Belles Ladies received a bye in the League Cup last week so it was back to League action on Sunday (8th) and the visitors: Welwyn Pegasus Sapphires. The week's break certainly showed in the first 15 - 20 minutes as Belles Ladies had no fluidity in their play and showed some rustiness with their passing losing possession easily. Early on Welwyn took advantage with some fine play forcing Orlagh in goal to scramble a shot wide. The visitors took the lead after 15 minutes when Hitchin did not deal with a cross into the box for the visiting forward to firmly pass the ball past Orlagh from 12 yards. Hitchin showed what they are made of and dug deep to find some rhythm and eventually started to push the visitors back into their own half. The pressure told when Shannon Page ran onto a fine through ball from Charlie P to slot home. Hitchin continued to spread the ball wide with Emma and Chloe K giving the visiting fullbacks a torrid time. It was from a foray forward to the edge of area that Hitchin extended their lead going into half time as Amy Jack notched her fourth goal in as many matches confidently slotting past the left hand of the diving keeper.
Welwyn started the second half brightly but Hitchin weathered the early onslaught as the centre backs of Lottie, Shannon Planson and Daisy holding firm. Welwyn equalised through a penalty after Belles again gave away possession, this time on the half-way. Ball went out wide and as the visiting forward went into the box tripped over the out-stretched leg of a Belles player. Hitchin remained determined and continued to go forward at every opportunity. A tactical switch saw Gemma S go out wide right with Chloe K up front and it was from this that Hitchin took the lead once more. Chloe K's pace and tenacity forced a corner. Up stepped Emma to bend it over the keeper and across the line. Entering the final 15 minutes, Hitchin were pegged back as Welwyn sought an equaliser and it duly came, like Belles third, from a corner. The in-swinging cross just made it past the first defender, and with a Pegasus defender on the near post, toe-poked home to give both sides a point a piece.
Emma Wells was player of the match and straight after we got her thoughts "A very even contest between two good sides but a little disappointed to have the lead twice only to surrender it. Another match where it is a case of two points dropped rather than one gained"
Sunday 15th October is the next match for the Belles and they are in County Cup action. Hosts are Bishops Stortford U18's in the first round