the early part of the half as she pushed forward to support the attacks. Sophie was more into her game in the second half and she fulfilled the sweeper role ensuring that Birstall did not get in on Ema's goal despite being out-numbered herself at times. However, it was from the resulting corners that Birstall nudged further ahead as Oadby failed to clear their lines. Ema was called upon to make some good saves from close range as the game drew to a conclusion. Lois, as all good captains do, willed her team-mates on to get one back and showed great determination and considerable skill in doing so. In the final minuted we were treated to some sublime skills from Lois, catching an Ema clearance with the inside of her foot, before overhead kicking the ball past and around her opponent. Finally Lois broke past three of the Birstall defenders and fed Anna racing down the middle. The two of them were clean through with only the goalkeeper to beat, but Anna's shot was well read by the keeper and she saved low to her left.

Player of the Day: Lois

Goals Scorers: Lois (2)

Cosby Cubs 0 Oadby owls 1 - 1st April 2012 (League)

A powerful strike from an acute angle ensured the Owls have given themselves a chance of stealing ahead of Leicester City if they can get a result against Birstall United in their final game. In glorious conditions and in front of a crowd of over 70 spectators, the Owls faced a stiff task with the bare minimum of seven players against the Cosby squad of 11.


From opening kick-off Oadby surged up the field and Lois presented Ella with a great chance to score, but her first time shot was well saved by the Cosby ‘keeper, who was to be kept busy all morning.

 

Lois soon got into her stride, hitting a couple of long shots which failed to hit the target, but signalled her intentions to get on the score-sheet. Suddenly Cosby were clean through, having outnumbered Sophie three to one. Their striker caught the ball too well and crashed her shot against the bar and over, much to the Owls relief.  Cosby started to apply the pressure now, mostly down the Oadby left.


Fran and Sophie were not in any mood to let them get another shot at Amie’s goal as they got to grips with the Cosby attack. Anna was able to exploit the space now afforded to her as Cosby were pushed into the Owls half. Anna had two breaks through the Cosby defence, but neither resulted in a shot on target. As half-time was called, the game could still go either way, although the Owls had now shut out the Cosby attacks.


Into the second half, and while the ball was now firmly camped in the Cosby half, a succession of corners and crosses did not create a clear cut chance. Meanwhile the Cosby goalkeeper was launching her clearances from one end of the pitch to the other. Oadby dealt well with this threat as Amie collected the balls or allowed them to got out. Just when it seemed a nervy and disappointing stalemate might result, Lois earned a throw-in down the left. Lois took it short to Anna who returned the ball immediately back, Lois took a steadying touch powerfully curly her shot goal-ward from outside the left edge of the box. The ball arrowed through the Cosby defenders and nestled into the bottom right hand corner of the net.

Oadby’s confidence instantaneously shot up, as Ema and Anna prowled in search of a second. The Owls appeared to be given the chance to create some breathing space when Cosy handled inside their box.  However Lois’ firmly struck penalty thudded against the foot of the left hand post. Within a minute Lois sought to make amends but her strong  shot was saved as it seemed destined to reach the top left hand corner. The game looked safe, but then an Amie’s goal-kick was intercepted and sent back towards her open net.  Only manager Rich Santy, who had the benefit of viewing the shot from other side of the pitch, was able to keep calm as the rest of the Oadby crowd held their breath before the ball bobbled harmlessly a foot wide of the left hand post. Phew! 

Player Player of the Day: Lois

Goals Scorers: Lois

Oadby & Wigston Girls 4 Oadby Owls 1 - 11th March 2012 (League)

The Owls put in a superb second half performance but somehow were on the receiving end of a 4-1 score-line which could easily have been reversed. After a cagey start the Owls were quickly behind as their local rivals were simply smarter out of the blocks. After ten or so minutes the Owls re-established themselves and came back into the game. Anna had a couple of runs and should have scored from close range but her left foot effort was to tame to beat the Oadby & Wigston goalkeeper. Midway through the half the Owls peppered the United goal with shots from Lois, Ema and Anna but could not break through. Sophie, Fran and Ella comfortably dealt with the United advances. Lois established herself with Ema in Midfield as the game became a midfield battle. But on the stroke of halftime a deflected (off Ella’s face!) shot crept over the line against the run of play.

In the second half, now playing with the breeze and down the slope, the Owls were dominant. Anna spurned another guilt edged chance at the start of the half. Powering past two defenders, and with only the retreating goalie to beat, her shot was again too timid to beat the keeper. Then came a succession of shots that could not find the target from almost every angle and position imaginable. Lois, Ema, Anna and Ella all had between them nine shots that all narrowly passed the posts. Then followed the move of the game as Anna picked the ball up in midfield, and played in Lois. Lois spread the ball wide to Ema on the right who cut inside her defender and curled the ball onto the bar. At the back Ella was putting in a top notch performance with some fabulous tackling.

