Town Undermanned and Outplayed!
The team made the long trip to Charlton Athletic for a mid afternoon kick off. As it was, only a small squad of 13 were expected to travel but the late withdrawal of Izzy due to illness seemed a real kick in the teeth before a ball was kicked.
The home team were well aware of the teams’ lack of depth in numbers and moved the ball well in the early stages of the match. With only 12 minutes played the hosts took the lead, awarded a free kick, the ball was lofted into the box and guided just inside the goalpost off the head of the centre forward (1-0). Although still under the cosh for the main part, the team defended well for the remainder of the half and kept the home side in front of them, limiting the space behind. A lack of communication brought about the important second goal 5 minutes before the break, with Esme stranded the ball was squared for an easy finish (2-0). Unfortunately for Esme and the team, in trying to stop the cross, her knee was twisted and her game was as good as over.
Luckily for the team, they have a another great goalkeeper in their ranks, Rhianna stepping up and donning the gloves for the second half. The flip side, another quality outfield player forfeited, now down to the bones. The team, not through a lack of effort, were struggling to contain Athletic but a really scrappy goal from one of many corner kicks opened a mini floodgate where concentration was lost. A further two goals were added inside of 5 minutes, the last 2 well worked and well taken, working the ball into the area and accurate low crosses finished off (5-0). This seemed even more frustrating as in the limited training time the team get, the team were aiming to get into these same attacking areas! To be absolutely honest if it wasn’t for a mammoth defensive effort and Rhianna’s efforts in goal, it could have been a more harsh scoreline. To their credit, this very fatigued team showed a great mindset even in this adversity and pulled together to shut out any more clear cut chances in the final 30 minutes. At times in the final stages, the team looked more of a threat going forwards also but were limited to a handful of long shots that did little to trouble the home goalkeeper. Although a really tough afternoon for this young team, a brilliant moment to see, with 88 minutes played, Charlotte carrying the ball from her own goal area and running the length of the pitch past some very startled players but not quite able to dig out a shot at the end….well actually collapsing! ??
FT: CAFC 5 WTFC 0
POM: Charlotte/Eva (could not split these two, worked as a partnership in a tough match for the pair).
Summary: Although difficult, positives must be taken in difficult moments. The girls gave their all, leaving nothing in the tank. Powerless to rotate or change matters, it almost seemed unfair to the girls but they stood up to a very balanced Charlton team. Esme, Rhianna, Eva, Charlotte, Sophie, Lila, Jess, Emilia, Emilie, Liv, Carly and Bay….It was tough but well done!!