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Under 13 football team marched their way into round 4 of the National Cup after an outstanding 3-1 win against local rivals King Alfred's.

Posted on: 07/11/2019

The girls have had a great start to their DGS footballing career, beating Wheatley Park 8-0 in round 1, having a close 3-2 encounter against Weydon (Aldershot) in round 2 and then drawing with King Alfred's in round 3 of the National Cup.

There was some apprehension around playing King Alfred's as our year 8s had been on the wrong end of a 2-1 score line last season and we also knew that King Alfred's had won their 2nd round match 6-0. The team, however, have been working hard in training and were well prepared for the derby match.

DGS started off on the front foot, some nice runs down the left-hand side from Zaynab created a couple of chances early on and it wasn’t look long before the pressure paid off as DGS were awarded a free kick from 20 yards out. Vice-captain Daisy stepped up to take it and what a belter of a free kick it was - lobbing the goal keeper and smashing the ball it into the top corner. 1-0.

KAs automatically looked to reply. Goalkeeper Emma was outstanding between the sticks, coming off her line and diving at the feet of the King Alfred's striker and making some great diving saves. The back line soon tightened up and we were unphased by the pressure, nicely marshalled by captain Grace and vice-captain Daisy.

Maddie played her first full match for DGS and what an asset she was, making well timed, crucial tackles, carrying the ball out from her right back position and linking up well with central midfielder Amelia who tested the goalkeeper with a fantastic strike hitting the cross bar from distance.

Ileana used her pace to attack King Alfred's back line and played some nice balls through, but her efforts were saved by the goalkeeper.

At half time the team knew they were in for a tough 2nd half. Our team talk was very much around giving a disciplined performance and sitting tight and then trying to pounce on the counter attack. The girls knew they had to be resilient in soaking up pressure and that the 2nd half was going to require everyone to be on the top of their game.

The girls didn’t disappoint and put the game plan straight into action. Violet did a great job in breaking down the play in midfield whilst also creating opportunities for her team mates. Our 2nd goal came on the counter attack and it was a solo effort from Amelia who muscled her way through a number of players before slotting the ball round the goal keeper. 2-0 but still plenty to play for.

Another bout of pressure from King Alfred's meant we had to weather the storm; Libby worked hard to support the back line whilst also being creative in attack and Lily did the same on the right flank. It wasn’t long before a fantastic strike from King Alfred's saw keeper Emma pulling off a brilliant fingertip save only to see the ball land in the back of the net. 2-1.

DGS looked quick to respond as Mati and Hannah chased every loose ball down and continually put pressure on King Alfred's, giving them little time to play the ball and forcing errors. The game soon opened up and became end to end with both teams coming close a number of times. We called upon Lily to drop in and she did a great job of using her strength to break up any play from down the wing. With 8 minutes to go we changed our formation again, dropping Amelia into a defensive midfield whilst pushing our wingbacks on to create some space. This tactical change soon paid off as a clearance from the back put us on the counter attack and forced a late challenge in the box, giving the referee no option but to award a penalty with just minutes to spare. Up stepped cool headed Amelia to drive the ball into the bottom corner and the team erupted in celebrations as the game finished 3-1.

Oppositions player of the match was awarded to Lily for a strong performance on the right wing and the team’s player of the match went to goalkeeper Emma for a superb shot-stopping display. Mrs Walker's player of the match went to left back Grace. She put in a great shift, making fantastic challenges all over the pitch, leading by example and giving a real captain's performance.

A phenomenal and gutsy performance from every single member of the squad.

We now look forward to where round 4 will take us.

Well done team!

Emma, Amelia, Daisy, Ileana, Grace, Libby, Maddy, Violet, Hannah, Zaynab, Matilda and Lily

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