When it seemed like there was never going to be a goal coming, the Owls finally found the net. Sophie broke down a United attack and fed the ball to Katie. Thinking quickly, Katis played the ball down the wing to Ema who in turn centred to Anna. Anna beat the United defenders and slotted the ball home low into the corner. Game on.

However, within a matter of minutes the owls conceded two rapid goals. The first was when, not for the first time, United were allowed to continue their attack despite a blatant and United clear arm stopping an Owls clearance. That took the confidence out of the Owls and the next goal went in before they could regain their composure. In a half where they could sensibly have scored five to ten goals they were left hanging on at 4-1. A brutally unfair result.

Player of the Day: Anna

Goals Scorers: Anna

Loughborough Foxes 4 Oadby Owls 1 – 26th February 2012 (League)

The Owls made the long trip out to visit top of the table Loughborough Foxes, and were unlucky to run out narrow losers although this was not reflected in the final score.

Keen to establish themselves at the top of the table the Foxes piled on the pressure in the first half forcing Sophie and Fran into some battling defensive work. Eventually the Foxes broke through the defence to open the scoring but were soon pegged back by Anna. As the Owls came back at the Foxes, Anna found herself in the box, her first shot was kept out, but Lois followed in but was also denied. However the ball came to Anna who side-footed home from close range.

 

Back came the Foxes calling Fran in particular into combat. Fran, assisted by Sophie, Katy, Lois and Ema, battled hard with the Loughborough keeping them at bay. But the Owls held out to the end of the half, leaving the scores level even if the Foxes had the balance of possession.

The second half took on the pattern of the first with Loughborough pressed up into the Oadby half and the girls repelling the attacks. However, Loughborough quickly got back in front despite the Owls best efforts to keep them out. The Owls re-organised with Ella and Fran now playing in front of Amie in goal. Sophie moved into the “Essien” role in midfield behind Ema and Lois with Anna playing off these two. Back came the Owls, against the run of play, with Anna having a chance to level the scores once more. However with the goal completely at her mercy Anna shot wide giving the Foxes a reprieve. Once again tired legs gave way to tired heads and Loughborough eventually managed to add some flattery to the score-line in the last ten minutes of the game. The Owls have once again proven themselves almost equal to the leaders of the league, what a difference a couple more players will make to this squad.

Player of the Day: Amie

Goal Scorers: Anna

Leicester City 2 Oadby Owls 1 – 19th February 2012 (League Cup)

After the enforced wintery break, the Owls returned with a tough away fixture in the League Cup against Leicester City Ladies. Goals either side of half time proved to be too much of a hill to climb despite a late Owls rally.

Whilst Leicester had managed to increase their squad even further, the owls had to patch together their eight players nursing a variety of injuries. The game got off to the worst possible start. A long range speculative effort bobbled unkindly in from of Amie and the Owls were behind inside two minutes. Leicester pushed on for a quick second, but Sophie and Fran were not going to allow them even a sight at goal. Amie did not need to make another save for the rest of the half. In midfield, Ella and Ema battled well with the imposing physical City opponents. Unfortunately they lost Lois, when one hard challenge too many put pay to the rest of her half, bring Katy to fill in on the left. The Owls struggled to create chance of their own, with the closest opportunity coming from Anna, whose break from a Lois through ball saw her shot go just wide of the post.

 

At half time Manager Rich Santy was forced to rally his beleaguered troops as they looked to be on the brink of submitting to the City pressure. Patching up several injuries and having to adjust his formation to accommodate the restriction caused by limping players, Rich sent them out to do battle once more.

Sadly the second half started in much the same way as the first. A powerful shot from the right gave Amie no chance and the Owls looked dead an buried. However no-one had told that to Sophie and Ella who continued to repost each and every City attack. When they did get through Amie was comfortable to make the saves needed to keep the score at 2-0. Ema, reinvigorated by the return of Lois started to put in some crunching tackles and begin those trademark surging runs. The tide began to tuen as it was Oadby pressing into the Leicester half in the final quarter of the game. Anna made a couple of bursts fed by first Katy and then Lois, but was unable to convert the tight chances. Then Ema picked up a Lois pass in midfield and breezed past the City defenders (think Peter Reid huffing and puffing behind Maradona, 1982 world cup), and her well placed shot beat the keeper and was heading inside the left hand post when Anna stole in to make sure from a couple of inches out. After the match Anna gracefully gave the goal back to Ema, but the dubious goals panel will have to make a ruling.

