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U15 Girls – Hesketh Colts v Langho FC – A Battling Performance

Last early Saturday morning saw a very defence depleted U15 Langho girls team travel all the way to Southport to play Hesketh Colts in the first match in the West Lancs Girls League Challenge Cup. With no subs it gave all the girls who could make it a chance to play the full match, but against a team that Langho had played a close game in the league cup earlier in the season.  The home team were strong across the park, used the pitch and space very well and punished some backing off from Langho playing into a strong wind just above head height.

There were pleasing performances from many Langho players, Amelia scored and Hazel smashed one over the bar from distance, Langho had one claimed goal scooped out by the keeper from over the line, but that’s the game. Rebecca continued to make remarkable strides, Amber made some dogged tackles chasing down players and Misty made some saves bravely volunteering to go in the net to allow Hazel to come out and play in front of defence and help Amelia, Iola and Annie out in midfield.  Ella continued her pleasing endeavours upfront growing in confidence and ability.  Freya, with her usual happy ways, played her all too.  Annie had another great game down the right wing and there were some fantastic interchanges and vision between her, Hazel, Annie and Ella.

A final score of 8-1 was rather harsh and the girls’ biggest defeat in over 3 seasons, but with 3 key players unavailable and a very balanced second half the girls were all smiles and will try to turn this round next Sunday at home against the other league winners Formby.

U15 Girls Myerscough 0 – 9 Langho FC – A final league flourish

Sunday saw the U15 girls’ last league game of the season away against Myerscough, generously hosted by our friends at St Annes at the last minute due to the recent poor weather and a waterlogged pitch. The girls started strongly this week, both in defence and attack, threatening from the off.  A few chances went begging until Ella scored from a defected lob.  A run and cross from Ella saw Katie connect well to put Langho 2-0 up at the far post.  Laura was masterful at the back again and surged forward too and with Hazel in net and Rebecca and Amber the defence played clinically.  Continued pressure saw Annie launch in a cross for Amelia to beautifully volley home close in.

Katie went in after half time and Hazel upfront as the rain settled in. Early on Hazel intercepted a goal kick and crossed to Amelia who racked up her second, then a great run and cross from Annie on the right wing was put in by Hazel pressurising the keeper.  Hazel then stepped through the defence to score her second.  A sliding low left foot volley from Hazel made it 7, then she scored her fourth despite the coaches pushing her back in defence!  Amelia then scored a final corker lobbing the keeper from way outside the box:  Didn’t see that coming!

So a final score of 9-0 finished the league fixtures for the Langho U15 girls and meant they deservedly leapfrogged Wigan Athletic into third place in the table with only the top 2 playing next week. The whole team has been brilliant this season in terms of how they play, the level of individual improvements shown and the way they all get on so well; one and all.  The team have stepped up to play in a tougher league after last season’s outstanding success and the loss of several players, taken on-board a lot of new faces and still done so well.  They are just a pleasure to coach.  Now they move on the league Challenge Cup competition then the summer tournaments….

U15 Girls St Annes 1- 2 Langho – A close run thing!

Sunday saw the U15 girls travel to St Annes for a hastily arranged friendly after the Myerscough away league match was postponed with a waterlogged pitch. Guest star Chloe made her old team comeback to make up the team of 9 Langho girls facing our good friends at St Annes.

Langho team Shout

Langho team Shout

The pitch started very heavy and then the rain came….  After a ‘Langho’ shout, the fixture started very even with the home team having the first shot with Katie in net making a good save.  Rebecca unfamiliarly started upfront but had 2 shots that the team could no ‘will over the line’.  Ella hit the post and Hazel blasted the rebound in again which the keeper saved well.  Langho had a number of squared balls and chances go begging and St Annes broke well the other way and created great thwarted opportunities too.  Langho were not as fluid as normal and a deflection off Chloe could not quite be held by Katie and this put St Annes ahead.  Chances both ends continued and Bella was having a great game.  Pushing Ella upfront strengthened the attack and Hazel continually tried to break through from the right.  Iola was having a great tussle with the St Anne’s winger on Langho’s left too.

