Amazelles v Consett (Away)

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Match Report of Phil Powell, Coach

The injury curse which has hung over the Amazelles all season tightened its grip even more in the hours before the trip to Consett. It looked as if only long-term injury victim Stella and Liv, who was away with family, would be the only players missing for the game. However, on the Friday Katie was ruled out with a foot injury picked up in training during the week, next it was confirmed that Noor would be unavailable and then an hour before kick-off goalkeeper Lily was also out of the team with tonsillitis which left a squad of 12 (and no obvious goalkeeper). On the plus side Sara and Ellie returned after missing the Hebburn game with their own injuries. On arrival at pitch side the goalkeeping question was asked, after a lengthy period of looking at the floor and dribbling the ball as far away as possible from the coaches Freya and Jess offered to share the gloves, although neither of them wanted to commit to a full game, Freya would start with a change mid-way through the first period. This needed an urgent re-jig of the side (not for the first time that week or even that morning). Hannah was moved forward to take up the right-hand side midfield role, Lily P moving from the left to right back position with Sara returning to her familiar left back slot. Ellie joined Chloe J in central midfield with Chloe I behind Mackenzie, in a very unfamiliar central striker position. Jess started the game on the substitutes bench.

Consett kicked off and created an early chance, the shot from the edge of the penalty area was cleanly and confidently handled by Freya. An early display of Rebecca’s pace saw her get to the by-line; her low cross was collected by the keeper just in front of Ellie. Tabby and Niamh had started very impressively winning everything that was thrown at them, on one such occasion a Niamh clearance saw Mackenzie chase a long ball and force a mistake from the defender to win a corner. Tabby’s excellent delivery flew across the face of the Consett goal without the Amazelles touch it needed to force it over the line. Two half chances were created by Consett but were dealt with by Freya, soon afterwards a brilliant interception by Sara broke up a dangerous attack just outside the box. Freya did well again to push a shot away for a corner, growing in confidence she then caught the ball into the box from the corner. Consett took the lead around the 20-minutemark with a well worked move resulting in a striker finding space in the box and lifting a shot over Freya, who got hands to it, and into the net. The Amazelles almost responded immediately, Tabby drilled a , clearance to Hannah who played a superb ball through into the Consett half and Ellie’s feet, she was too powerful for the last defender and broke clear 1 on 1 with the keeper, her shot from just inside the box hit the keeper and rebounded back and bounced off Ellie and past the Consett keeper but just wide of the left hand post. The injury jinx struck again when after dealing comfortably with a ball down the Consett left, as she had done all game, Lily P landed awkwardly on her right ankle, not helped by the Consett attacker landing on her ankle, and she stayed down. The coaches came on and it was immediately clear that she would play no further part in the game as she was unable to put any weight on her foot and she was helped very slowly away. The substitution saw Jess replace Freya in the Amazelles goal, Freya moved forward to her usual central striker role which allowed Mackenzie to drop into the right back position.

The Amazelles were on the front foot for the next 10 minutes, excellent short, sharp passing between Chloe J, Hannah and Chloe I, created an opportunity for Freya to run in on goal, she held off her marker well but her shot was too close to the keeper who made the save. Rebecca struck a shot, after being released by a fine Chloe J header, hit the side netting and excellent close control from Chloe I created a chance for herself, the goal bound target shot was blocked. Chloe J was in the thick of the action and she threaded a ball through the Consett defence for Ellie, she was beaten in the tackle and immediately came to the side of the pitch in pain and upset with a knee injury. As treatment was given Jess was called into action to make two good saves one low to her left and another above her head. The 10 players stood firm under pressure to hold on until half time with the score 1 -0 to the home side. It was agreed at half time that there was nothing in the game, Consett may have been ahead but the Amazelles had created genuine chances. Ellie was able to return after significant applications of deep heat and putting on a borrowed knee support. Jess remained in goal and the 11 fit players (Lily P would end up visiting A&E – where I believe there is a dedicated Amazelles area on a Saturday morning these days), took to the field.

Consett were holding a very high defensive line and Freya was encouraged to gamble in behind from Jess’ kicks. From one such kick Freya timed her run perfectly behind the defender who misjudged the bounce but shot across the goal and wide. Chloe I swapped clever passes with Rebecca and found some space in the box, her initial shot was blocked but she followed up with an effort which went over the bar. Chloe J spread the ball wide to Hannah who produced an excellent cross which was deflected away for a corner, the Amazelles were on top and Consett were struggling to find any space or get any change from the Amazelles back four. Jess was tested and answered with a scooping save, the loose ball fell to a Consett attacker, Sara nipped the ball away from her as she shaped to shoot. Ellie won a tackle on the half way line but was caught high on her leg, the referee seemed to indicate advantage but when the ball broke to a Consett player he didn’t pull the play back much to the surprise of those watching on both sides of the pitch. Consett’s No 6 was starting to become their most influential player, her running from the deep with the ball was causing trouble for the Amazelles midfield. She was very much involved in taking the game away from the Amazelles over the period of five minutes around the hour mark. Firstly, a ball forward saw her run in free behind Niamh and Tabby, sadly the referee missed the fact that she was clearly offside when she started her run, she was allowed to run into the box and beat Jess to make it 2-0. A few minutes later her cross into the 6-yard box was deflected past Jess by Mackenzie, who was clearly upset but was comforted by a number of team mates who came forward to tell her it was nothing to worry about as they too had scored own goals.

With the game heading into the last 15 minutes Consett added their 4th with a neat finish under the advancing Jess, this was the sign for the 3rd and last goalkeeping switch with Jess and Freya swapping positions. Chloe J tried to free Jess with through balls, on both occasions Jess collected the passes well but was crowded out as she tried to break free of the defenders. Freya used her feet well to make one save, but needed a brilliant clearance off the line from Ellie after a corner to keep the score down. Freya, now genuinely enjoying being a goalkeeper, was at it again saving well low to her left as Consett looked to capitalise on the injuries Amazelles and players playing out of position. In front of Ellie the defence remained strong with impressive performances across the back-line.

The referee blew for full time and Consett picked up the points. Not our day but the 12 players on duty can be proud of their displays – a full strength side today and we beat them, its as simple as that! Injuries have been a nightmare this season and show no sign of slowing down, Lily P was diagnosed with a back sprain, hopefully she won’t be out long. The two goalkeepers were given a round of applause along with Niamh and Chloe J who were excellent, Tabby picked up her first ever woman of the match award – I am sure it won’t be her last.

Amazelles v Hebburn Town (Away)

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Match Report of Phil Powell, Coach

With Tabby, Noor and Freya all returning for the short trip to Hebburn Town the squad had a much more competitive look to it following the defeat away at Deerness in the previous game, Stella was still out with her back injury, Sara had to withdraw late on the Friday evening with illness which meant a14 player squad was available to the coaches. The pitch was uninspiring on arrival, rutted, uneven and cut up through excessive use, but playable which was a bonus given the number of games postponed so far this season for waterlogged/unfit pictures. The three returning players were all given places in the starting line- up replacing Sara, Mackenzie who had been troubled again by shoulder and knee problems at training during the week and Katie, the latter two joining Jess on the substitutes bench.

The game got underway in bitterly cold conditions with the Amazelles adopting an attacking formation with three at the back, two central strikers and a defensive holding midfielder to allow the two central midfielders the opportunity to join in with the attacks. Hebburn were still to register a win during the season and they adopted a safety first approach, happy to concede throw ins and corners regularly to give them a chance to regroup. An early opportunity was created when Noor freed Chloe I in a central position with a cleverly played through ball, Chloe I took the ball into the penalty area before nudging the ball past the keeper, it seemed certain that the Amazelles were about to go 1-0 up but the shot hit the base of the right hand post and rebounded back into play where the Hebburn keeper hacked the ball away for a corner. Chloe J sent the corner into the near post area where it was scrambled away for another corner kick, this was repeated a further twice until Chloe J’s out-swinging corner was met by Noor, her initial effort was blocked, but the ball rebounded to her and her follow up effort went narrowly over. The game was scrappy but all the decent football was being played by the Amazelles. A good combination between Niamh and Chloe J saw space created in midfield, Chloe J playing a ball through to Chloe I whose excellent touch saw Freya break clear, she did everything right in staying ahead of the defender and taking the ball deep into the Hebburn box but a combination of the pitch and a good tackle saw the ball break away from Freya and the Hebburn keeper was able to collect the ball.  A rare Hebburn attack was broken up confidently by Tabby who found Hannah on the right, she played a ball up the right wing for Liv, who took the ball around her marker and cut inside the box, her shot skidded across the goalmouth and narrowly wide of the left hand post. Rebecca received a pass from Tabby wide on the left, she powered away from the Hebburn right back and crossed with her left foot, the ball was deflected away for yet another corner. Niamh was now on corner duty and her ball into the box was flicked goal-wards by Freya, the goalkeeper couldn’t deal with the shot and needed help from a defender to clear the ball for a corner. The side was becoming frustrated at not having taken the lead and the quality of the football suffered as a result, but around the 20 minute mark the deadlock was finally broken. A strong Lily P challenge began the move deep in her own half, she played the ball forward to Chloe J who fed Liv wide on the right, she sped past a marker and found herself clear on the right edge of the penalty area, as a defender tried to get back to tackle her, she lifted a shot over the keeper and into the net to put the Amazelles 1-0 ahead. 