 

The Owls were not done, as they pushed forward from the solid foundations provided to them at the back. When Anna was felled just outside the box, Lois stepped up to put a free-kick just wide of the post. Then came the nearly goal of the season from Lois. Taking a throw on the right touchline halfway in the City half, Anna laid a cushioned volley back to Lois. Lois volleyed the ball high into the air, and it sailed towards the right hand top corner of the City goal. It seemed to catch the breath of every spectator a silenced greeted the ball as it careered back down to earth. Sadly whatever wind there was today just nudged the ball to the right of the post as it collided with the upright and went out off City’s otherwise stranded goalie. The was just time left on the clock for one of Sophie’s Delap-esc throw-ins to cause mass confusion in the box only eluding Anna’s outstretched toe by a few inches. While Leicester City will be going through to the next round, the Owls can once again hold their heads up high.

Player of the Day: Ema

Goal Scorers: Anna

Oadby Owls 2 Syston Bees 1 – 29th January 2012 (League)

The Owls continued their winning run with a close 2-1 win over the team one place below them in the table. The winning margin, in truth, would have been far more telling had it nor been for the heroics of the System goalkeeper who pulled off a string of outstanding saves

On frosty ground the owls started a bit cold, and did not look like they were handling the bumpy conditions. However, for the third week in succession they were ahead within three minutes. Lois picked up the ball in midfield and passed to Ema. Off the back of last week’s hat-trick Ema surged forward and let fly from just outside the area. The ball darted through a defenders legs leaving their keeper unsighted and routed to the spot at the ball nestled into the bottom left hand corner.

Syston came back at Oadby and enjoyed their best spell of the game. Amie made a couple of good saves including one at full length tipping the ball onto the foot of her left hand post. From the resulting corner Ema picked up Fran’s clearance and outpaced the Syston the defenders. Her low shot was just wide of the left hand post and Anna’s outstretched toe at the far post. Sophie was the next one to sortie forwards, picking the ball up at midfield she surged down the exposed Syston right, but her shot drifted wide of the near post. Not to be outdone Anna went on two defence splitting runs as Syston got caught pushing up into Oadby’s half. Her first attempts was very well saved by the keeper and her second excursion saw the ball bobble as she shot causing the ball to screw wide. From the resulting goal-kick Lois intercepted the ball and firmly planted the ball into the open net, from 25 yards out, before the ‘keeper had chance to get back into position. Syston’s drew a goal back just before half time to set up an interesting second period.

The second half saw Syston deploy three defenders in an attempt to block the marauding Owls runs seen in the first half. Anna soon got work with a run straight through the heart of the Syston defence, but their goalie made an incredible save at her feet. The Bees new tactics meant the Owls were now getting a number of corners. As Lois made a menace of herself in the box and when the balls were cleared out of the area Sophie sent it back in goal-wards with interest. Her third effort needed the keeper to get down smartly at her right hand post. Syston were not able to get out of their half as Katie, Fran, Ema, Lois and Sophie got stuck into some hard tackling giving the Bees no space to play. Unlike the last minute defeats the Owls suffered earlier in the season, they never looked in danger of losing their lead. For the final ten minutes of the half the ball rarely left the Syston half.

Player of the Day: Anna Goal

Scorers: Ema and Lois

Thurmaston Pink Panthers 0 Oadby Owls 5 – 22nd January 2012 (League)

With team Captain, Lois, not able to arrive until half time, the Owls were left with the bare minimum of players to start this away fixture. Anna took over the coin toss duties and won our first toss of the year! Electing to play into the strong wind the girls were once again off the mark within two minutes. Latching on to Sophie's long throw-in into the box, Anna controlled the ball between two defenders before slamming the ball home, following up her initial effort, which the keeper could only push back out with her feet. Thurmaston pressed for an equaliser using the wind to gain territory, but they were unable to threaten a redundant Amie in the Owls goal. Ema was in superb form, launching the Owls attacks with snaking runs down the Thurmaston right. Two Ema crosses within a minute of each other both found Anna, who was unlucky to see her first effort fizz wide of the post, and the second get deflected onto a post. Ema's next run was from a more central postion, this time she broke several Panther's tackles before smuggling the ball over the line to give the Owls a much needed cushion.

  

 The Owls continued to fight into the wind, as Thurmaston's long ball game had the effect of pressing the ball back into the Owls half. However, the Owls were able to break through the Thurmaston defence with a combination of Ema's runs and Sophie's howitzer throw-ins. Ema nearly scored what would have easily been goal of the season had it not cracked against the inside of the Thurmaston left hand post. Picking the ball up from a corner she ran the full length of the pitch zig-zagging between Panther tackles. In a run reminiscent of Michael Owen's against Argentina she finished the (ask your Parent's girls), she completed her run with a crisply hit shot from the just outside the box, which (unlike Michael's) was unfortunate to find the inside of the upright.

