Flurry of goals
against close rivals
The ladies 4s refused to be conned by the very small and youthful looking Hertford side, just 1 place below them in the league. They gave no quarter, and on the 5 minute mark went ahead with a trademark reverse stick shot from Cook clearing the keeper and definitely disconcerting the young opponents. S&S kept the pressure up for the first half, despite trying to deal with some inexperienced/clumsy tackling and positioning by the opposition which was well managed by the umpires to encourage more accurate tackling and a higher standard of play. S&S's attacks looked dangerous every time we reached the D and repeated shots on goal were saved by the outstanding Hertford keeper. By half time Cook had put the home side 3-0 up, including a short corner on the half time whistle itself, which saw everyone except Mead and West up at the D and going for goal - but the on-pitch play was much closer than this, with S&S defence also called on to block breaks into the D, and calm clearances required by keeper Mead.
Despite the scoreline, S&S did not let their guard down and were strong from the restart. An early short corner saw the Hertford keeper block strong strikes from both Cook and Currell before the rebound was firmly placed over the line by Kelly. The keeper was still on form and saving all direct strikes, but was finally defeated midway through the second half by the determination of captain Baker to get the ball over the line. A spectacular short corner strike from Cook was disallowed in the final few minutes of the game as the ball did not clear the D, but she retaliated in typical fashion just secondss later with an unstoppable chip past the keeper to give an impressive 6-0 win to the home side.
All credit to the Hertford side - the scoreline reflected the strike power of S&S (with Cook in her first season at the club) despite the heroic efforts of their keeper; this was definitely not a one sided match, and the opposition made the most of every break or missed pass and all credit, especially in such a young team, for playing spirited hockey through to the final whistle, despite the scoreline and bitter weather.