In the very next attack, Noor landed awkwardly on her ankle and after treatment on the pitch it was decided she needed to come off, Mackenzie came on as a like for like replacement in central midfield. Hebburn had not troubled Lily in the Amazelles goal but within a few minutes of Liv’s opener against the run of play they were level. An attack up their left hand side saw a player take the ball across the front of the penalty area, her low shot found its way into the bottom corner of the net to level the scores up at 1-1. With 10 minutes to go until half time Jess was introduced to replace Chloe I and made an immediate impression being involved in a three player move involving Rebecca and setting up Mackenzie with a run in on goal to the left had side of the goal, she took the ball deep into the penalty area and shot across the keeper but a foot wide of the back post. The Amazelles should have had the first of three penalties after a short corner on the left wing, Chloe J was fouled inside the box but stayed on her feet with the referee calling “play-on”, she was immediately fouled again and went down but the referee gave nothing on a morning of some strange refereeing decisions, no more so that an obsession about offsides from corners. Mackenzie came close again after she took a pass from Niamh in her stride this time her shot from inside the box was unconvincingly saved by the Hebburn keeper. The Amazelles were now playing well and got their reward with two goals in 5 minutes close to half time. Hannah intelligently intercepted a long ball and played a ball inside to Tabby; her ball forward was picked up by Jess, she found Liv on the edge on the box, Liv dribbled brilliantly away from three defenders before her close range finish saw the Amazelles retake the lead 2-1. Soon afterwards it was 3-1, Niamh challenged for a loose ball and then fed Lily P her ball up the left wing gave Rebecca the chance to use her pace and skill to run in behind the defence, given that space her left foot rarely lets her down and her shot across the keeper found the net to double the Amazelles lead. Jess had a chance on the stroke of half time to make it 4, but was tackled just as she was preparing to shoot. Half time 3-1 to the Amazelles.

The players were honest in admitting that they hadn’t played well during the first half and that they could improve, Noor wouldn’t be fit to re-join the game and Jess continued her gradual return by taking a place on the substitutes bench to allow Katie to join Freya up front. The half started with the Amazelles attacking and the following 40 minutes saw that pattern unchanged, so much so that Lily could count her touches of the ball during the second period on one hand. The girls created so many half chances which were blocked orwent wide and when the clear chances arrived it just wasn’t their day. Within the first 5 minutes of the half a Tabby clearance was picked up by Rebecca wide on the left she knocked the ball beyond the defenders and simply blew them away with her pace, the goalkeeper advanced, Rebecca went around her but had been forced wide which meant her shot hit the side netting rather than bringing her second goal of the game.  A Niamh ball over the top looked like it was going out for a goal kick, Katie though had other ideas chasing the ball down and clipped a cross into the centre of the box from the left, Freya got there first but the home team keeper did well to push the ball away. Chloe J was closing in on the loose ball before a defender cleared for the 348th Amazelles corner of the game, Rebecca was now on corner duty and her low ball in was met by Mackenzie who for the third time in the game looked like she may be about to score her first Amazelles goal, she was strong enough to hold off two tackles before sliding a shot wide of the goalkeeper but wide of the post too. A short corner from the right, saw Hannah collect the ball and fire a ball into the box, it was half cleared, Katie picked up the loose ball and jinked away from two defenders but her shot was too close to the keeper who was able to make a save.Chloe I was reintroduced, giving Freya an opportunity to refresh her batteries. A sweeping move from the back created another opportunity, Hannah and Niamh swapped passes, Hannah neatly found Liv on the right, she was too good for her marker as she went past her and into the box, her shot was blocked, Katie reacted quickest and shot low narrowly passedthe right hand post. Chloe J was struggling with her breathing and was given a rest with Freya returning as a striker and Chloe I dropping back into midfield. Rebecca went close again with a shot from the edge of the box and a stabbed effort from Chloe I saw the keeper use her feet to clear.

With 12 minutes to go the final Amazelles changes saw Chloe J and Jess replace the impressive duo of Niamh and Lily P. Mackenzie went to the left of the three at the back and Chloe j retook her role in midfield allowing Chloe I to push forward in a three player forward line with Freya and Katie. Yet another corner (the Guinness book of records have been contacted) saw Jess, who was now taking the corners,  play a short ball to Chloe J, her brilliant return ball cut a hole in the Hebburn defence, Jess took the ball forward and smashed an effort which flew across the front of the goal. Two poor decisions saw the Amazelles robbed of almost certain goals minutes later, firstly a clear hand ball inside the box from a Chloe I pass was missed by the referee, no penalty despite the Amazelles claims and then after Jess had pushed a ball through to Freya who turned brilliantly and was ready to shoot one on one with the keeper an offside decision, called by the Hebburn linesman on the opposite side of the pitch, was given by the referee. The Amazelles coaches were dead in line with Freya and she was 100% on side, when the ref was asked why he gave the decision when she was onside his answer was “not from my view – anyway it didn’t matter really as it wasn’t going to change the final outcome of the game” – unbelievable!! The final chance of the game was created by a mistake by a Hebburn defender and Liv pounced, her shot was blocked on the line, the ball rebounded back into play, Jess got to the ball first, but was tackled from behind and went down, the referee called “play –on” not sure why?? And the chance was gone. The final whistle sounded with the Amazelles picking up all 3 points but acknowledging that they were not at their best.

A win is a win at any level of the game, 3-1 could and probably should have been 10-1 but we take the victory, the points and move on. The girls gathered for the post-match chat with their coaches who emphasised the point that football can be like that some days but good teams win when they aren’t playing at their best. There were individual mentions for Niamh, Chloe I, Hannah and Katie but there was no argument with the choice of woman of the match as Liv retained the trophy, winning it for the third time in the last 4 Amazelles games and impressively the third game in a row that she has played in. 

Divas v Darlington 21st All Stars (Away)

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Match Report of Richard Coxon

Away game for the Diva’s had us travelling down to Darlington 21st All Stars, early pitch inspection was needed but the game was on.

As a neutral it was a great game to watch but as coaches it was frustrating as once again the Diva’s played some outstanding football but with no success, after all the pressure the Diva’s found themselves going in at half time 2-0 down. Even the referee took me to one side and said he couldn’t believe we had only won one game this season. The team talk was more of the same which the girls did and after more and more chances we finally found the net with Amy Hall running through from an Emily Hall pass to tuck the ball past the Darlington keeper.. 2-1.. But once again after more diva pressure we found ourselves losing the game 4-1. I have come to the conclusion that the Diva’s are the luckiest and unluckiest team in the league, lucky we have such a hard working, dedicated, skillful bunch of girls who this season has kept going and have played the best football I’ve seen in this league and also lucky to have such a wonderful support from the parents. The unlucky part is the results but if we keep playing the way we are I’m sure we will turn our season around.

Captain Charlotte says:-

A great performance from the Divas this weekend. Played some fantastic football, giving the other team a really tough match, unfortunately we struggled to score again but great effort from everyone.