 

The second half started in a similar way to the first, with an early Owls goal. Anna took a quick throw down the right to Ema, who's initial touch looked to be too heavy, but as the Thurmaston keeper stooped to pick up the ball, Ema nipped in to poke it into the net.

 

 Lois was now installed to her familiar midfield role and her first touch was to head Ema's perfectly delivered corner goal-wards, only to see it strike a Thurmaston defender on the line and squirt wide. Thurmaston enjoyed a spell of pressure with some positive attacking of their own. However they failed to hit the target throughout the entire match. Sophie, Fran and Ella made sure of that, while Katy battled hard in midfield. A forth goal was coming and we did not have too long to wait. Sophie's long throw into the Thurmaston box was half cleared towards Ema. Dancing past a couple of challenges Ema slipped the ball to Anna, who finished strongly. Ema and Anna were now poised on two goals each, could either of them get a hat-trick? 

 

Anna could easily had six goals, but when clean through her shot was straight at the Thurmaston goalkeeper. With four minutes to go it was Ema, who completed her hat-trick. Lois and Anna combined well in midfield allowing Ema to run into the Panthers box. Again skipping past a couple of defenders she put the ball away at her third attempt, after the goalie had beaten away the first two attempts, Ema casually caressed the ball through the keepers legs. Her outstanding performance deserved the hat-trick and the Player of the Day accolade.

Player of the Day: Amie

Goal Scorers: Lois and Ema

Oadby Owls 1 Loughborough Foxes 3 – 8th Janury 2012 (League)

The Oadby Owls girls started 2012 in best possible way scoring inside the opening minute, but were unable to hold on to their lead against a polished Loughborough side. Pressing the Loughborough kick-off, Ema pressed the Foxes left back, winning the ball and played it square to Lois outside the Loughborough box. Anna forced her way onto Lois’ through-ball and, taking a couple of touches, smashed the ball through the Foxes ‘keeper from close range. Loughborough were rocked and did not look like the side second in the current table. However, as the game went on their playmakers started to find more of the ball and dragged their team back into the game. Sophie and Fran kept the Foxes attacks away from Amie’s goal, with relative ease to begin with.

 

Eventually Amie was called on to make three saves in the first half, each made comfortably as she demonstrated how she has stared to fit into the goalkeeper position. Anna probed forward with Ella and Ema in support, Lois put in the midfield tackles needed to stifle their opponents possession. In first half injury time, the Loughborough central midfielder made a surging forceful run through the Owls half and finished well, to level the scores just before half time.

Playing with renewed confidence, Loughborough got themselves into the lead just after half time, with a cross from the right finished from a yard out. Again the owls stuck to their task and Sophie kept their star striker quiet all half, as she got no joy despite being on the end of all of the Foxes moves. Every shot was blocked or taken off her toe, much to her obvious frustration. At the other end Oadby started to find the spaces left behind Loughborough’s high line. Latching on to an Ella pass Anna powered down the right hand side and centred to Katy. Katy got onto the end of the ball at full stretch only to see her effort slide wide of the left hand post.

 

A couple of minutes later, the Foxes centre forward finally got on the score-sheet, but she needed a bit of luck. A cross from the Oadby left found the striker who’s miss-hit shot span onto the post and landed again at her feet two yards out, from where she poked the ball into the empty net. Oadbt were not finished and pressed hard for another goal. Play switched to the Foxes half. Anna fired the ball high over the bar when Oadby created their clearest chance to score. Lois’ through ball allowed Anna to get between her two markers but her shot sailed over from 25 yards out.

Player of the Day: Fran and Ella

Goal Scorers: Anna

 

Leicester City 3 Oadby Owls 2 - 11th December 2011 (League)

The girls suffered another last minute defeat, having once again forfeited a lead in the tiring last few minutes of the game. In a physical encounter the Owls were able to more than match their sizeable opponents. The Owls opened the scoring when Lois played in Anna, who sped through the City defence into the box, at which point she was bundled unceremoniously against the post by several City defenders! This resulted in a penalty being awarded, the only foul awarded in the entire match. Lois cooly dispatched the penalty with a powerful driven finish. Anna was forced to take to the sideline to recover, but was forced to come back on wen Amie came off feeling unwell. City's brand of physical, combative football earned them a goal back, but they ran out of steam and the game slowed to a midfield war of attrition. Sophie and Fran were very comfortable dealing with the City forays forward, whereas Anna and Ema were forcibly kept away from the City goal

After half time City started to apply more and more pressure but the few times they did get a shot on goal, Amie was more than a match for them. Ella and Katy added some bite to the midfield tussle, and as the half wore on Lois came more into the game. From a throw in down the Oadby right Lois turned through some Leicester challenges and slipped a ball through to Anna. Anna charged past the last defender to crash the ball home from close range, and Oadby had retaken the lead. This lead looked comfortable as Sophie and Fran wrestled, sometimes literally, with the City attacks. Ema and Anna continued to probe down the Oadby right. However, with the game nearly won, Oadby conceded two late goals as tired legs and tired heads, left space for City to finally punish the Owls heroic efforts.

