The Ladies 3s were at home to Basingstoke Ladies 7 at the newly cleaned pitch at Smallbrook on a bitterly cold afternoon and with only 10 players. The game was a fast tempo with end to end action. Amelia Parker and Rhea Thakrar in the midfield ran and ran, chasing every stray ball, attempting to get it through to the oppositions D. Basingstoke pushed back just as hard for a goal, winning several short corners which the Island’s defence of Vicki Brodowska, Beth Bransom, Cathy Somekh and Rhea Thakrar were able to keep out, along with great saves from Wightlink Player of the Match Ella Laird in goal. Eventually Basingstoke broke and were able to tussle home their first goal. Half time 1-0.
The second half started out much slower as both teams began to feel the pace of the first half. The Island pushed for their equaliser to get back into the game which eventually came when Amber Wilmott swept the ball into the bottom corner after receiving the ball at the top of the D from Amelia Parker. 1-1. This being a game that was very evenly matched it wasn’t long before Basingstoke strung together some good passes too and bundled the ball over the line past the Island’s defence in spite of captain Cathy Somekh’s best efforts on the line to take the lead at 2-1. A little stunned but woken up, the Island went all out to get another equaliser, knowing there was only about 20 minutes to go. Georgie Mack worked endlessly down the left wing, linking up well with Beth Branson and Cathy Somekh at the back and getting the ball into Amelia Parker and Amber Wimott who just couldn’t find a way past a sea of legs and sticks. Several short corners for the Island were awarded and they were unlucky not to convert from any of them. Their persistence finally paid off when Hannah Kerley picked up the ball from a great pass from Amelia Parker in the midfield and went round several players down the right wing before crossing it into the D to Carole McFarlane who was able to strike it home convincingly for 2-2. With legs tiring on both sides and the floodlights coming on, the Island were starting to leave gaps and those gaps were exploited when five minutes before the end of the match Basingstoke broke from the defence, sweeping the ball quickly down the pitch to the base line and back into the D before bundling the ball over the line past the Island’s stunned defence 3-2. The Island won several more short corners attempting to get the draw they deserved but it just wasn’t to be their day. Special mention to Basingstoke Ladies 7s who always play fair and friendly hockey and deserved their 3 points today.