After a halftime chat, a swap of keepers with Hazel going in and some players reverting to more familiar positions the girls pressed the ball better but St Annes continued to create chances forcing Hazel to make a great dive to the right into a 70s muddy puddle and later a superb high full stretch dive to deny a well-crafted bullet shot. Bella and with Hazel sweeping dealt with many problems helped by Laura, Rebecca and Chloe and goal kicks found their target driving the home team back.  When it seemed the girls were not to strike it lucky as the cold and wet bit home, a home coach shouted 12minutes remaining.  With the finishing line in sight the passes started to flow better between Amelia, Katie, Bella, Chloe, Ella and Iola.  Amelia stepped through the defence again and smashed home the equaliser.  Both teams battled and Langho continued to pass and move in the way we have seen again throughout the season.  Then more passes and Amelia jinked her way around the defence and smashed home the winner.

Happy but cold, muddy and soggy U15 Langho girls

Happy but cold, muddy and soggy U15 Langho girls

Today was a classic ‘victory clinched from the hands of defeat.’ Rebecca had her best game yet passing, beating players and tackling and the girls showed great spirit to keep going despite the harsh conditions and with no subs.  Credit should also go to St Annes for their efforts, controlling the aerial ball and for hosting us at short notice in their usual welcoming ways.  Thanks to Stu for the time check, which seemed to wake Langho up!  Nice brew again Patrick too!

U15 Girls – AFC Darwen 0 – 9 Langho FC

Last Sunday, at the start of half term, saw a depleted Langho U15 girls visit AFC Darwen for their last but one main league fixture of the season. Rebecca was given the captaincy for the day and everyone except Katie in who played in the net were subbed as the team played 7v7 and Tony gave everyone a game and a short break.  Laura opened Langho’s scoring, long overdue for her great efforts in defence again this season, then Amelia put one in before Charley brought up 3-0 before the break.

After the restart Charley then put in 2 more to bring up her hat trick and then Amelia buried 2 more. This was followed by the now regular Ella goal and finally Amelia notched her account up to 4 so at the final whistle the score was 9-0 to Langho.  Rebecca was credited with doing an awful lot of running as her skills continue to grow, Iola had a few good efforts and Amelia had a goal disallowed for offside as well.  The Darwen keeper made some good saves too.  It is great that the match’s 8 Langho girls, despite missing some key players for holidays and sickness, did so well.  It is a real credit to the strength of the U15 squad.  The next fixture is away to Myerscough.

U15 Girls 11v11 Friendly – Langho 5-0 St Annes

Yesterday afternoon saw the Langho U15 girls take on St. Annes on the Senior’s pitch at the Rydings in a friendly match with the clubhouse invitingly open for the families for snacks and drinks.  This was the girls’ first game at the 11v11 format trying to give as much playing time as possible for both teams’ players.

Iola opened the home team’s account early into the fixture: 1-0.  The girls broke well down the left and right and won numerous corners as the game progressed.  A range of shots went wide, a post was hit and Katie found the side netting a few times.  Freya and Rebecca played well at the back in combination with Laura and Bella to snuff out danger. Hazel made a fine dive to her left to save a shot in the far corner, plus came out sweeping and distributing the ball well from huge kicks and throws to her team mates. Langho’s passing was on form again and the vision between Amelia, Katie, Annie, Laura and others was impressive again.

After the half time chat around the dugouts, the substitutions continued to roll across 6 of the team, through strikers, midfield and defence and Katie went between the posts.  The space was again used well with varying runs down the right from Annie and often from deep Hazel from the left. Annie  made it 2-0 with a shot from distance and after further exchanges at both ends she scored another.  Ella and Charley just missed getting on the end of 2 crosses before Ella made it 4-0 with her second for the team since she joined earlier this season.  Misty defended well down the left and showed vision with some perfect passes to Annie amongst others.  Amelia continued to connect passes between the midfield and Laura made some surging runs herself.  Katie made a dive to help keep a clean sheet and a rare opportunity for Freya to play upfront saw her get her 1st goal this season and bring up the final score of 5-0.

Another enjoyable match against our friends at St Annes on a heavy and big pitch. Well played again girls with great effort and team spirit.  Thanks to all those that helped out opening the bar and running the popular tuck shop too.