Player of the Day: Amie

Goal Scorers: Lois (pen) and Anna

Braunstone Trinity 4 Oadby Owls 1 – 27th November 2011 (League)

Playing again with only 7 players, the Owls found themselves under a constant and relentless pressure made worse by the early exit of Anna, due to a first minute injury. Braunstone, playing with the strong wind on their backs, kept a high line up the pitch which contained Oadby in their own half. Fran and Sophie battled hard at the back, whilst Lois, Katy and Ema tried to pick up the scraps of possession in midfield. Sophie chased back to clear the ball off the line, as the whole team clung on to stay in the game. However, Braunstone forged an unassailable lead in the first half despite Amie’s best efforts to keep them out when they did break through.

 

With Anna restored to give Oadby a seven in the second half, the game took a more balanced feel. Ema went close twice and started to craft some good crosses. Oadby passed the ball well from defence through midfield and into attack, with a Lois back heel to Sophie a particular highlight.

 

With five minutes left on the clock, Fran stole the ball in midfield and squared the ball to the advancing Anna, whose first time finish flashed inside the Trinity left hand post. By now Braunstone’s attacks were being snuffed out comfortably by Lois and Sophie, and Ema was marauding down her wing. However, it was too little too late as the Owls slumped to a fourth straight defeat.

Players of the Day: Ema and Sophie

Goal Scorers: Anna

Oadby Owls 1 Braunstone Trinity 2 - 13th November 2011 (League)

In the early exchanges Oadby found themselves under considerable pressure from their visitors, with Amie coming out twice to see off two gilt-edged chances in the first five minutes. Braunstone's territorial football was assisted by the extraordinary long throwing ability of their left back. But it was the Owls who scored first with a breathtaking break. Lois broke up play inside her own half and powered down the Trinity right. Her square pass to Ema cut one defender out and Ema blew past the second before squeezing a high shot past the advancing goalkeeper.

Trinity pressed Oadby again, and were unlucky to have a corner cleared off the line by Ella. Lois pressed back again, this time her surging run resulted in a low shot that the Braunstone goalkeeper saved well, low to her left. With Sophie, Fran and especially Ella putting in some battling work in midfield the game moved into a phase of stalemate. Neither team was able to create chances in dangerous areas. In the final minute of the half a long run by the Trinity #7 allowed drew the Oadby defence out of position and when the ball fortuitously found itself through to their striker, she scored from close range.

The second half continued in the pattern of the first, with Braunstone pushed high up the pitch into Oadby territory, but Oadby battling hard to keep them away from Amie's goal. Katy put in her best performance of the year with an exhibition of tacking and neat passing from midfield. But as the game looked like finishing a draw, a Braunstone short corner gave them a great chance to go ahead. Amie brilliantly saved their first effort, but as the ball rebounded out to a Trinity player her lob finish clipped the underside of the bar before dropping in over the line. A couple of minutes later Amie pulled off another incredible save, this time she needed firm hands to parry over a fierce shot destined for the top right hand corner. Pressing for an equaliser, Lois, Anna and Ema combined well to win a succession of corners at the death. But Trinity managed to put enough bodies between them and the goal to see out their win.

Player of the Day: Lois

Goal Scorers: Ema

Birstall United 2 Oadby Owls 1 – 6th November 2011 (League)

Oadby suffered their second successive 2-1 defeat at the hands of high flying Birstall. In the early stages of the game Oadby were in the ascendancy with Anna forcing a good save in their first attack. Ema was quickly threatening, and a trademark run and shot found the side netting in a frenzied 5 minutes. Birstall came back into the game as the half progressed and pressed the Oadby goal forcing Amie into a good save. Anna broke the deadlock on fifteen minutes with the goal of the game. Her high long-range shot flew over their goalkeeper, who in fairness had no chance in stopping the ball hitting the back of the net. Birstall’s response was sustained, with the Oadby defensive line of Ella, Fran and Sophie called into rear-guard action. But they did not have it all their own way. Another bursting run from Ema, this time almost the entire length of the pitch, almost doubled the oadby lead. Anna was alo unlucky to see her flicked effort fly narrowly over the bar. As half time loomed Birstall finally broke through the oadby defence with a well struck goal high into Amie’s net.

Into the second half Oadby continued to press hard. Katy and Lois working well in midfield, creating openings for Anna and Ema. Ema sent an agonising cross through the Birstall area but there was no Owl in a position to tap home the inviting ball. Oadby also hit the bar from a corner, but that was all that they could offer. Birstall’s fresh subs started to run the show, as a succession of shots drifted wide of Amie’s goal. It looked like they had done enough to earn a draw, but Birstall scored in the closing minutes to give Oadby heartbreak for the second week in a row.

