Merrick shines on Dereham debut
Dereham Wanderers U13 Girls kicked off their season with a tricky away game at Costessey. With new players coming into the squad, it was important to send out the right signals to existing squad members so Dereham started with the team that finished last season.
Dereham Wanderers U13 Girls kicked off their season with a tricky away game at Costessey.
With new players coming into the squad, it was important to send out the right signals to existing squad members so Dereham started with the team that finished last season.
Dereham made a solid start and created all of the opening chances and it was only going to be a matter of time before the first goal was scored and it was certainly worth the wait.
Lanti, playing left midfield, collected the ball just inside the Costessey half and went on a mazy run before cutting inside and rifling a powerful shot from out side of the area into the net, the keeper had no chance.
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With 15 minutes gone it was time to introduce the new players to the game and one of them made an immediate impact.
With her very first touch as a Dereham player, Merrick was in exactly the right place to finish off a shot from Lanti that had not quite enough power to cross the line, leaving a nice tap-in for Merrick to get up and running.
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With Beck and Sarah staying solid in defence and clearing any danger that came their way it became a game that Dereham could relax in and enjoy what little space there was on a seemingly small pitch.
Bea, another new player, was showing some excellent touches and her link-up play was very good.
There was still time enough in the first half to run in another two goals, but it was some of the passing and movement that was so pleasing to see.
At half-time more changes were made. Sarah, Becka and Lanti made way for Joy, Georgy and Chelsea to come back on.
With a large squad this season it is going to give the manager the opportunity to rest players during the game, a luxury that was often missing last season.
The second half started where the first had left off, plenty of possession and little for Chantelle, in goal, to do.
Merrick was full of running and really showed her class with some great dribbling skills and showed what a good finisher she is to by scoring a further three goals in the second half, the best of which saw her beat three Costessey defenders before very coolly slotting the ball past the keeper.
Chelsea had a shot cleared off the line and was unlucky on another occasion not to get on the scoresheet, as was Bea, but their goals will definitely come.
It was a great team performance, everybody contributed and worked for each other - that is important in what is sure to be another interesting season.
Merrick was awarded the Manager's Player of the Week honour.