Cliftonville Hockey Club vs Folkestone Ops Blue

06 July 2024 | Celena Sabin-Dawson
Cliftonville Hockey Club vs Folkestone Ops Blue

There was a nervous approach to the game this week with only 12 players and no women’s subs. This week, up against some of Folkestone’s first team players the approach was a solid defensive formation was to start with a solid four at the back, three midfielders and three forwards. 

Cliftonville came to the first half with energy and drive, but Folkestone snagged the first goal of the game with a wonderful cross to one of their ladies and a straight strike. Cliftonville stuck with it and didn’t let Folkestone’s upper hand stop their determination, and despite some wonderful shots on target from Kat, they ultimately ended the first half with the score 0-1 to Folkestone. 

With a motivational half time talk from captains Dan Mees and Kat, Cliftonville came back on the pitch with a new-found determination. With a change in formation, Kerry, Aron and Charlie held our defence strong while Dan V pushed up and joined our midfielders. 

With this formation change, Folkestone felt the pressure as they pushed into their 25 and soon into the second half, Kat had a great opportunity that was unfortunately picked off by their defence, but recovered smoothly by Dan V who slipped it past their keeper and into the goal. 

Ollie came on up front in the second half and with a fresh burst of energy he gave Folkestone’s defence a challenge as he brilliantly held on to the ball so our midfielders could push up to assist.

With the score 1-1 pressure was on for both teams, but Cliftonville gave everything they had the last five minutes of the game. With a strong ball from Dan V to Lena an opportunity arose in their 25. With a recovered pass, Lena snuck the ball through their defence with a pass to Tinashe who scored with only a few minutes left in the game. 

The team then persevered those last few moments with great tackles put in by Jen in the centre and some wonderful clearances by Paula. 

A game like this goes to show why Cliftonville always fight till the last whistle! 

Cliftonville Hockey Club 2, Folkestone 1.

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