There was just time for Sophie to showboat a high ball, blinded by the sun, perfectly controlled at her feet. The girls had stood toe to toe with the league leaders and proven they are a match for any team that visits Coombe Park.

Player of the Day: Anna and Fran

Goal Scorers: Anna

Oadby Owls 1 Cosby Cubs 2 - 30th October 2011 (League)

Oadby started very brightly and started to construct some accomplished attacking football. Sophie and Lois combined well for Anna early on, but her shot from inside the box crept past the Cubs post. However, Anna did not have to wait long to open the scoring. Lois’ fierce drive was parried up into the air by the cubs goalkeeper and it was Anna who reacted first to guide the ball home and the Owls into the lead. Katy and Fran once again formed a firm foundation to the Owls attacks, by not allowing the Cubs to create anything of note in the first half. Sophie, Ema and Lois were combing well in midfield with Anna terrorising the Cosby defence. However they were not able to extend their lead despite their superior possession and territorial advantage. Anna’s bustling run through the heart of the Cubs defence saw the ball against drift the wrong side of the post, while Sophie’s deflected shot saw a similar fate.

The second half left off where the first had concluded, with the game being played in the Cosby half. However, in this half Oadby were unable to create clear cut chances despite a succession of corners especially down Ema’s right hand channel.

Then followed sixty seconds of madness as two deflected shots, wrong-footed Amie in goal and the Owls were stunned and behind for the first time in the game. Now it was Cosby who camped in the Owls half as they pushed Oadby back for the remainder of the game. In a manner that an Italian side playing in Europe would have been proud of, they put a wall of four across the halfway line and punched the ball deep into the Oadby half whenever it came their way. Only Lois’ dipping long range volley was able to threaten the Cosby goal in the final few minutes. A game that was comfortably in their grasp had slipped away from the Owls, whose inferior numbers appeared to tell in the final phase of the game once again.

Player of the Day: Amie

Goal Scorers: Anna

Syston Bees 3 Oadby Owls 4 – 9th October 2011 (League)

With Amie and Ella both caught up in the traffic congestion caused by the Leicester Marathon, Oadby were forced to start the game with only six players. Syston on the other hand had a swarm of 15 to choose from, so not only were the Owls short on numbers their opponents had an army of fresh legs waiting on the sidelines. Facing up to this mammoth task it was Oadby who were the first team to go on the attack. Anna’s shot in the second minute was saved well by the Syston goalkeeper who was to be in fine form all afternoon. However within a minute Anna’s neat pass found Lois, her powerful shot flew into the net for a surprise lead that seemed to take the sting out of the Syston resistance. Oadby looked the more assured team on the ball and were able to link up across Sophie, Lois and Anna moving forward.

Suddenly at the other end, a high through ball glanced of Fran’s hand giving Syston a life-line from the penalty spot. Ema, in goal, stood her ground and easily saved the tame penalty, her second penalty save out of the two penalties she has faced this season. Working hard to cover every blade of grass on the pitch Oadby continued to create pressure. This marathon effort got the goal it deserved as Lois bulldozed her way through the heart of the Bee’s defence to force home her second goal. This time the net bulged at her second attempt, as Lois reacted first to mop up their goalkeeper’s initial parry. Syston were now run ragged and Oadby were marauding forward. The third goal followed quickly after the second as the move of the match saw Lois and Anna interchange passes before Anna, put clean through by Lois, swept the ball into the top left hand corner. Despite still only having six players it was Oadby hoping the half-time whistle could wait. As the late-arrivals Amie and Ella sprinted over to the pitch they were just in time to see Lois slide a measured pass to Anna through the Syston midfield. Galloping from the halfway line Anna slotted her finish casually into the bottom left hand corner. Four-nil up and a player down, what was going to happen when we had seven players in the second half?

Kicking off the second half Oadby swarmed forward in search of an immediate fifth. However as the ball reached the Syston ‘keeper, she launched a counter-attack resulting in the Bee’s pulling a goal back inside a minute of the restart. This gave them confidence and had the opposite effect on Oadby who now started to look tired from their first half efforts. Only managing a couple of corners the Owls failed to threaten the Syston goal. Syston earned a corner of their own which tamely trickled along the line. However, a defensive air-shot wrong footed Ema in goal and no-one could believe it when the ball thudded against the inside stanchion of the goal to the stunned silence of the crowd. At 4-2, the game had completely turned as it became a rear-guard action to hold on to the lead. Fran was fired up by the closing scoreline and she fended off anything that came her way. Alongside her Amie and Katy were also clearly not going to let the first half lead be lost. Anna’s forward pressure allowed her to pick up a wayward clearance, only for her high shot to be palmed away by the Syston goalkeeper. Before the game was up Syston added another to reduce the deficit to a single goal. But with fingernails being worn down to the bone, Oadby held on for a deserved victory.

