Bradley Stoke Ladies 1-4 Ladies
GCWFL – Div 2 (25th October 2020)
After last weekends disappointing 1st round cup exit to Abbeymead Rovers the Ladies attention switched back to league action with a local derby against neighbours Bradley Stoke Ladies.
After winning their opening three league games that has since the Ladies climb to the top of Division 2 the Ladies knew they’d need another strong performance to prevent Bradley Stoke taking home the points. The last encounter between the sides was in pre-season which saw the two sides share a 1-1 draw, evidence this was not going to be an easy tie.
As the early exchanges got underway it was the home side who settled the quicker and they were moving the ball well and testing the Olveston defence which stood firm with keeper Hibbert marshalling the odd long range speculative effort. The early Bradley Stoke threat saw Olveston make a change in formation and the with an extra body in midfield it wasn’t long before the tide started to change.
Defender Sian Rollings, not shy of a special strike, travelled with the ball out of defence into the Bradley Stoke half and some 25 yards out let fly with a sweetly struck effort that flew in past the home keeper. 1-0.
The goal was probably against the run of play but it seemed to settle Olveston down and they began to move the ball around with some quick, sharp movement and the home side we’re struggling to get a foothold on the ball making a couple of rash challenges that saw the referee brandish an early yellow card. As the pressure began to build Olveston would add their second and what a goal it was.
A Bradley Stoke attack was calmly dealt with by the Olveston defence with Tash Hibbert quickly throwing out to Sian Rollings. Rollings, got the ball out of her feet and spotted the early of run Abbie Mitchell, playing a lovely ball over the top. Mitchell collected it well and skipped over a couple a sliding challenges before finishing with a low driven effort inside the box.
Four minutes later and it was 3. Olivia Hood finding some time and space down the right delivered a delicious cross and there was Emily Nicholson at the back post to tuck home. Olveston were in full flow and were causing the home side a lot of problems and Mitchell went close again minutes later but some brave keeping from the Stoke shot stopper denied the striker as Olveston headed in at the break in command of the tie.
As the second half got underway the home side emerged a different side, spurred on by some words of wisdom from Manager Martin Lee and they began to once again test the Olveston back line. Defensively the visitors were working well, ably backed up by midfielders Lu Hayward and Emma Foxwell saw the home side frustrated in the early exchanges of the second half.
Tash Hibbert was called upon to make a fine save 10 minutes later though as a sweetly struck effort from outside the box saw Hibbert at full stretch to turn the ball around the post. Olveston were not finding the high level of performance from the first half but were still giving the hosts something to think about as Olivia Hood continued to torment the Stoke left back with some great movement. As the hour mark approached Hood would be the architect of Olveston’s fourth. Another fantastic delivery into the box found Courtney Lusmore at the back post and the striker tapped home to grab her 1st league goal for the club. 4-0!
Huge credit to the hosts who could so easily have let their heads drop at this point responded quickly, just four minutes after Lusmore’s strike Bradley Stoke finally breached the Olveston defence. A loose ball on the edge of the box found a Bradley Stoke player who was given time and space to turn and her shot flew goalwards beyond the outstretched arm of Hibbert.
Rain at the start of the game had made the pitch a little sticky and with a few tired legs Olveston made a double change with White and Carter joining the action in place of Foxwell and Mitchell. Midfielder Amy Carter was soon in the action but not the action she would have liked as a couple of quick late challenges saw her earn a yellow card for her troubles.
With the clock running down Bradley Stoke has a couple of corners of which were narrowly headed over and another well struck effort outside the box that drew a stunning saw from Hibbert tipping the ball over with a strong fingertip save but it would be Olveston who would emerge with all three points and maintain their position at the top of the league.
Player of the Match sponsored by AJF Roofing & Building is Natasha Hibbert