Well we won, although as the score line suggests, we made hard work of it especially given we had 2 extra players. Without any heads-up and with it being a cold wet morning we decide to start with 11 players playing in their normal positions rather than have 4 subs standing on the side getting cold.
We started strongly, as you’d expect given the numerical advantage, but were not able to capitalise on the chances being created. Their keeper was pulling off some good saves as she did throughout the game. A goal was finally scored after 10 minutes but it was for the opposition. The pace of their attack had us running back towards our own goal and rather than a simple pass back to the keeper for Saskia to kick clear we attempted to turn but the attacker won the ball and broke clear. A tidy finish, saw them go 1-0 up.
Fortunately, we had a quick response and were level within a couple of minutes. The really good link up play between Amelie and Hollie down the right hand side resulted in a lovely cross into the middle where Ciara was waiting to score with a first time finish. For the next 15 minutes chances came but weren’t taken for both sides until on the half-hour mark Zoe picked up the ball on the edge of the box, cut inside onto her left foot and clipped a delightful curling shot over the keeper. Two minutes later, it was 3-1. A through-ball by Imogen from the halfway line to Ciara on the edge of the box who turned and used her speed and power to burst between two defenders and then dinked the ball over the on-rushing keeper with her left foot into the far corner.
Half-time came and we decided to stay as we were given that the game had been quite even as a contest. The second half started very much like the middle of the 1st half with several chances created for both teams without them being taken. It took almost 30 mins for another goal to be scored when Neve got on the score sheet with a tidy finish.
At 4-1 up and with the opposition tiring we reduced our numbers to 9 but in doing so ended up with too many players playing out of their normal positions. This seemed to spur the opposition on who scored 2 quick goals in the last 5 minutes. A quick couple of substitutions to put players back in their normal positions helped see us through to the end of the game to get the deserved 3 points.