Player of the Day: Katy

Goal Scorers: Lois (2) and Anna (2)

Oadby Owls 5 Thurmaston Pink Panthers 0 – 2nd October 2011 (League)

On the hottest October day in living memory, the Owls turned in a memorable performance for their biggest victory of the season so far. With Oadby pressurising the Thurmaston players as soon as they got to the ball, they were able to enjoy a significant amount of the possession in the first half. This possession turned into goals as Ema and Anna combing well up front. The breakthrough came when, Player of the day, Sophie’s through ball found Anna who in turn picked out Lois. Lois’ firm slide-rule finish with the inside of her boot beat the Panthers goalkeeper and gave the Owls fresh confidence and motivation. At the back Sophie and Amie left Fran almost completely redundant in goal, with typically aggressive tackling and some intelligent interceptions. The Owls pressure resulted in a succession of corners but no further goals until half-time.

Anna started the second half in the same fashion as the first had ended, with a strike that rattled the Panthers bar. Shortly afterwards Anna did extend the lead further when Thurmaston failed to clear the ball from their box and Anna forced the ball over the line. Fran and Lois formed a solid foundation for the Oadby attacks in midfield. Meanwhile Sophie, Fran and Katy left second half ‘keeper Amie in goal as a spectator. Lois picked up her second with a well struck shot from inside the area to put daylight between the two teams. Ema continued to fire over corner after corner as the owls now camped in the Thurmaston half. Anna extended the Owls lead further with a combative run through the heart of the Thurmaston defence, breaking a tackle before hitting the back of the net.

Before the game was over Lois had time to complete her hat-trick with another fierce drive from twelve yards out.

Player of the Day: Sophie

Goal Scorers: Lois (3) and Anna (2)

Oadby Owls 2 Oadby & Wigston 6 – 18th September 2011 (League)

Having lost 4-0 in the previous week’s Cup game and having no subs, the Owls had a difficult task to reign in the high flying Oadby and Wigston United girls. The game started with O&W applying sustained pressure on the Owls goal. Eventually as Oadby failed to clear from a corner, they went behind from a strike that glanced in off Anna’s left hand post. More United pressure followed, but eventually Oadby broke from the left with Lois marauding towards the United goal. She checked back inside onto her right foot before slamming her shot into the net. Equality was short lived, however, as another long range United shot fizzed into the bottom corner of Anna’s goal. Anna then pulled off a string of good saves including a diving save to her left as the United striker was clean through on goal.

In the second half Oadby got a better grip on the game, with Ella and Amie battling hard in midfield. Sophie and Fran in defence stifled the United attacks higher up the pitch, this allowed Ema and Anna (now playing up front) to put pressure on the O&W back line. After a series of Owls attacks Ema latched onto an Amie through-ball. Despite the close attentions of the defender and advancing goalkeeper, she passed the ball into the bottom left hand corner. All square at 2-2 and all to play for. This time the Owls held on to their lead for a bit longer and continued to be the team pressing forward. However their lack of substitutes started to tell in the final quarter of the game. Tired legs and tired heads just could not keep up with the freshly re-stocked O&W attackers. Unfortunately this allowed a further 4 goals to be conceded in the last 10 minutes to add some flattery to the O&W winning margin.

Player of the Day: Amie

Goal Scorers: Lois and Ema

Oadby Owls 0 Oadby & Wigston 4 – 18th September 2011 (County Cup)

Both teams had victories under their belts so this was expected to be a close encounter. From the opening salvos it quickly became clear that the Owls had superior speed, but United had a more physical presence. After 3 minutes of pressure from the away side Lois’ slide-rule through ball perfectly found the incisive run of Anna. However the United Goalkeeper advanced quickly off her line and smothered what was to be the Owls best chance of the game. A crunching tackle soon afterwards saw Anna sidelined for the rest of the half. O&W pressed forward more and more with Fran and Sophie battling hard in defence in front of Amie in goal. These three were able to hold out until the eighth minute. But then the flood gates opened as United scored three goals in quick succession. Confidence was low in the Owls but they kept battling even with Sophie now limping and moved out to right wing. Cometh the hour cometh the Fran, as Fran stepped up to the task with a series of excellent tackles to thwart the United advances. At the other end Ema had the best chance but she overran the ball and the chance was gone.

 

At halftime a patched up Anna was restored to the field while Sophie was forced to sit out. The six out-field players set about their task much better in the second half. Ema pulled a string of great saves including a superb double save to frustrate the United forward line. Amie and the impassable Fran provided a solid backbone to the performance. Lois, Katy and Ella were now able to probe forward, but United were able to put enough bodies between Anna and their goal. The scoring was completed in the second half when the referee spotted a handball in the Owls box, and O&W converted the resulting penalty.

