16th October 2021: Aztecs are hit for six, as the score is ran up late in the game.
This was the team that donned the red in Bedford, with debuts for Hannah Humphreys and Charlotte Broughton.
With few fans travelling for the game, the Aztecs got the flags out to remind us that we have support from all over.
Southampton set out in a low block, playing a 2-2 shape when out of possession. The denial of space caused much frustration for Birmingham, and did allow for a couple of chances for the Aztecs on the counter. Birmingham eventually took the lead in the first half when the Aztecs were caught in possession near their own goal. It wasn't viewed as much of a setback at the time, as the game plan was to limit Birmingham chances and hit them on the counter, which had been happening up until that point.
After the break, the Aztecs kept to their game plan, still limiting the Birmingham chances, looking strong. Unfortunately Birmingham got their second goal due to a defensive error, meaning the Aztecs had to change their game plan.
Southampton called a timeout and decided to press high in a 1-3. Birmingham reacted by keeping two up and playing more direct, creating a 2v1 in Southampton's half forcing another adjustment in the Southampton shape. With the team in red now chasing the game, Birmingham were able to run up the score in the final few minutes of the game. The Aztecs feel a loss was a fair result, but the score line is not an accurate reflection of the performance.
Below is the full match for your viewing pleasure.
Rebekah Tonks was voted as player of the match. Check out why below.
The scores from the day of games.
The league is now starting to take shape, and the Aztecs can feel positive knowing that two of the toughest games are now out the way.
The race to finish in the top four and compete nationally in the second half of the season will be a closely battled contest that we are more than ready for, and looking forward to rising to the challenge. With our final four games this half of the season being against Bloomsbury, Reading, Genesis, and up next Bedford, the Aztecs are confident we can pick up the point required to make fourth.