By Liam Moakes Tuesday 02 October 2012 Updated: 02/10 11:42
Wootton Bassett Ladies 1 Bretforton Ladies 4
West Clubs Women's Hockey League North Division
A CONFIDENT Bretforton team took advantage of being at full strength to power to victory on their travels on the opening day of the season.
The visitors started brightly and maintained possession of the ball early on and it was not long before midfielder Hayley Whitehouse - returning to the side after a season out - hit the crossbar from the tightest of angles after a strong drive into the D.
Bretforton newcomer Sue Headington showed flashes of brilliance in creating excellent moves down the right wing, but unfortunately Bretforton were unable to capitalise.
The deadlock was finally broken when Whitehouse's excellent run saw her one-on-one with the keeper, who subsequently went to ground, and Whitehouse calmly took it around the keeper before slotting neatly into the goal.
Bretforton overcame a period of pressure from the home side as goalkeeper Vicky Watkins made two excellent saves to keep her side in front.
Wootton Bassett nearly levelled shortly afterwards with a brilliant short corner routine which beat everyone apart from left back Daisy Wheeler who stopped the ball on the line before calmly clearing the danger.
Bretforton doubled their lead nearing half time when an excellent run and pass from Headington into striker Sarah Hall was played to Emma Lowe, who was able to push the ball into the goal from close range.
The visitors were able to go into the break with their heads held high when quick reactions from Deb Slatter allowed her to pick up the rebound from a powerful Whitehouse shot and fire it home to make it 3-0.
Bretforton started the second half as they had finished the first with sharp passing and quick movement and more chances from numerous short corners went begging but Bretforton remained firmly in control until midway through the second half when they appeared to tire.
Player of the match Kate Mitchell, along with fellow defenders Wheeler, Liz Murray-White and Sarah Cook, were kept busy as they made some excellent interceptions to limit the home side's chances.
Unfortunately a mix-up between keeper Watkins and Murray-White allowed Wootton Bassett a shot which deflected off Murray-White into the goal whilst she was on the floor.
Bretforton's energy levels appeared to reignite after the goal and they returned to their slick moves and excellent organisation and it was not long before they had yet another short corner.
A perfect routine saw Hall push it out before Whitehouse fired it to the left post to Hall who swept the ball home from close range into the top of the net.
This was a perfect start to the season for Bretforton, who host Cheltenham CS tomorrow.
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