'Resilient Remains rue reduced representation'
A narrow loss to a well drilled Colchester side for 9.5 man Remains
The older, experienced lady is a special, independent being. Some might say that putting a team of these people together is like herding cats - I couldn't possibly comment. Whatever the truth, it is a fact that from a squad of 14 two days earlier, the Remains arrived at Colchester with 10 players. And these 10 comprised 1 keeper, 1 midfield player, 1 ex-retiree who last played 10 years ago, and 7 forwards. A formidable line-up indeed.
COlchester started strongly, putting Becky in midfield under pressure straight away, and forcing the Remains to take on a very defensive formation. However, within a few minutes the first casualty occurred - Wonders strained her calf, and from that point on was in pain and unable to hobble far. A quick restructuring later, and Babs moved to left defence, much to the ever nimble Keeper Mooch's horror.
From this point onwards there was no let-up. Colchester continued to attack from every angle, playing some good passing hockey and breaking through to Wapping's D repeatedly. Centre back Hoff made her presence felt, digging deep and staying low through every tackle, and thoroughly annoying her opponent. It's fair to say that some excellent defence was seen from this Wapping team of attackers, with Wardy at sweeper and Clarky on the right making up the back 4, ably supported by Sweta at left midfield. It's also true that the defence withstood at least 200 short corners, probably more. By now Colchester were becoming increasingly frustrated that they could not penetrate the Remain's defence, and the game stepped up a tempo. Hoff responded by throwing an aerial almost the length of the pitch, and then followed this up with a mazy run from one D to the other, being fouled multiple times en-route. This looked promising, however was not to be, despite support from Fi on the wing and Abi in midfield.
Colchester responded with another well drilled attack, and the ensuing short corner resulted in an unstoppable goal from a deflection into the top left corner. The Remains should feel intensely proud of themselves, for holding out with 9.5 players until these last few minutes of the match.
Post match, most of the changing room envy was for the matching towelling robe combo sported by Babs and Wonders, while the rest of the team were distracted by Wardy's glowing shoes. It was widely agreed that it was an excellent achievement for Babs to play in defence, and not once get taken out by Mooch. Becky was also commended for eating multiple pies - fact.
'Bird' of the match was deservedly won by birthday girl Hoff for her solid performance - the reward being a particularly fetching 'Angry Birds' bobble hat - a perfect fit in so many ways! 'Plum' was closer, with Wonders just beating off Babs; getting votes for injuring herself in her first match for the Remains.
All is not yet lost for the Remains this year - the Shield competition for those knocked out at this stage is due to start in February. Watch this space.....