Our first league fixture for over a month and we certainly struggled.
With a slight change of formation we couldn’t seem to get the basics working well. From the outset we struggled to control the ball quickly or to pass accurately to a team mate. However, we did look defensively strong with all playing in the back 4 positions doing so really well.
There weren’t too many chances created from either team with both Ciara and Saskia opting to shoot early when more composure was needed. Neve, playing in goal, didn’t have much to do but when called upon dealt with everything calmly. As half-time approached at last a through ball of quality was provided to set Ciara free on a 1 on 1 with the keeper. The keeper who had commanded her area well with everything up to this point opted to come out to the edge of her area giving space for Ciara to knock the ball around her and then into the empty net. We had had the most chances and probably just deserved to take a lead into half-time.
A goalkeeper change was to take all by surprise. Zoe was asked to take a turn in goal with Imogen and Amelie taking central midfield positions.
The second half started okay with Neve now providing a threat down the right. A couple of good runs saw Neve drive to the right hand side of the box and test the keeper at her near post. One of these corners resulted in our next goal. A good delivery from Amelie saw the ball half cleared with Imogen taking a beautiful shot into the far side of the goal. Not long after we had another chance with Amelie getting to the ball inside their goal area on the left near the goal line, turned inside and drove towards goal opting to lift a shot over the keeper unluckily seeing it hit the crossbar.
Maidenhead were beginning to get into the game a bit more but our defenders were still sticking to their tasks well. They got a corner and a good delivery was not dealt with and the ball dropped to the feet of an attacker who tapped it in from close range. With just over 20 minutes to go, Maidenhead had the momentum and we couldn’t seem to get our passes working again.
There weren’t too many chances for either team as the game approached full time but it certainly wasn’t comfortable. The final chance of the game came with another corner for Maidenhead. Again the delivery was good and after the ball had bounced around in the area the shot was well dealt with by Zoe.
A win is a win but we’re going to need to improve on our midfield and attacking play in the next few games. More care is needed to ensure that once we have won the ball back we are careful with the next pass to ensure we can go forwards with it.