U15 Girls – Barrowford Celtic 1-10 Langho FC

This Sunday the Langho U15 girls travelled to Barrowford Celtic on a bitterly cold morning. The pitch was very heavy and the goal mouths rather boggy puddles.  The U15 girls started strongly and the home team defended doggedly with Langho playing a high back line.  Annie put in the rebound from a save for 0-1.  Charlotte battled hard on the left and the keeper made some brave saves.  A jinking run from Amelia was smashed home for the team’s second.  Barrowford were settling and came more into the game, putting more demands on the back 3 and forcing well-timed sweeps from Hazel in the net.  A powerful long dipping shot from an angle saw Hazel dive at full stretch to gather the ball before landing with a splat in the ice-cold mud underneath; to score the first points in the ‘who can turn the brownest’ competition!  The home team continued to press and Laura and Bella did a fine job clearing up with Freya pressing forward when the ball went down the right, straight out of Friday’s training drill as Bella did on the left.  The passing and vision of the players today were superb.  With Misty and Amber subbed on for Ella and Freya the good work continued.  Amelia made another run and crossed for Katie to put in at the far post and later she did the same for Misty to make it 0-4 before the break.

With a swap of keepers Hazel went behind the striker and Katie between the sticks plus Ella and Freya subbed on the team was off again. A great throw from Misty to Hazel, pass to Annie then to Amelia for her to rack up her second.  A good run down the left saw the home team get a well-earned goal and Katie join the mud-pack competition.  Another string of passes from Hazel to Annie then Amelia saw her make her hat trick.  Bella now joined the mud tumbling completion with some tasty tackles that saw her scissor in the air and practice her roly-polies!  Annie’s run put a ball squared across the goal mouth for Hazel to guide home for 1-7.  Next a pass from Charlotte to Hazel then another break from the left beating a few players then she unleashed a scorcher from distance dipping over the keeper for her second.  The home team’s heads commendably didn’t drop and a great run down their left saw Amber, Laura and finally Bella clear up the serious danger with some fine support work at the back.  Langho won a series of well taken corners, but a comedy one saw Hazel slide on flat her back next to the flag digging a trench, the ball to find its way somehow through a forest of Barrowford players for Ella to determinedly scramble home.  The final major action of the game saw Hazel beat 3 players then wrong-foot the keeper to bring up her hat trick and 1-10.

Today the girls played really well.  Back up by the wing backs came straight out of Friday night training.  The communication and passing was wonderful from defence, through the midfield to the attack and great to see such a spread of scorers across the team.  Brilliant girls!

U15 Girls Langho 5-2 Wigan Athletic

Sunday afternoon saw Langho U15 girls take on Wigan Athletic at the Rydings after the Christmas break. With a nearly full squad of 13, the girls came out of the blocks strongly and early on Ella had a good shot saved and Laura took a long range free kick which flew narrowly wide.  Particularly great defending from Laura and Bella and fantastic goal keeping from Hazel kept Wigan out, including commandingly picking corners out of the air and punching away too.  Another home team attack saw a mistake by their keeper and a predatory Annie put Langho ahead.  The current subs joined the coach in my cheesy mini-Mexican wave.  Iola smashed a beautifully crafted volley on the full narrowly wide of the left hand post and Freya continued to make a difference in the left of defence.  Annie doubled the lead from a tight angle as Langho proved so dominant on the break and Amelia stretched the lead to 3-0.  Katie throughout continued to battle for the ball in front of defence both on the ground and in the air.

After the break Wigan came out strongly, but the girls’ nerve held despite playing up the slope.  Wigan clawed a goal back when Hazel made a save with 2 hands on the ball but the attacker’s fall on her released the ball for it only to be nudged over the line.  Hazel’s kicking and distribution continued on song and Amelia had a great strike from the right well saved.  Then a well-executed attack down the Langho left to beat the home team midfield and defence saw Hazel get a hand on the bullet crafted shot to bring up 3-2.  Nerves wobbled!  Amber and Charley battled down the left against a fast and determined away team pairing.  In response a few more substitutions followed and the game turned again in favour of Langho then Amelia restored a 2-goal cushion.  Rebecca came on with some terrific throws and with Iola took on the might of the Wigan right.  Ella came back on and with virtually her first touch she made it 5-2:  Thoroughly deserved for her efforts before.

This was how the game finished. The post-match team photo says it all:  A proud and together team.  Away to AFC Darwen next Sunday….

Langho U15 girls after Wigan match - A great team

Langho U15 girls after Wigan match – A great team

U15 Girls – Burnley 2-1 Langho

The Langho U15 girls were away at Burnley Girls on Saturday morning on a heavy Prairie pitch. The team of 10 kept their shape and width under early pressure and going forward.  After a tight game largely against the run of early play, Langho hit the home team superbly on the break with Amelia smashed the girls into a lead.  Amber lapped up the physical tactics on the left and Bella covered really well in central defence in Laura’s injury absence.  Annie, Amelia, Katie helped defend from the midfield and Hazel had a faultless half sweeping, saving, kicking from her hands and from the ground.  She commandingly rose above both teams picking the ball out of the air from a well flighted Burnley corner.  Just a moment of standing off saw the home team’s striker skip round 3 defenders to equalise.  A scything rapid passing attack from Langho saw the girls tear through Burnley’s defence with a well-timed final pass to Charlotte then saw her bury the shot but sadly the flag went up.