WOM: OLIVIA, Goal, Amy

Amazelles v Deerness (Home)

Saturday, 26 October

Match Report of Phil Powell, Coach

After the win at Washington the side was back to full numbers for the home tie against Deerness. The side’s record against Deerness is exceptional with 7 wins and a draw in the games between the two teams over the last two and a bit seasons. The side was bolstered with the returns of Lily P, Liv, and Sara but would be without captain Chloe, along with Ellie, Noor and Rachel. The game would also mark the debut for new signing Tabby whose signing was confirmed on the Thursday before the game. The pouring rain the on the Friday led to the need for a pitch inspection early on the Saturday morning, although wet the pitch was perfectly playable and the game was declared on. The referee on arrival – before the players, had a quick look and confirmed the pitch was fine.

As the players started to arrive the coaches discussed options, the 9 players who played in the against the odds win at Washington had been assured of a starting place but without 4 central midfielders the question was who would fill in this key area, the outcome was that Sara and Tabby would form a brand new partnership in the engine room, which meant Lily P and Liv would start from the substitutes bench. In Chloe’s absence Stella took over the captaincy.

The game got underway and the Amazelles had Lily to thank that they didn’t go 1-0 down inside the first 5 minutes making an excellent save low to her right after a striker got in behind the Amazelles back three. The side was jolted into action by the Deerness chance, good work from Niamh twice set up chances, the first for Freya, who burst through a tackle on the edge of the box, but saw her shot blocked, minutes later Niamh spread the play to Rebecca who did well to get in behind the defence, her ball into the box was a little too high for the Amazelles attackers arriving in the box. Sharp passing from Tabby and Jess gave Sara an opportunity inside the box, but her shot although on target lacked the power to beat the keeper. Harriet started the move for the opening goal, her strong tackle won the ball and Esme was able to move the ball onto Tabby, she drove to the edge of the box before a good tackle saw the ball break loose, Sara played an excellent ball to the left edge of the penalty area where Rebecca used her pace to storm away from her marker before lifting a beautiful chip over the keeper and into the back of the net to open the scoring. Deerness looked like they may have an early chance of an equaliser soon after Rebecca’s opener but a magnificent Stella sliding tackle just inside the Amazelles half won the ball back. Tabby almost broke through the Deerness rear-guard after collecting a Stella pass in midfield, the ball broke loose on the edge of the area and Jess’ snapshot went inches wide of the goal. She didn’t need to wait too long to hit the target when less than 5 minutes Jess was on the score sheet yet again. Mackenzie picked up a long ball from a Deerness defender, she picked out an excellent ball into Jess’ path and she ran behind the Deerness defence in the left hand channel, the end result was never really in question, she steadied herself before sliding the ball wide of the keeper and into the back of the net to make it 2-0, with the Amazelles in complete control and playing well. The half time whistle saw both players and coaches happy with the performance and score-line.

Half time changes saw Lily P replace Mackenzie on the left of the defensive three and Liv allow Esme take a break on the right side of midfield. Deerness are a useful side and the started the second half as the better side and to be honest had by far more of the play and chances as the second 40 minutes unfolded. The first chance of the half came after a good positive run from a Deerness defender, she slid the ball out wide and the cross that followed didn’t find of their attackers. Minutes later Jess’ ball into the box was met well by Tabby and fell for Freya but the keeper did well to force the ball away. Freya’s now trademark tenacity won a throw about 10 minutes in, the throw found Tabby who played an excellent ball into Jess who was forced wide but still got a cross into the middle which Liv almost converted. Liv was maintaining possession impressively and from one dribble out of trouble she looked to have set Freya away but she was pulled back for offside. A worrying trend was the fact that the Amazelles were giving away a steadily increasing number of corners, Lily P twice and Stella once stepped in confidently in a short period of time to clear the ball but Deerness were now on the front foot and after Lily P had bravely blocked another shot from inside the box, the corner from the right found a player in space just to the left on the penalty spot whose low shot gave Lily no chance and pulled it back to 2-1. Deerness continued to push forward and it needed an outstanding Lily save at her left hand post to protect the Amazelles lead. An opportunity was created to tie the points up when Sara neatly turned away from her marker in the centre circle and found Liv on the right, she skilfully went around her marker before sliding a ball into Jess, who made space well in the box, her shot flashed across the keeper but wide of the far post. Changes were made at the mid-way point of the half with Mackenzie returning to replace Harriet and Esme replacing Rebecca with Liv moving to the left side. Deerness kept pushing forward but from Freya at the front – chasing everything, Jess dropping midfield to boost numbers in there, Niamh mopping up in front of the superb back three, real chances were hard to create. A Deerness player received the ball wide on their right, her first touch was a little out in front of her and invited a tackle from Lily P, Lily P was slightly late and the Deerness midfielder went to ground. The referee very harshly showed the yellow card to Lily P. In the next Deerness attack Mackenzie made an important headed clearance on the edge of the penalty area, as Liv carried the ball forward and fed Esme wide on the right Mackenzie went down holding her head, the attack saw a Freya shot go wide and the referee allowed the coaches on to treat Mackenzie – although keen to continue she struggled to stand without wobbling and was immediately substituted with Harriet coming on for the last 6 or 7 minutes. A Deerness break down their right presented a test for Lily P, on a booking an attacker ran at her at pace, Lily P timed her tackle to absolute perfection winning the ball and then clearing the danger. Lily in goal showed that brilliant saves are not always made with the hands, when dealing with a powerful strike inside the last 5 minutes, Lily threw herself in front of the shot and the ball struck her in the face and bounced away for a corner. The last chance came in the last minute, a ball from the centre circle looked as if it had sent a Deerness striker clear, Lily committed early and got there first to drill the ball away with her feet. As the ball went out for a throw in the referee blew for full time for a second consecutive win for the Amazelles for the first time this season.

After the game the players got together and agreed that the first and second halves showed different aspects of the side’s qualities, good attacking and skilful football in the first 40 minutes and resilience, strength and battling qualities in the second. There were many players in the running for the woman of the match award, Lily, Niamh, and Stella were contenders but Liv took this week’s award for carrying out instructions to the letter on her introduction and producing an excellent controlled and intelligent performance. Mackenzie was now fully recovered and the side left with smiles on their faces ready for a week off, before the home game against Boro Rangers a fortnight after this game  

Amazelles v Washington Utd (Away)

Saturday, 19 October

Match Report of Phil Powell, Coach

The Amazelles squad was pulled a little thin for the short trip to Washington United; Noor, Sara, Lily P and Ellie were unavailable so the maximum number of players to pick from was 12. When Liv and Rachel became unavailable on the morning of the game it became obvious that the side would need to play the game with one player short.

