After two years without national knockout competition, the Greens travelled to Havant in the EH Women’s Tier Two Championship and despite being without some notable absentees, the Sarnians put up an excellent fight and twice came from behind to equalise against their Southern Central Premier Division One opposition before that late hammer blow saw them knocked out by a 3-2 scoreline.
However, player-coach Hubbard is looking forward to their next match, which will be the inter-insular in spring, with renewed confidence.
‘It was good to play against female opposition at a high level, as it is a very different game to when we play the men each week,’ she said.
‘I am very much looking forward to using the many positives from this game when we play Jersey in March.’
Guernsey travelled to Havant on Saturday morning and, in much the same vein as the domestic league matches taking place at Footes Lane on the same day, the game was held in wet and windy conditions.
‘It was a pretty horrendous day weather-wise, but that didn’t dampen our spirit or desire to put in a strong performance,’ Hubbard said.
‘Right from the whistle, we were off on an attacking run and this was the theme for a large portion of the game. Most of the match, however, was contested in the middle of the pitch.’
The Guernsey coach felt that her side had the majority of possession throughout the match, but their hosts were able to break at pace and overwhelm the defence on occasions.
‘Their attack was quick and they advanced in numbers, creating the overload and their goals.
‘It was a great match for the spectators to watch and indeed for us to play in. Each time Havant scored, we came back with a goal in response.’
The home side scored the solitary goal of the first half, but Laura Webber equalised for Guernsey from a short-corner after the turnaround.
Then, after Havant had edged ahead once more, a determined Becky McAllister levelled things up in open play.
‘Unfortunately their last goal was scored with a minute to go, giving us little time to respond on that occasion,’ said Hubbard.
‘I am very proud with how we performed as a team, the work-rate that the girls all put in and their attitude throughout.
‘It is a great team to be a part of.’
Guernsey fielded three juniors as part of their squad in Harriet Savident, Mia Lloyd-Jones and Mali Smith, with their coach impressed by how they coped with the occasion.
‘Our juniors did themselves proud too when they were on the pitch, with a particularly notable performance from Mali Smith, who was named player of the match by our team,’ Hubbard said.
‘She caused the Havant team all kinds of problems and worked incredibly hard to make opportunities and to achieve turnovers.’