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Game of their lives

PUBLISHED: 11:26 03 June 2009 | UPDATED: 15:16 07 July 2010

Dereham Wanderers Girls U12 with their West Ham guests.

Dereham Wanderers Girls U12 with their West Ham guests.

DEREHAMWANDERERS U12 GIRLS enjoyed the biggest game of many of their lives so far, against West Ham. The Hammers got held up in traffic jams and the wait waiting added to Wanderers' nerves.

DEREHAMWANDERERS U12 GIRLS enjoyed the biggest game of many of their lives so far, against West Ham. The Hammers got held up in traffic jams and the wait waiting added to Wanderers' nerves. But a crowd of over 100 made it an even more special occasion. Playing nine-a-side for only the second time, players were slightly unsure as to their positions and roles which meant early play was a little scrappy before everyone settled and became more confident in their positions. West Ham had the advantage of having played nine-a-side all season and took the lead with a good firm strike from inside the area following a goal kick that was picked up by West Ham in midfield and a decisive ball through the Dereham defence. A second goal followed, a good strike from outside the area that bounced once before finding the back of the net. Dereham could have no complaints about being 2-0 down at this stage.

It was time to try and regroup, stay confident and show the team spirit that Wanderers have had all season. Avalon came on for Ellen for her first game for this team and immediately settled in and added some steel to the team. Dereham got a deserved goal back. Following a corner on the right Chelsea laid the ball back across the goal to Lanti who made no mistake from two yards. The goal was greeted with a huge celebrations amongst the players and spectators and gave them a lift as they went into the break.

At the break the main theme was to have a bit more belief and to be a little stronger. Dereham matched West Ham on all fronts. They were playing with some belief, without fear and were certainly being stronger. Ellen came on for Sarah at the break, Joy was starting to impose herself in the central of midfield, Georgy was, as ever, full of running and desire and Paige was outstanding with her sheer grit and determination. Chelsea was showing everyone just how much she has improved this season and was gaining the plaudits for some brilliant work, and as always Lanti was tremendous, full of running and was putting in a powerful performance.

Chantelle made some good saves and the defence, well marshalled by Becka, was holding firm. Both teams had chances and Dereham nearly levelled with almost the last kick of the game but the shot was just a little too high. The game finished with West Ham 2-1 winners of a great game of football played with lots of passion and pride. West Ham stayed and enjoyed some food and drink and their players even found the energy for another game, joined by Lanti and Chelsea.

Dereham manager Lindsay Vallis said: “This has been a tremendous day for everyone, all the girls from both sides seemed to have had a great time and everyone got on really well. We gave them a really good game and in doing so have raised the profile of Dereham Wanderers FC, which is a fantastic club to be involved with.

“A huge thank you to everyone who helped me with the preparations for the game and also to West Ham United manager Ray Wood for bringing his team along. It was a pleasure to have entertained them and we look forward to meeting them all again soon.”

Lindsay is looking for players to join his successful squad for next season, if you are interested contact him on 07771 910560 or email lindsay@derehamwanderers.co.uk

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