As the warm ups were being carried out the coaches were trying to come up with a formation to best cope with this, Sarah came up with the master plan which saw three at the back – Harriet, Stella and Mackenzie, four across midfield, Esme, Niamh, Chloe and Rebecca and a striking pair of Jess and Freya. A strong 10 but could Washington make the extra player count? The pitch was very wet – Jess described her boots as “squelching” as kick off arrived – when it did the Amazelles got us underway. The tone was set in the first couple of minutes when a thundering tackle by Stella won the ball powerfully to break up a Washington attack – Mackenzie and Harriet showed they were equally as committed with crunching tackles of their own as Washington came to terms that they would be up against a pink (new strips making their debut) Amazelles brick wall at the back. It was important that the side got off to a good to build confidence after the recent run of losses, what better way to build confidence than to score early. Mackenzie won a tackle on the left side of defence and played a neat ball up the line to Rebecca, she cut inside her marker and took off leaving her for dead and reaching the penalty area at a rate of knots, she rolled the ball to Jess who was wide on the left, she cleverly dribbled past her marker and crossed low into the box, the Washington keeper pushed the cross away, a defender tried to clear the loose ball but pressure by Rebecca saw her scuff her clearance, the ball was loose again and Freya pounced to slide the ball wide of the keeper and into the back of the net to register her first goal of the season and put the Amazelles 1-0 ahead. A fantastic start – huge credit is due to the Washington coach who jogged around the pitch after the play had restarted and said to the Amazelles coaches that she had just realised we only had 10 players and offered to take one of her players off to even it up at 10v10. The Amazelles coaches thanked her for the offer but asked her to stay with 11 on the field as it was unfair on her players to take one off, especially when they had a substitute too. Really refreshing to see such fantastic sportsmanship from Washington. On the pitch the Amazelles were proving that the early goal was no fluke, Esme won the ball in central midfield and held off a strong challenge before playing Freya in on the right, she dragged the ball around her marker and played a ball across the front of the penalty area to Jess who saw her effort saved. Niamh was in commanding form in midfield and after she held off two tackles found Rebecca, she held the ball up well before laying a pass into Chloe’s path, the skipper picked up the pass confidently and strode towards the penalty area before firing over the bar. It was all one way at this point – and the possession told with little over 10 minutes on the clock, Harriet arrived onto a loose ball first and curled a ball up the wing to Jess, she ran at the Washington defence before running out of space, Esme had intelligently tracked her run and was able to collect a simple pass, she then threaded a great ball back to Jess who had run away from her marker, Jess steadied herself and shot across the goal, a defender got the last touch as the ball flew into the back of the net to make it 2-0. Own goal or goal number 11 this season for Jess? Only one answer as Jess celebrated. Esme’s excellent display deserved a goal and she nearly got it after a crisp Chloe pass gave her an opportunity her shot beat the keeper but shaved the top of the crossbar. Chloe had to come off, not feeling well, for a few moments, Esme pushed into a central role to cover for her. A short break, a drink and a few puffs of inhaler and Chloe was back. Stella and the Washington no 14 were trading thumping tackles on each other, Stella was slightly out on her timing with one and a free kick was rightly given a couple of yards outside the box. The shot was on target but Lily wasn’t troubled, her handling was excellent. Minutes later a late lunge by the No 14 on Stella after she had cleared the ball resulted in Stella stepping back and then classically and correctly stating “ha ha you missed” as the No 14 picked herself up. Rebecca was fed by Niamh and she stepped away from her marker and drove into the box, her shot across the box was narrowly wide of the back post. Jess was set free by Mackenzie’s long ball, she carried the ball forward but shot just wide. Harriet won a tackle and then played an excellent ball between defenders for Niamh to run onto – she collected the pass well but was tackled well on the edge of the box. Washington went close to pulling one back from a corner, a shot from close range was cleared off the line by the very impressive Harriet. A skilful and effective attack down the right in initially involving Esme saw Chloe find Jess just outside the box , she lifted a ball in behind the Washington defence where Rebecca arrived and with a superb finish with her left foot slammed the ball into the back of the net. The referee cancelled the goal (correctly) for offside against Rebecca. Another speedy break by Rebecca saw her almost do it all by herself as she powered away from her marker before fizzing a shot past the keeper but for the second time in the half just wide of the post. Jess was next to break into the box, picking up a Freya flick from a Niamh clearance, Jess was forced to the left the angle was too tight for a shot so she chipped a cross to the back post where Esme tried but couldn’t turn the ball home. Washington broke through the middle of the pitch late in the half, two attackers looked to have got away as they entered the box, Stella produced the tackle of the season to get in between them and cleanly win the ball and steer it away from goal and out for a corner, the Washington players appealed for a penalty kick, the referee shook his head, advising them that Stella had made “a perfect tackle”. The corner kick was confidently dealt with and soon afterwards the referee blew for half time after a hugely impressive first 40 minutes from the Amazelles who richly deserved to be ahead.

The girls were in great spirits at the break, and the side were sent back out to finish the job. It appeared that Washington were going to try and outmuscle the Amazelles in the second with a number of heavy and strong tackles in the opening minutes – this may have intimidated the Amazelles in the recent past, not today the tackles simply came back with even more determination from an inspirational Amazelles side on the day. The first chance of the second half came after another Niamh tackle this time she picked out Rebecca, who was being singled out for some hefty tackles in the second period, on this occasion she played an excellent pass to Chloe who moved inside her marker into space on the edge of the box, she shaped to shoot but then fed Freya in the box, her shot was clawed away by the second half Washington keeper (after a half time switch). Washington won two quick corners as the half went on, given the work undertaken in training on defending corners it was hoped they could be dealt with – they were, the Washington corners were excellent all game, one from their right was met brilliantly by Mackenzie who thumped a header well away from danger. Soon afterwards a corner from the left was met by an attacker, Lily made an excellent initial save, the ball broke loose and was stabbed goal-wards, Harriet cleared off the line. Rebecca needed a short break and returned in a more withdrawn midfield role to supplement Chloe and Niamh as the extra player and tiredness started to tell and Washington began to dominate possession. Not a natural position for Rebecca but like all her team mates on the day she adapted and fitted to the role she was asked to play and impressed while doing it. Washington were pushing (literally sometimes) the Amazelles back, but the defence were superb, with Chloe and Niamh providing an impressive barrier in front of them. Jess dropped a little deeper as the game went on, leaving Freya a little isolated up top, but as usual she never gave the opposition defenders a minute’s peace chasing and hassling them whenever they had the ball. On one occasion her persistence won a throw, Mackenzie took it and Jess and Freya swapped passes – Jess took the ball on, without real support she only had one option and her shot was blocked by the keeper. Washington finally got a real sight of goal with around 10 minutes to go, a striker found some space on the edge of the box and hit a low skidding shot towards the bottom right hand corner, Lily’s threw herself to her right and at full stretch got finger tips to the ball to divert it around the post – a superb save. The resulting corner was another quality one, almost under the crossbar – Lily got hands to the ball to force it away from goal, the ball was loose momentarily but Stella stepped in and calmly and confidently strode away from danger with the ball at her feet. A few minutes to go and Esme’s battling qualities were evident as she lost a tackle on half way but tracked back to win the ball on the edge of the box and clear. Washington were now becoming desperate and a few unpleasant comments were being made, again no taking a step back from this Amazelles team, they faced up the opponents and on a couple of occasions, ignored the comment and chose instead to remind the Washington players of the score – Esme adding at one point “and you’ve got more players than us”. The referee indicted one minute to go as Niamh confidently dealt with a long ball forward, she controlled it before lifting it back into the Washington half, Jess did enough to force the ball back to the keeper who could only kick the ball into touch. The throw was taken and before any further action the referee blew for full time. The referee made a point of congratulating Stella on her performance after the player hand-shakes describing her as “woman of the match by a mile”.

Players, supporters and coaches all had big smiles on their faces as the players gathered together for the post-match chat. 10 genuine hero’s out their today – the first time in my 14 years with this club over 4 different teams that a team playing with a player short has won a game, and if you came to the game late you would never have known which team had 11 and which had 10 such was the quality of the girls performance today. The back three were identified as having been simply brilliant today, the rest of the team were a fraction behind them but brilliant none the less – a proud day!! No one could argue with the referee’s opinion and with a real 10 out of 10 performance Stella took the woman of the match award.

Amazon Divas v Lumley Ladies (Home Game)

Saturday, 19 OctoberMatch Report of Richard Coxon, CoachHome game this week for the Divas was against Lumley Ladies, perfect conditions for an early kick off. From the kick off both teams had a go and it created a great game to watch but with 5 minutes to go before half time the Lumley striker went through with a 50/50 ball against Charlotte who was covering in goal due to Rhiannon being injured. The ball rebounded off the two players in the box to another Lumley player who had a shot saved by Charlotte who did well to get to her feet after a dubious body check, but Charlotte couldn’t hold on to it and the ball was bundled over the line. Again at half time I couldn’t believe we were behind and the girls felt the same, the second half carried on like the first with the Divas really forcing Lumley back towards their goal with great football but again Lumley had an attack which Eve was unlucky to lose her footing which give the Lumley striker time to hit her shot to make it 0-2. The Diva’s again kept pressing and a great dribble from Emily into the box caused the Lumley striker to bring her down.. PENALTY Isabella took the penalty but struck the cross bar but rebounded to Amy to put it away 1-2 game on. Both teams kept going with chances at both ends but the final whistle was blown with a really unlucky defeat. Big thanks to the tremendous support from the parents I think everyone enjoyed the football but not the score.a

Captain Charlotte says….

Another disappointing result after another excellent game from the Divas. Everyone contributed to the performance but yet again we struggled to put the ball in the back of their net.

WOM Emily; Goal Amy

Amazelles v Leam Rangers (Away)

Saturday, 12 October

Match Report of Phil Powell, Coach

Saturday, 12 October

Amazon Divas v Sunderland West End

Match report: Richard Coxon, Coach

Away game for the Diva’s was against Sunderland West End. The Diva’s had issues before the kick off with Rhiannon being injured and sickness to couple of players, so with a quick reshuffle we got the game started. Unfortunately this seemed to have unnerved the Diva’s and they found themselves 2-0 down in the first 10 minutes. The Diva’s settled down and created alot of goal scoring chances but couldn’t put the ball in the goal. This was how the game played out the Diva’s playing some good football but were finally on the end of a 9-0 defeat. The team talk at half time was to win the second half which they did by playing football and not by the goals conceded. The team got WOM by never giving up and kept going to the end, the Sunderland coach give the WOM award to Amy Hall who played out of her skin. It was one of those games unfortunately.