A swap of keeper at halftime saw Charlotte and Hazel upfront and Katie going in the net. Langho had a shot scraped off the line and made some great passing moves between Amelia, Hazel, Annie and Charlotte plus great individual moves from all 4.  Misty had another shot from distance and Katie made a top corner save distributing the ball out well.  Bella had a great match making determined critical tackles including one in the box that sent her barrelling through the mud.  Ella too made some solid defensive moves with the same spirit she rode 2 fouls in the first half.  Burnley took the lead after a goal-mouth melee, then Langho pressed hard for the equaliser with Hazel stepping through 3 challenges to put the shot wide, plus Amelia landing another quality shot.  Despite Langho being increasingly on top, the home team clung on so the 2-1 score stood.

The match deserved at least a draw, but it was not to be. The girl’s performance was summed up by a comment from the Burnley coach: – ‘The best match they had all season.’  So well played Langho U15 girls – we are really proud of you all.  Next match in the New year against Wigan Athletic.

Langho U15 Girls 4-1 St Annes – Late report!

Last Sunday saw an unusually depleted Langho U15 girls team take on their old friends St Annes. The early exchanges in the first half saw a great cross from Annie that Charlotte smashed into the post but the girls were a bit too deep and narrow to play their normal pleasing to the eye expansive game.  A corner was determinedly bundled over the line deservedly by Iola for 1-0.  The away team pressed, Bella and Freya defended soundly and Hazel commanded her box from the net keeping St Annes at a distance sweeping and organising the back line.  A break saw a strong shot unluckily deflected off Bella to bring up the equaliser and the honour of a first OG for the home team, but smiles all round.

After the break Langho used the width much better. Iola and Amelia turned defence into attack and Annie put the girls into the lead again from the right wing.  Annie bossed the right side with her pace and a well-timed pass to Amelia saw her extend to 3-1.  Hazel made a superb dive low to her right as Bella tried to clear some danger.  Rebecca beat her first player as pleasingly her experience, skills and confidence grows from a netball player in the Summer.  She even had a shot well saved by their keeper as everyone willed it over the line!  Amelia brilliantly made it 4-1 jinking her way through the defence.

An enjoyable match again with St Annes and sweets swapped as a gesture of goodwill. Langho dominated the game in the second half and created loads of chances.  Well played again girls showing the team’s ever-growing strength in depth.  Proud coaches once more!

U15 Girls Langho 1-2 Feniscowles – What-a-Scorcher

A team of 13 Langho U15 girls took on the undefeated West Lancs league leaders Feniscowles at Northcote. Fenny had the balance of play in the first half as Langho played a little deep, but the girls still hit the away team on the break with Ella looking threatening and standing up to some physical challenges up front really well.  Hazel bossed her box and Laura too was doing a sterling job.  A split second miscommunication let Fenny in, which they converted for 0-1.  Sadly Laura went off shortly after due to injury.  Bella was pulled into central defence to fill Laura’s big shoes and she had a blinder.  Amber characteristically relished Fenny’s tactics in defence and Misty was bought on at left back and Freya to the right.  With Charley on for Ella upfront, she took up the mantle chasing balls down and looking threatening too.  An oh-so-nearly chance saw their keeper fumble but recover before the ball crossed the line.

After the break, Katy, Iola and Amelia battled for the ball and the passes started to cut through the opposition. As the game progressed Annie started to make more and more inroads down the right.  A slip in defence saw Fenny make an unstoppable 2-0, but Langho fought on and increasingly took hold of the game.  Hazel made more fine stops in the net and sweeping decisions.   Rebecca intercepted, tackled moved which was fab to see.  With Misty moved upfront she nearly put pulled one back in a goal mouth scramble, but clinically smashed one in the back of the net from distance for 1-2.  Langho just seemed to get stronger as Fenny continued to rock against a series of corners.  A post was glanced, but sadly the girls ran out of time (ode to Fergie time!).

So, so pleased with the girls efforts today across the park. It was a great match and the girls were terrific; right from the established to newest players.  We hope for a speedy recovery for Laura.

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