Make That A Double Please!
With the Hampshire League Cup already in Corfe hands the team had the chance of a cross county double if they could overturn Poole Town in the Dorset Cup Final. Great to see a full squad of 15 available, a squad that would need to be fully utilised on a hot sunny day.
The team started on the front foot, with Poole playing a high back line there seemed a whole half pitch of space which was exploited in a dominant opening although they could not find a killer pass or shot, the opposition GK equal to everything hit at her. Out of the blue, Charlotte tried her luck with an audacious effort that struck the crossbar bringing the first ‘ooooh’ of the day from the teams vocal supporters! 20 seconds later, the second ‘ooooh’ of the day, Sophie striking the upright with a sweetly struck effort. Poole were shaken but stayed strong and disciplined, smothering the midfield and not allowing clean passes. Their efforts brought rewards, from a throw in, forward pressure forced the mistake for the striker to guide the ball past Millie (0-1). The team had to up their game, dust themselves down and go again, and so they did. The leveller came from a player that is playing at top of her game, Megan showing poise and balance before smashing the ball past a very good goalkeeper (1-1). Game on again! And although not at their fluid best they looked the more likely to score, a terrific save stopped Kaitlyn’s shot from nestling in the top corner. The girls’ could not force another goal and the teams went into the break level. HT 1-1 The team had shown in recent weeks a desire in their defending and Millie’s defensive line were no different today, any attacks in the second period were dealt with comfortably. Faye and Lauren were strong at full back with Annabel and Abi equally adept when filling in. Again, the Eva/Mya combination was sturdy at the heart of defence and were getting more accurate in their distribution as the game unfolded. There was no doubt that the combination of Sophie and Kaitlyn was seen as a threat and this gained special attention from a packed Poole Town midfield and to be fair they did a great job. The problem for them was that they could not contain the rest of this talented team and Summer was picking up the pieces and driving into the spaces that were left. The team had stepped it up, asking more questions of a committed opponent and Megan’s run into the area was brought to a halt with an over bullish challenge…penalty! The now striker picked herself up to crash the ball out of the goalkeepers reach (2-1). The tempo had now been wound up a notch, Bobbi and Charlotte keeping the full backs occupied creating the space for Megan to break through centrally and although well marshalled, still managing to get shots off that were just wide, well saved and also striking the goalpost again. A well struck shot from Brooke was well gathered prior to a third, killer goal, Megan getting enough power in her drive that the GK got fingers too but could not prevent a goal (3-1). Poole had no answer, a brave performance from them but the passing had improved, the drive had improved and the whole team had improved in a good second half performance.
Summary: They had done it! A Hampshire and Dorset league cup double, two trophies that were well earned and totally deserved. The girls will not fully understand their achievement at the moment but will look back with some realism somewhere down the line. When the team finalled in both cups the previous season they were denied the opportunity to win a trophy thanks to this bug thing going around! They were not to be denied this season, coming back to not only final in both cups again but claiming both trophies playing their brand of attractive football….a stunning achievement at any level of the sport! I bow to you all and thank you from myself Dave, Mark and Rob for all your efforts these last two seasons! Thanks also to our fantastic parents for their committed support to the team in general….not always an easy job being a parent!!
POM: Summer (competitive and industrious…..best is still to come!)