Captain Charlotte says….

Really tough game for the Divas, played some great football but couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. However, we fought till the end despite the tough circumstances.

Opposition WOM Amy & an injured goalie, (hopefully not for too long) Rhiannon

Saturday, 5 October

Amazelles v Kader (Home)

Match Report by Phil Powell, Coach

Amazelles v Hartlepool (Away)

Saturday, 28 September

Match Report by Phil Powell, Coach

The torrential rain from the previous day and overnight on match day relented just before the players, parents and coaches set off on the trip down to Hartlepool, on arrival no one would ever have known how much rain had actually fallen as the sun was out and the sky was clear and blue.

The Amazelles weren’t at full strength with Noor and Sara unavailable and although Jess was there her ankle injury the week before would restrict her input into the game, even though she was desperate to be involved and was named as a substitute along with Liv and Lily P. The fact that Jess was missing saw an enforced change in shape with her normal free role converted to a defensive midfield role between the defence and midfield which Rachel would play in. Mackenzie returned to the starting line-up swapping in the left back role with Lily P, Freya swapped with Liv as the main striker and Esme came in to replace Jess. The grass was a bit on the long side and the kick off was delayed while both teams waited for the referee to blow the final whistle at another game on a close by pitch before coming over to ours. Which was handy as Niamh’s dad’s sat nav was on the blink and he had no idea where he was heading. Around 10 minutes after the scheduled kick off time we were underway.

Hartlepool had surprised many with their victory against Boro Rangers in their previous game and they started the better of the two sides, as early as the second minute they created a chance but one of their strikers who picked up an excellent ball between Niamh and Stella fired well wide of the target. An impressive tackle by Stella won the ball back, even though she was second favourite, a couple of minutes later as Hartlepool kept the pressure on. That pressure took its toll with the game around the 7-8 minutes mark. A throw in on the Hartlepool left, after a crunching Ellie tackle, was thrown to their central striker who had dropped into a left wing position, the throw should have been pulled back as the player had a foot off the floor, something the referee addressed around 10 minutes too late when she spoke to the player during an injury break, the striker crossed from a tight angle and her striker partner collected the cross and fired into the back of the net giving Lily no chance to open the scoring. Hartlepool may have thought that they would go on to rack up the goals as the half went on but they were wrong, the Amazelles defended both bravely and strongly with both full backs, Mackenzie and Harriet, particularly impressing to restrict the home side to efforts from distance none of which troubled Lily. The first Amazelles attack came when Chloe turned a Mackenzie ball into Freya’s path on the wide left, she left her marker for dead with an impressive turn of pace, wriggled around a defender on the edge of the box and pulled the ball back across the face of goal, the home keeper manged to collect it with Esme and Ellie bearing down on her. Stella was at her very best during the game, after an impressive tackle she carried the ball forward to release Rebecca whose pace took her deep inside the Hartlepool half, she cut along the front of the box and shot – but her effort went over the bar. Twice in quick succession Hartlepool were caught offside as the defence moved up as one to leave players stranded behind them. A Harriet tackle gave Esme an opportunity to bring the ball away, she did and found Chloe who flicked the ball onto Ellie who set off on a powerful run towards the box, she was forced wide but still managed to hold the ball up and find Esme backing her up, she slid low ball forward looking for Freya’s run but the ball was cleared. Rachel was enjoying a very influential game and after being set up by Chloe from a Niamh ball forward she wrapped her foot around a curling shot but saw the keeper make a save. Rachel though had to come off minutes after informing that she felt unwell, Liv picked up the defensive midfield duties. The Amazelles were now dictating the game, a point made by the referee to the two coaches who came on to treat Mackenzie who had taken a knock to the ankle. From the resulting free kick Stella’s driven ball to the right was collected by Ellie she skilfully made her way into the penalty area, as she looked to cross a defender took the ball and Ellie (just making it ball first – if not it was a certain penalty to the Amazelles) and the ball went out for a corner. Ellie needed some treatment after the collision, which meant the coaches had to run the full length of the pitch from behind Lily’s goal to the goalmouth at the other end to make sure she was ok. With a few minutes to go to half time she was in no mood to come off. Chloe took the corner, the ball skipped up off the pitch into the centre of the penalty area, it was half cleared and was picked up by Rebecca her cross was powerfully cleared up-field which saw Hartlepool in with a chance, a great double tackle by Niamh saw her initially win the ball and then retain it before clearing the danger, half – time saw Hartlepool with a slender 1-0 lead.

The girls had been tremendous in the first 40 minutes, recovering from the goal, being solid at the back, creative as well as competitive in midfield and showing a threat up front, the coaches were delighted with the display but reminded the players that there was another 40 minutes to go. Half time saw Niamh take a breather with Lily P replace her in the heart of the defence. The second half was ultimately to belong to the impressive Hartlepool No 9 but you wouldn’t have known it for the first 20 minutes, the game was end to end, Lilly P cleared superbly under pressure at the front post from a driven cross, Harriet covered well in behind her defensive team mates and was on hand to clear after a cross to the back post. It wasn’t all one way however as Mackenzie combined very well with Stella and then Chloe who spread the play to the left, Rebecca brilliantly dribbled around her marker and set off to the edge of the box where she again had too much ability for the defender who had come across to try and stop her, tight to the by-line she lifted a shot towards the neat post top corner the Hartlepool keeper did superbly well to claim the ball and hold on, an inch or two higher it would have been either in or fallen to Freya for a tap in. The tackle just before half-time on Ellie had taken its toll and she came off to be replaced by Rachel in a like for like swap. A speedy Hartlepool break saw a cross from their right Lily parried the initially effort away a striker lifted the ball over her towards what appeared to be an empty net only to see Stella arrive and complete a stunning clearance from right on the line to keep the score down. With around 20 minutes to go a shot from the edge of the box found its way into the back of the net to double Hartlepool’s lead, moments later it was 3-0 with a good finish from right hand side of the box. Niamh returned with Mackenzie taking a rest and Lily P moving to the left back position. Hartlepool, with clever use of their seemingly unending supply of substitutes continued to increase their lead. With around 10 minutes left Jess was allowed to take to the field replacing Esme for a run and to test her injury, she seemed fine and hopefully will be fit to start next week’s game. The game finished 9-0 to Hartlepool which was an astonishingly unreflective result given that with 20 minutes to go it was still 1-0. Hartlepool’s no 9 scored a fair proportion of those goals and was clearly their star player on the day.

The players gathered before heading off for post-match food to be told that games like that sometimes happen and you have to learn from them, we will be better prepared and equipped for the game against this opposition at home. The whole team were rightly praised but a few individuals were given special mentions, full backs Harriet and Mackenzie were both excellent as were skipper Chloe and Ellie, woman of the match was an easy one for a change as Stella was sensational on the day, she accepted the award with a growl and a frown, still smarting from the result – this was gone a few minutes later when she was seen leaving with a big smile and a bigger carton of hot dog and chips courtesy of the home team.

Amazon Divas v NSG Panthers

Saturday, 28 September

Match Report by Richard Coxon, Coach

Away game for the Divas at NSG Panthers, the rain cleared away to leave perfect conditions for a game of football. NSG started the game the better of the two with the forward players causing our defense some problems, the Diva’s stood strong and kept the score down to 2 goals for NSG. The Diva’s were causing NSG some issues which was pleasing for the Coaches. Half time team talk and a couple of changes saw the Diva’s start the second half with more purpose and the hard work paid off with Ellie Williams winning a ball in midfield passing through to Issey who chipped the ball to the back post for Charlotte to tuck away to make it 2-1, this lifted the Diva’s and un nerved NSG and for long periods in the game the Diva’s had chances to level the game. There was a feeling that whoever scored the next goal would probably go on and win the game which was the case with NSG doing that to finish the game 4-1. A game for the Divas to learn from and could of won againest a team who will be pushing for promotion. The girls give everything and the coaches were very happy with the performance and we feel it won’t be long for the Divas to start beating the top teams as we are already matching them with commitment and desire.

