L2's defeat Wycombe in tight match at home
By Jackie Batten-Lincoln
L2s 2 - 1 Wycombe 3's
The oranges survived a tough match against Wycombe 3's on Saturday and came on top after goals at either end of the game secured the 3 points.
Vikki Randles (Forest) made a lovely return to L2's hockey and got P&R off to a cracking start with a goal from close range after only 2 minutes on the clock. Wycombe were caught cold after travelling with just the bare 11 players and it was the home side who had all the pressure in the first 20 minutes, nearly scoring a couple of goals but for the efforts of the Wycombe defenders.
Wycombe got into the game in the last 15 mins of the half and their experienced midfield players exposed some big gaps in P&R's inexperienced one - catching them with some long balls straight up to their attackers. Luckily keeper Hannah Doherty was again on great form, making some fine diving saves and body blocks to keep Wycombe out.
Wycombe made their pressure count right at the end of the half and got their equaliser despite the best efforts of defenders Lucy Plummer and Pam Saker.
After half time, the oranges re-jigged the formation to give debutant player Kate Wensley a freer role up front and this shored up the midfield area and allowed P&R to really pile on the pressure. Youngster Caitlin Edgar, making her debut in the 2's, linked up well with Mandy Wilton and Deese Pointon but Wycombe's experienced defenders played very well to shackle Edgar and prevent her from getting in behind. Other debutant, Lotty Griffiths looked assured at right half and cracked in several really dangerous balls to the edge of the D which constantly set P&R on the attack.
The game looked certain to have more goals in it but there were shots saved at both ends as Doherty rescued P&R a couple of times and scrambled defensive clearances got the team out of trouble.
With 10 minutes to go, Naomi Ashcroft finished off a great team goal after Edgar, Wensley, and Pointon all combined on the right to send the ball into the back post where Ashcroft was waiting to smash the ball home.
There was a nervy finish as the oranges conceded a couple of short corners and Wycombe just went for it to get a goal back, but the home side held firm and got a hard-earned 3 points to go 4th in the table.
P&R L2's are home again on Saturday 14th October against Bicester and will be looking to get more points on the board!