Girls Show Metal Required!
After a three week break since the seeding group matches, the much anticipated first league game had arrived. A fantastic fixture for the team, hosting Charlton Athletic at the New Cuthbury, how would the team react to a very very established outfit.
It was obvious from the first minute that the girls had a serious team to deal with, they were going to need patience and to pick their moments in moving the ball forwards. With Athletic looking to play out from the goalkeeper the girls pressed any loose passing, Meg at the forefront of this, forcing an early error but Emilia’s well struck shot flew narrowly wide. The team were not only ‘holding their own’ but also carving out chances, Meg the next to strike but her effort well held by the visiting gk. The visitors were good in possession but they were not awarded a clear shot on goal until the offside trap was was breached, the Charlton player keeping her head to round Esme and finish well (0-1) with 24 minutes played. This proved the difference between the teams at the break. HT 0–1 The girls had to soak up a whole lot of pressure in the second half although seemed more than up to the task, they looked to break but struggled to link the passes to take them into the attacking third. Continued attacks by the visitors were thwarted by a dogged defencive display. The main threats were centrally, Charlton looking to open the team up with penetrating passes, it was taking an heroic effort to keep them out, Laila and Jess at CDM with Charlotte and Eva in central defence all working overtime, staying compact and keeping team shape. It took until the 74th minute before the team were unluckily breeched again, an unfortunate deflection just evading Esme’s reach (0-2). The visitors had moved the ball around well, changing angles of attack, probably looking to pull the team out of shape and create gaps but to their credit, the shape remained and as the game moved into the final 15 minutes the girls gradually started to drag themselves higher up the pitch, passes were connecting and the girls were sustaining pressure in the final third. With ten minutes remaining Brooke looked to have given the team a real foothold but her cross/shot was somehow clawed away by the gk. Pressure was building and Emilie too aim, a finely struck shot deflecting just over the crossbar. The team had been working on attacking and defencive corners, during the match every defencive corner was dealt with superbly, this attacking corner was about to ignite the final minutes of this match. Emilia’s in-swinging corner guided home by Olivia’s glancing header (1-2). The team smelt blood, not letting the visitors out, it was now them having to put in the big defensive effort, another block, another corner. In what was to be the final play of the match Emilia again had ball at feet in the corner quadrant. Another fantastic inswinging corner seemed destined for the far corner of the goal but rather than dropping in it landed on the roof of the net and the final whistle blew to bring a fanatic game to its conclusion.
FT: WTFC 1 CAFC 2
POM: Laila (optimised everything good about the team, fought for every ball)
Summary. Quite simply a cracking game of football. Player for player, none of the girls left anything on the pitch, not just battling in a physical sense but keeping team shape , closing spaces against a very testing team. The girls had to be patient, at times passes were not connecting but good sides force mistakes, they did not fold, far from it, they stayed in the game and picked their time to pressure this team and make for a dramatic ending. Well done ladies!