Captain Charlotte says:-

Great performance from the divas once again, the scoreline didnt reflect the game as we worked so hard and could have had a few more goals

21/09/2019 Amazelles U15s v Consett

Match Report by Coach Phil Powell:

Consett have been a bit of a bogey team for the Amazelles at home in the league with no wins against them at Houghton Kepier over the last two seasons, this is very much against the away record at Consett where the Amazelles have won on three occasions and beaten them twice in two games in the cup. The bad luck struck the day before the game when Noor was ruled out with a wrist injury after a skiing incident, Sara was also unavailable. The side saw changes from the side which was successful against Hebburn, Ellie started in midfield with Niamh moving back into the back four. Rachel returned with Esme starting from the bench, Lily P replaced Mackenzie and Freya returned to the squad from the substitutes bench. After a squad photo the game got underway with the home side attacking the school end.

Consett settled quickest and could have been 2 or maybe 3 goals up within the first 3 minutes. The first chance saw a striker pick up a pass on the edge of the box, Stella chased her down but she got a shot away fortunately it lacked the power and direction to beat Lily. If that was a straight forward save Lily’s next two saves were superb over the next five minutes. The first coming out to brilliantly parry a powerful shot with Niamh completing the clearance, moments later a striker broke clear in the box, her drive was excellently saved by Lily down to her left. Lily’s saves seemed to inspire her team mates as they grabbed control of the game, Liv wriggled away from two tackles in the box and saw her shot saved by the Consett keeper. Jess shot narrowly wide and an Ellie shot flew over the crossbar. Just as it looked as if the Amazelles were in control Consett took the lead. A long ball from their captain split the Amazelles defence and one of Consett’s speedy front two got clear and was able to lift the ball over Lily and into the net to open the scoring. The response was swift and impressive, Lily P cleared a corner, Rebecca picked the ball up deep in her own half and set off on an excellent run away from two defenders and into the box, a defender blocked her shot at the expense of a corner. There followed a run of 5 corners in a row from Rachel, all driven in to the front post and all causing panic in the Consett defence, the best opportunity came when a defender half cleared the ball, Rebecca reacted first and saw her shot blocked on the line for yet another corner. Harriet played a ball down the right to Liv who had moved out wide, she crossed Chloe arrived on the edge of the box and struck her shot well, the ball slipped wide of the right-hand post. The equaliser came after Rachel and Chloe had combined well, Rachel’s ball into the box was thumped clear, Niamh calmly collected the clearance and lifted an excellent ball over the Consett defensive line, Ellie and Jess had beaten the offside trap and Ellie controlled the ball just inside the box before smashing a shot into the back of the net to square things up at 1-1.

The Amazelles were now completely in command and saw Liv, Jess and Rebecca test a nervous keeper who with more luck that good technique kept the ball out of the net. As half time approached Lily P clashed heads with a Consett player, she received treatment and with only a few minutes to go to half time she was ok to continue. An excellent Amazellesattack down the right started by Harriet saw Rachel play a ball inside to Chloe in space she found Jess on the edge of the box, she was too quick for her marker and from just outside of the box she fired a brilliant effort into the bottom corner to make it 2-1. The game had been completely turned around in the space of 20 minutes by an impressive Amazelles performance and as the whistle went for half time they fully deserved to be ahead. 

Lily P decided she needed a rest and so Mackenzie was an obvious replacement for her, two other changes saw Freya come in as the main striker giving Liv a rest and Esme returned, with Rachel moving to the left and Rebecca taking a rest. The second half started with the Amazelles continuing where they left off at the end of the first half, Jess had the first chance of the half picking up an Esme ball forward her shot was blocked for a corner, minutes later the Amazelles had about 4 chances in the space of around 20 seconds, still not sure how they didn’t score. Ellie fed Jess wide on the right, she took the ball tight to the dead ball line, a superb turn saw her loose her marker, she carried the ball forward but mis-hit her shot, which was blocked, the ball bounced back to her this time the keeper was able to kick the ball away, it fell for Chloe who also saw her shot blocked, Freya was next to try with a stabbing effort at the back post, the ball was hacked off the line, back to Jess who set herself but shot over the bar. The Amazelles players and coaches all had hands on heads not believing they hadn’t scored. Consett were struggling to cope with the Amazelles now who were playing some excellent stuff, a Rachel ball into the box was cleared to the edge of the box where Ellie met it well but the ball flew over the bar. A move up the left resulted in the third Amazelles goal, Mackenzie confidently won a header and Stella picked up the loose ball, she carried it into the Consett box before finding Jess on the left, she carried the ball along the front of the box before drilling a low drive into the right hand corner of the net to make it 3-1. All seemed to be going to plan but soon afterwards Ellie signalled that she needed to come off, Rebecca returned with Rachel moving into central midfield. That didn’t last long with Rachel then feeling unwell and having to come off, Liv took over in central midfield. 

Consett took advantage of the unplanned changes and pulled a goal back with a ball in behind the Amazelles defence and a striker slid the ball beyond Lily to make it 3-2. The chance to wrap the game up for the Amazelles came a few minutes later, a corner from the right was cleared to the edge of the box where Harriet met the ball perfectly, her powerful drive was heading towards the goal when a Consett defender blocked the ball with her hand, the referee took a while but blew for a penalty and a chance to go 4-2 up with around 15 minutes left. Nominated penalty taker Rachel was off the pitch so Jess lined up to take the penalty amid ongoing protests from the Consett coaches and bloke behind the goal (who shouldn’t have been there in the first place). Jess’ penalty was straight down the middle expecting the keeper to commit one way or the other – she didn’t move and was able to block the penalty with her foot. The ball rebounded back into play, Jess looked favourite to put the rebound away – the keeper’s challenge saw her make no contact at all with the ball and plenty of contact with Jess’ ankle – a certain second penalty – the referee didn’t give the penalty to the amazement of the Amazelles players and coaches. Phil arrived to find Jess in agony unable to put any weight on her ankle and it was obvious her game was over, he carried her off and ice was applied immediately but it was inevitable that a trip to the hospital was unavoidable. Ellie returned to play in the advanced midfield/striking role Jess excels in but fell awkwardly soon after her return after a tackle banging her head on the pitch which required treatment, after which she was ok to continue. There was some confusion around positions and Consett took advantage with an equaliser with less than 10 minutes to go. Liv was replaced by Rachel and Harriet by Lily P now fully fit again. The game had completely changed and the Amazelles were now hanging on, a brilliant Lily saved blocked a goal bound shot as the defence was put under pressure. A Rachel ball from a central position to Esme gave her a chance to carry the ball forward and release Freya, she controlled the ball but couldn’t get a shot away. It was to be the last Amazelles chance. Consett came so close to winning it inside the last few minutes, a ball through saw Lily come out and block another shot, the ball broke loose and Lily chased the striker, she had done enough to block the way to goal but the striker played a ball across the box to an unmarked striker who looked favourite to score, Lily P had cleverly covered the empty goal and her presence was enough to put the striker off who sliced her shot over the crossbar.

Minutes later the final whistle went, differing emotions at the end, pride at some superb football, disappointment at Jess’ injury, confusion as to why we didn’t get a second penalty, frustration that we didn’t get the three points but the main feeling was pleasure at seeing the girls enjoy themselves and show at times the fantastic attacking football that they are capable of.  A number of outstanding players, a first ever goal for Ellie but unquestionably the woman of the match was keeper Lily having an inspired day. News of Jess’ injury was encouraging, no break but crutches required, fingers crossed she wont be out too long.

Amazelles sporting new tracksuits 💙⚽️🦋

21/09/2019 Amazon Divas v Easington Colliery

Match Report by Richard Coxon, Coach

First home game of the season for the Diva’s was against Easington Colliery, perfect conditions for a game of football. I had the feeling it was going to be a tight game and my predictions were right. After the first 15 minutes the Diva’s had their first shot on target from Tina to which the Keeper saved comfortably, the first half ended with both teams cancelling each other out. Into the second half Easington seemed to have more of the play but without really troubling our stern defense . Enter Ellie Mae from the subs bench and in the first touch of the ball won a 50/50 and sprinted 20 yards up the pitch to the edge of the Easington box only to be denied from a good tackle, mind you after that run it did take her a while to get back into position😁. The game seemed to be ending in a nil nil until we won a free kick at the edge of the box to which Emily Hall hit a great shot over the wall and the keeper came across to save but spilled it to Ellie Mae who finished with a lob over the keeper to make it 1-0. This set the game up for a nervous finish with both teams having chances but the one time the Diva’s switch off Easington nick a goal from a throw in. Can’t complain as the girls were brilliant especially the defense.

