|Date||1 December 2018|
|Team||Ladies 1st XI|
|Opposition||Cambridge Nomads 1|
|Venue||Pelicans Hockey Pitches|
|Result||L 1 - 2|
Pelicans Ladies 1sts v Cambridge Nomads Ladies 1sts 1st December 2018 at Pelicans Hockey Club.
Pelicans welcomed Nomads to Lynnsport knowing that a win against the third placed outfit would catapult them up the league. Pelicans were without their young and pacy forward line trio of Poppy Beales, Mia Moore and Amber Scott but welcomed back former Pelican, junior England international and National League player Ella Picton to the side for a one-off game before she heads off to France for the ski season.
Pelicans found themselves 1-0 down after less than a minute having given away a soft goal against a good team that were quick to take advantage.
Galvanising themselves, Pelicans began to take the attack to a well organised Nomads team and despite not playing with the width of previous matches, created a number of scoring opportunities for Grace Carrier who was routinely well positioned on the far post but the ball just wide or bobbling away from her. Ella Picton’s quality was evident in an unfamiliar forward position and the understanding with former long-standing team mate, Suzi Lemon was growing and looking threatening for the opposition.
Much of Pelicans play was building down the left from Emily Pluck (who had another good game), to Annabelle Brown to Grace Carrier with a fine contribution and a massive amount of ground covered from Lucy Lim. Suzi Lemon was also creating opportunities on the right of the pitch with Laura Tea and Ellie Burt pulling the strings in the centre of the field and a good spell of pressure from Pelicans saw them win a penalty corner. A good injection from Ellie Burt was well met by Ella Picton but she just couldn’t get the quality of strike she wanted, and the ball went wide and out of play. Another driving run from Suzi Lemon needed a well-timed tackle just into the Nomads D to deny her but again pressure told and Peli’s won a further short corner which Nomads comfortably defended.
Pelicans kept up the work rate in their quest for an equaliser and great work in midfield from Ella Picton culminated in a sublime reverse flick pass to Emily Pluck who’s foray into the Nomads D won yet another short corner. Again, Nomads defended but conceded a further penalty in doing so which again was saved. From open play, Suzi Lemon drove into the D and fired a fine reverse stick strike goalward only for the airborne shot to deflect off a teammate to safety.
Having had a lot of the possession, won penalty corners and kept attacking without scoring, Pelicans must have wondered if it was their day. Midway through the second half, Nomads broke, and their rare foray forward saw a well taken goal against the run of play. 2-0 to Nomads. Pelicans kept at their task though, winning further penalty corners and Laura Tea, Ella Picton and Suzi Lemon all going close from open play.
At the other end of the pitch, Nic Lanker was her usual combative self, breaking up play and intercepting throughout the match. Hannah Bowman made a superb tackle to deny Nomads despite a 2 on 1 overload. Atalanta Stevenson made any number of fine saves to keep Pelicans in the match. Finally, great speed of thought and awareness from Suzi Lemon saw her pick up the ball, drive into the D and fizz a shot at the keeper which was bundled over the line on the rebound by Grace Carrier. Pelicans charged into attack but despite a number of further chances the equaliser wouldn’t come. 2-1 to Nomads final score.
Not the best performance from Pelicans against quality opposition but a creditable effort given the recent enforced change of positions and players due to unavailability within the squad. Some fine touches of class from Ella Picton (despite not playing for almost a year), and a strong all-round performance from Suzi Lemon.
Players POM – Suzi Lemon