 

Ema’s first half industry and second half saves earned her the Player of the day award, but special mention must go to the unshakable Fran.

 

Player of the Day: Ema

Goal Scorers: N/A

Oadby Owls 3 Leicester City Ladies 1 – 11th September 2011 (League)

Having had their first match cancelled, the U11 girls were given a daunting opening match hosting the Leicester City Ladies U11 team. With a strong wind blowing down the pitch this was always going to be the preverbial game of two halves and so it proved. Using the wind advantage, Oadby fended off the Leicester opening attack and then immediately broke down to the other end. Anna, running the full length of the pitch, took the Ella through ball in her stride and bore down on the City goal. Her fierce right foot shot crashed into the back of the net to give the Owls a confidence boosting lead. On-looking crowd, many of whom were witnessing their daughter’s debuts, could have had little idea of the roller-coaster first half we were going to be put through following this opening strike.

 

Within minutes City were back on the attack with the ball being coaxed into the penalty area, a player went down and the referee pointed to the spot. With Fran glaring back at her from between the sticks’ up stepped their number 2 to drive a low shot wide of the left hand post to the collective sighs of relief from the home supporters. Anna and Ema were combing well like a well seasoned striking partnership, and it was Ema’s turn to light up the match. Collecting a wayward goal kick she thundered a first time shot which crashed against the bar and over. As if taking it in turns it was Anna next who forced a good save from close range as the Owls built momentum.

At the back Sophie and Amie kept the Leicester attack away from Fran’s goal with the assistance Lois, Ella and Katy in midfield. It was Lois who then doubled the Oadby lead half way through the first half. With the ball rebounding around the penalty area, Lois took charge and planted her finish past the helpless City goalie. Two-nil up and they were not finished as Anna and Ema combined well again, with Ema just not quite able to convert Anna’s intelligent cross. Lois was next to feature although her long range thunderbolt was blocked by the face of a City midfielder, who unsurprisingly needed to be helped from the field. Ema again went close directly from a goal kick. Before we could catch our breath City were on the attack at the other end winning a corner from the left-hand side. The short corner produced a lob that nearly fooled Fran in goal, but she managed to hold the ball the right side of the line following a heart-stopping juggle. As City got some momentum Fran needed to keep her head as she collided with Amie, but they managed to keep the ball safely away from the onrushing attacker. With half time approaching the Owls resistance was finally broken as a well struck shot flew into the top right hand corner of Fran’s goal. Finally it was half time and we all got a rest from the end to end football on display.

 

Now playing into the wind and with Fran and Ema switched from goal to pitch respectively, the Owls now had to hang on to their slender lead. The second half was not the ding-dong affair seen in the first. Oadby found themselves mostly fighting off the Leicester attacks, although City did not get much change from the battling midfield of Sophie, Lois and Ella. In the 25th minute an instinctive hand blocked a Leicester shot and they had their second penalty of the game. This time Ema held her ground and stopped the penalty. As both teams somewhat huffed an puffed one of the standout moments was a Lois, making up some 20 yards, sprinting the full length of the pitch to foil a Leicester break. City’s best chance was an open goal which thankfully was squirmed wide by their number 5. Sophie came closest for Oadby, when her outstretched knee from a corner forced a save from the City goalkeeper.

 

And with the clock running down, the determination of Ella hassling the City defence caused the ball to break to Lois. Lois finished coolly past the Leicester keeper, sliding the ball under her outstretched leg. What a start to the season.

Player of the Day: Lois

Goal Scorers: Lois (2) and Anna

Fixtures

 

Date

Time

Play Against

Home/Away

11/09/2011 10:30 Leicester City Home
18/09/2011 10:30 Oadby and Wigston United (Cup) Home
25/09/2011 10:30 Oadby andWigston United Home
02/10/2011 10:30 Thurmaston Pink Panthers Home
09/10/2011 14:00 Syston Bees Away
30/10/2011 10:30 AFC Barwell Home
06/11/2011 10:30 Birstall United Away
13/11/2011 10:30 Braunstone Trinity United Home
27/11/2011 12:30 Braunstone Trinity Away
04/12/2011 10:30 GNG Home
11/12/2011 10:30 Leicester City Away
08/01/2012 10:30 Loughborough Foxes Home
15/01/2011 15:00 Oadby and Wigston United Away
22/01/2012 14:00 Thurmaston Pink Panters Away
29/01/2012 10:30 Syston Bees Home
12/02/2012 15:00 Cosby Cubs Away
19/02/2012 10:30 Birstall United Home
26/02/2012 10:30 Loughtborough Foxes Away