Diva’s WOM Ellie Mae

Easington Coach picked out Emily Hall

As always thanks for the great support from the parents.

Thomas and I again were really happy with the performance and I can only see the Diva’s getting better and better.

Captains comments – Charlotte:

A tough game today, great effort from the whole team. Another good game to start off the season, well done Divas!

14/09/2019 Amazelles U15s v Hebburn Town Honeys

Amazelles in winning form for their first home game of the season

The first home game of the season saw another fixture against a new team to the league, this time Hebburn Town who like the Amazelles had lost their opening game of the campaign. The Amazelles were confident of picking up the points but playing resources were stretched with Lily P, Noor, Sara, Freya and Rachel unavailable and Stella (hand) and Mackenzie (knee) carrying injuries.

The picking of the starting line-up was easy with 11 players at pitch side, they all started, Ellie came in for her first start and would play alongside Stella in central defence, with Niamh pushing up into midfield alongside Chloe, Liv leading the attack and Mackenzie taking over at left back in the changes from the game in Middlesbrough the week before. Hebburnhad been well beaten in their first game in this division but the Amazelles were told to forget that and concentrate on their own performance in order to impose their ability on the game. In bright sunshine the game got underway with the home team attacking the school end. 

From the kick off it became obvious that the vast majority of the game would be played in the Hebburn half, they tried to pack their defence with every player getting behind the ball on the occasions they weren’t in possession which meant that the Amazelles defensive players were left largely marking nobody and ultimately meant that Lily touched the ball only once throughout the whole half. The sheer number of players in defensive positions for the visitors made it difficult to create chances in the very early stages, but once the Amazelles started playing with a bit more width rather than trying to attack straight down the middle the chances came thick and fact. A cross from Esme was missed by a defender and Olivia stabbed a shot towards the goal, the Hebburnkeeper unconvincingly manged to make the save. Jess had two shots blocked as she skipped around defenders and after an impressive passing move Chloe hit a low shot just wide of the left hand post as the Amazelles totally dominated. Rebecca was in the thick of the action in the next few minutes, firstly picking up a loose ball in the Amazelles half and driving up the left wing away from two markers her cross was superb and saw Jess arrive at the back post, under pressure her header went narrowly wide. A Mackenzie throw in was helped forward by Niamh to Jess wide on the left, she played a ball back to Chloe who slid a ball into the box to Rebecca who stepped inside her marker but shot over the bar. From the resulting goal kick she intercepted the weak kick and hit a first time effort wide of the left hand post. The deadlock was broken when a lofted ball forward from Harriet gave Liv the chance to run at the visitors defence, she cut into the right side of the box and laid a ball into Jess, she shifted the ball onto her right foot but saw her effort blocked, Liv had intelligently continued her run and the rebound fell to her and she rolled the ball past the goalkeeper and into the net, off the far post to make it 1-0. 

It wasn’t all good for the Amazelles, Ellie had to come off for a short rest due to a headache and Mackenzie’s knee was becoming a real concern – reducing her mobility but she refused to come off to rest it. Niamh dropped into the back four while Ellie had the rest she needed, she returned a few minutes later to take up a midfield role allowing Niamh to pick up her usual role at the back. So many chances were created, Jess (numerous times), Liv, Esme, Chloe and Rebecca all went close but failed to hit the target – a long range effort from Harriet was juggled by the keeper but she kept the ball out of her net. As half time approached Stella linked with Ellie to play the ball wide to Esme, she helped the ball onto Jess who took it in her stride and hammered a shot into the bottom corner of the net to double the Amazelles lead. The chances kept coming, a Chloe shot was kicked away by the keeper and a Liv shot across the goal went just wide, the Amazelles were completely dominant and half time came with a 2-0 lead for the girls.

Mackenzie needed further treatment and strapping at half time, an offer was made to play her in goal in the second period to rest her knee, I am not sure who was more concerned about the offer, Mackenzie or Lily who looked a bit worried about the prospect of playing out for the second 40 minutes. Mackenzie declined the offer and advised she wished to stay at left back. The coaches made a tactical switch – with a new formation for the second half, three at the back, Mackenzie, Stella and Harriet, two midfielders, Niamh and Ellie (Esme and Rebecca stayed in their winger positions) Chloe and Jess now had free roles in behind Liv as the central striker. A very attacking set up with a challenge to get goals!

They responded immediately with Ellie winning a ball in midfield and spreading the play to Esme, she shifted the ball to Jess, who crossed just ahead of Liv and the ball was cleared. Hebburn had changed their goalkeeper at half time and she made an excellent save from her own player after a Jess corner was deflected goal wards by a defender for the keeper to hold on at close range. An excellent attack down the left started by a Mackenzie header saw Rebecca beat her opponent, she pulled a ball across goal to Esme at the back post with a great chance, her shot was powerful but it flew wide of the post. A very similar chance followed minutes later, Ellie played an excellent ball to Chloe who fed Liv in the box she moved inside her marker and played the ball across the goal to Jess on the back post this time, she thumped her shot over the crossbar. The third goal was a peach, Stella fed Niamh who pushed a clever pass through to Ellie who’s influence was increasing as the half went on, she found Chloe who nipped a ball to Jess just inside the box, Jess cut inside her marker and drilled a shot across the goalkeeper into the back of the net to make it 3-0. The pressure was relentless and Hebburn were hanging on, but credit to them they never stopped trying. Harriet won a tackle on half way and fed Ellie, she spread the ball to the right and Esme, she battled through a tackle before finding Liv on the edge of the box, she turned away from her marker and pushed a pass to Jess, her shot from just to the right of the penalty area flew over. Ellie went on a powerful run which took her from the half way line to deep into the penalty area, her shot went across the goal and wide. Ellie thought she was in with a great chance to score when she picked up a Niamh pass, unfortunately she was clearly off-side and the referee blew his whistle for the free kick.

A very rare Hebburn attack saw them break down the Amazelles right, an attacker used her pace to get to the edge of the box, but her final touch was too heavy and Lily was able to come out and collect the ball. Rebecca crossed into the box, Liv challenged with the defender at the front post and the ball broke free to an unmarked Niamh around the penalty spot – was this to be her first goal for the side, she made very good contact but her aim wasn’t quite right and the ball sped wide of the left hand post, dad John neatly folded a £10 note up and put it back in his pocket. A pacey attack saw Esme win a corner, Jess and Chloe played the corner short, the initial cross was blocked but Jess picked up the rebound and lifted a shot over the keeper and into the roof of the net to make it 4-0 and register her first hat-trick of the season. Jess turned provider soon afterwards when she found Chloe unmarked in the box, she fired over the keeper and into the net from close range to make it 5-0. Mackenzie needed treatment when she clashed knees with a Hebburn forward, but she was determined to carry on despite being in pain. There was time for one more goal, Harriet and Esme created the space for Jess who took the ball into the space on the right side of the box, and clipped a shot over the keeper into the net – with Liv and Ellie in close quarters just in case the ball needed a little help in getting over the line. A Rebecca drive flew just wide and a Jess shot on the turn was too close to the keeper. The referee blew for full time with Hebburn pinned back in their box unable to do anything other than try to keep the score down. 

The first win of the season – 3 points and a clean sheet, 6 goals and countless chances created on another day the score would have been well into double figures.  The coaches asked for acknowledgement of Mackenzie’s bravery, playing when not fit and clearly in pain determinedly  playing the full game. They also praised Jess for another goal filled outstanding performance but the woman of the match award went to Ellie on her full debut who did well in the back four but was even more impressive when she moved into a central midfield role. Another home game next week against Consett, always a good game and an opportunity to build on this win with another 3 points.  

