Last week saw the LHFC ladies form a team for the first time and take centre stage in the Liverpool Ladies Futsal League. For many, it was their first taste of competitive football action but nerves and shyness were left in the changing room as the team put in a stunning league debut.
Despite losing the match to League Leaders The Liverpool Futsal Ladies, there were many encouraging signs that this LHFC team can unsettle some well established teams in the division. The first half was a close contest with both teams competing hard in all areas of the pitch. LHFC Ladies were under a lot of pressure but they defended excellently and were well organised in breaking down the opposition attacks.
The futsal format of the game is very different to normal 5-a-side; the ball is much smaller and heavier and play must be controlled within the painted lines – not off the walls. The game improves players passing skills and their overall technique. It is commonly played in Brazil and Spain. Credit must be given to Tina and Lisa who bravely did some time in goal ‘between the sticks’.
When LHFC won possession of the ball, their game plan became quite clear as they looked to release star striker Jess Lomax. Jess led several counter attacks and was not shy in unleashing her deadly right foot to claim a first half hat-trick! More resolute defending by all the girls meant that the score at half time was 5-3 to Liverpool Futsal Ladies.
After the break more defensive duties were required from LHFC and this was typified by Becca who continued to put her body on the line – sometimes quite literally! Cecilia became the latest player to try her hand on goal and she proved to be an excellent shot stopper especially considering the weight of the futsal ball!
As the game drew on, the superior fitness of the opposition led to a flurry of goals which seemed to put the Liverpool Futsal Ladies out of sight. But there was still time for one last come back and debutant Natasha carried the ball into the opposition territory only to be fouled as she was about to pull the trigger. It was a nasty fall which had the crowd gasping as Natasha hit the floor! After recovering her bearings and dusting herself down, Natasha smashed the free kick past the helpless goalie and restored some LHFC pride!
The final score of 11-5 was not reflective of the contest and was not the main feature of the night. The feeling throughout the team was of tremendous pride and sense of achievement. Coach James Buckley said proudly “All the girls did really well tonight. It’s very difficult to play Futsal and to play against such tough opposition in the first week was a real challenge but we did really well. We hit the post a few times and we improved throughout the game! I’m looking forward to next week already”
Becca revealed after the game; “It’s great to have so many (girls) turning up tonight! We feel like a proper team now and everyone is just buzzing at the moment! I think some of them have found a new hobby!”.
Training will continue for the girls each week and their coach Fara Williams will have one job just to try and contain their excitement. Tune in here next week to hear more about the LHFC Ladies as they continue in the Liverpool Futsal League!
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