07/09/2019 – Amazelles U15s v Boro Rangers (Away)

Season number three at 11 a –side started with a trip to Middlesbrough to take on Boro Rangers, who are the loosely disguised Middlesbrough FC U 15’s Academy team.  The squad for the new season had been trimmed by two with Aiesha and Isla not returning for pre-season training.  Anumber of players were unavailable, Mackenzie (knee injury), Rebecca (Junior Great North Run), Olivia (Jetlag) and Ellie (family function) which left 12 players to take on the Boroside who had moved into the Russell Foster league after winning their Teesside league last season.  A mix up with kick off times saw Rachel not at the ground for the start of the game so the side kicked off with the formation which ended the game against Deerness the previous week with Niamh in a central defensive midfield role behind a three in midfield of Chloe, Noor and Esme. In bright sunshine but with a strong wind blowing across the pitch the home side got the game underway.

Boro started quickly and after good, sharp passing in midfield they slid a ball through to one of their strikers, it took an excellent interception by Stella to deal with the danger. A second attack once again saw impressive team-work a ball into the box on the right hand side saw a Boro wide player collect the ball but then a heavy touch took it out of her feet and allowed Lily P to force the ball away for a throw. Borowere on top and won a corner after a Harriet tackle on theircaptain, the corner was met by Stella who cleared well, the ball however fell to a midfielder who carried the ball to the edge of the box before curling a shot into the back of the Amazelles net to make it 1-0 with little over 3 minutes on the clock. The Amazelles restarted the game and almost immediately captain Chloe was elbowed in the back as she carried the ball forward, as she fell she banged her head on the hard turf, requiring treatment. The referee not for the last time didn’t give a free kick – explaining that he felt it was a fair tackle, not a view shared by the Amazelles coaching team who were on the pitch making sure Chloe was ok. The game restarted with a throw in to Boro who promptly broke away down their right and their captain was released inside the box, she stepped inside Stella’s tackle and finished impressively into the bottom corner to make it 2-0, much discussion on the Amazelles touchline of the non-free kick decision which ultimately resulted in the goal. Boro were running riot and made it 3-0 with a close range finish with only 7 minutes on the clock. The Amazelles settled after this difficult start and gradually got into the game, they almost pulled one back when Sara broke up an attack and found Jess wide on the left, she skilfully went past two defenders before crossing into the six yard box, Freya was first to the ball but her shot lacked power and the goalkeeper was able to make a save. Chloe and Noor combined well minutes later after a Niamh tackle, Chloe spread the ball wide to Esme who found Niamh again – she lifted a ball over the Boro defence, Jess had got the better of her defender again and rolled a ball across the front of the goal, Noor arriving at the back post was just too far behind the ball to get the touch it needed to bring it back to 3-1. Borocontinued to push forward when they could, a tremendous drive came back off the crossbar after one attack and the Lily made an excellent save away to her right to concede a corner from the next attack. Jess came close to the first Amazellesleague goal of the season when she received the ball from Chloe on the left edge of the penalty area, she jinked inside of her marker and clipped a shot over the keeper but unfortunately it hit the bar rather than the back of the net.

A long ball forward saw Stella and the Boro captain battling to win the ball, Stella got there first to concede a corner, the Boro skipper barged Stella in the back as she played the ball forcing them both to fall heavily to the floor. Stella onto her injured arm and the Boro player awkwardly on her knee. Stella got to her feet and was re-assured her arm was ok – the Boro player wasn’t so lucky, her right knee cap had been dislocated but had then popped back in. The game stopped for a round 10 minutes as she received treatment and then was taken away by car to hospital. 

During the delay Rachel arrived to add to the options available to the Amazelles coaches. After the re-start a brilliant through ball from Chloe saw Jess with some space in the box, her shot beat the keeper but went wide of the target. As half time approached Lily P blocked a shot, the ball going out for a corner, the ball into the box was half cleared but only to a Boro player on the edge of the box who riffled a shot into the roof of Lily net to make it 4-0 at the break.

Half time saw a change in shape with the more familiar 4-4-1-1 formation return, Harriet took a break with Lily P taking over at right back and Niamh, who had impressed in midfield going back into the back four, Rachel was introduced in midfield in a central role with Noor moving out to the left.  The second half got underway and the signs were promising. Rachel held off two challenges before finding Esme who slid a ball through to Jess who carried the ball into the box and fired a shot past the home goalkeeper but into the side netting. Minutes later Chloe and Jess combined, Jess’ cross was too high for the keeper, Freya was inches away from heading the ball into an empty net, but despite her lung busting run just couldn’t reach the cross. Boro used their substitutes well and once again took the upper hand, a ball through the centre of the Amazelles defence saw a striker break into the box, a brilliant chase and tackle from Stella stopped her adding to the score-line. An attack down the Boro right resulted in a driven cross into the box which was bravely met by Niamh who cleared powerfully. A quick breakaway started by Noor saw Freya flick the ball on for Jess to chase, it just had too much pace and went through to the home keeper. Boro got their 5thwhen an attacker was first to react to a ball into the box and steered a shot across Lily into the net. Not long afterwards a Sara block resulted in a corner, the corner saw a downward header palmed out by Lily, Lily P got this year’s goalkeeping audition out of the way early this year pushing the ball back to Lily with both hands as it bounced towards her, the referee missed it!! Lily grabbed the loose ball and Lily P with a massive grin trotted back to her right back position. Another corner soon afterwards saw Lily P in the action again, she brilliantly cleared a shot off the line, but the ball spun up into the air and an unmarked Boro attacker was able to nod the ball into the back of the net. Chloe won a free kick on the Amazelles right about half way inside the Boro half, Jess played the ball in behind the high defensive Boro line, Lily P who had come up for the free kick, challenged the keeper but she held on under pressure.

With 20 minutes to go Lily P took her turn for a rest with Harriet returning. A good Amazelles move down the right involving Rachel and Esme saw Chloe pick up a pass, she played a ball into Jess who shot from outside the box, it looked like it was heading for the top corner but the Borokeeper used her seemingly telescopic arms to reach up and hold the ball just under her crossbar. The game was heading towards the final whistle when Boro added a further two goals, the first a through ball catching the Amazelles defence and allowing a striker to run beyond them, Harriet tried to get back but from a tight angle the striker managed to find the back of the net. Minutes later a shot from the edge of the box found the back of the net too as Boro extended their lead to 8-0. A very late tackle on Jess late in the dying minutes saw her having to come off with a shoulder injury, Lily P going up front for the last few minutes. No further goalmouth action and the referee brought the game to an end with the three points staying in Middlesbrough.

Lots to be positive about despite the score-line, mainly the fact that irrespective of a defeat being the likely outcome from very early in the game there wasn’t one head that went down, nor one player who at any stage gave anything less than 100%.  All the players could be proud of their performances and the coaches emphasised that on another day the levels of commitment, desire and quality seen would have resulted in points. No arguments about the result the better side won – but the Amazelles will be better prepared for the return games later in the season.

The coaches mentioned a few players at the end of the game, in fact all the players were impressive, Stella and Jess were outstanding, but they gave special mention to two incredibly hard working players, firstly Esme who battled from start to finish and gave one of her best performances in the shirt, secondly and just pipping Esme for the Woman of the Match award Freya who ran herself into a standstill and with a bit of luck could have had two goals on the day.  

07/09/2019 – Divas u14s v Brandon Utd

First game of the season for the Diva’s and the new coaching team was an away game at Brandon Utd whites. The game kicked off with a new looking Brandon team having the best of the first 5 minutes before Ellie Williams scored her first ever goal for the Diva’s with a nice right foot shot into the corner, this settled the girls down especially when the Brandon forward danced through to have her shot saved by Rhiannon. It wasn’t long before Charlotte made it 2 after good play from Emily, then Emily made it 3 with a fine individual goal. Tina scored the 4th with a through ball by Emily, the fifth goal was again scored by Tina with an assist from Charlotte. The sixth goal was a good team goal started at the back and then assisted by Masie for Emily to convert, Charlotte made it 7 before half time with another assist from Emily. Even in the first half and into the second half the Brandon girls heads never went down and kept plugging causing the Diva’s a few problems but eventually the goals came again with Charlotte completing her hattrick with another fine finish, Isabella came on and added 2 goals one from a throw in and the other from a corner taken by Charlotte. Amy grabbed 2 goals which she deserved with assists from Emily O Mara and Elle Mae, the 13th goal was completed by Tina with an assist from Rhiannon completing a hattrick for Tina. A big thank you for the support from the parents Thomas and I are happy coaches.

Captain Charlotte’s Take:

A solid performance from the Divas today, everyone put 100% effort in and we got a well deserved win. Well done Divas! Great start to the season!

Divas WOM: Isla