Saturday 28th Apr 2018 (Match Date)
SWLFC U12's SHGCL: Div 1 RUNNERS UP!!!!!!
Wickersley v Sheffield Wednesday U12's
Under-12 Division 1
28 April 2018
A great report from Steve McKevitt.....
Sheffield Wednesday Under-12s finished their season with a crucial away game against League Champions Wickersley, knowing that nothing less than a victory would be enough to secure the runners-up spot.
Having been heavily defeated in the reverse fixture at the start of the year, The Owls knew they would have to be at their best to have any chance of getting the result that they needed.
Manager Jamie Andrew opted for an attacking formation to begin with playing with two strikers. It was end to end in the early stages, before Wickersley began to capitalize on the extra girl in midfield, forcing Wednesday to sit deep and defend.
Great organization, headed clearances and strong tackles from a back three of Tamsin Stephenson, Tegan Roome and Aoife McKevitt kept Wickersley at bay, while some great kick-outs from keeper Holly Bagshaw allowed Owls’ wingers Millie Stephenson and Libby Andrew to threaten down the flanks.
All seemed to be going to plan when, slightly against the run of play, Macie Fenwick grabbed the first goal for Wednesday: an instinctive finish inside the box that looked to set the girls on their way.
However, the goal seemed to spur Wickersley into action and disaster struck not once, but three times. With just a minute to go till half time, Wednesday found themselves 3-1 down with a mountain to climb.
Not quite. Straight from the restart, Libby Andrew played the ball over to the left and Ella Shaw and Millie Stephenson earned Wednesday a throw-in on the edge of the Wickersley box. Some neat passing found Talitha Miswa who used her strength to hold off the attentions of the Wickersley defender, turn and fire into the bottom left hand corner beyond the reach of the diving goalkeeper. Wednesday had dragged themselves back into the match with the last kick of the half.
H-T: Wickersley 3 – 2 Wednesday
The second half saw a tactical change with Macie Fenwick dropped into midfield alongside the hardworking Ellie Wright. The reshuffle immediately paid off, as the pair took control of the midfield and penned Wickersley into their own half. The pattern of play remained the same for the rest of the match. Despite several tactical changes Wickersley no answer for either Fenwick’s aerial ability or Wright’s incisive passing.
On the rare occasions that Wickersley did try to break, Aoife McKevitt’s organization of the back three ensured that threat was contained, and some brilliant work by Tegan Roome and Ella Shaw meant that defence quickly turned into attack.
Only the heroics of the Wickersley keeper, who made a string of excellent saves, was keeping the Champions in the match. Just when the fans feared it was going to be one of those days, Ella Shaw – having her game of the season at the back – won the ball and with a crisp pass to Macie started the move that resulted the brilliant Millie Stephenson firing in an unstoppable, and richly deserved, equalizer.
Wednesday were now pushing for a winner. Aaliyah Whitworth’s first touch and skills was causing the Wickersley defence constant problems, as were a succession of excellent corners by Libby Andrew. There looked like there could be only one outcome, but then disaster struck for a fourth time. A Wickersley breakaway (with a suspicion of offside) resulted in a goal against the run of play.
These girls showed they are not Champions for nothing – surely The Owls couldn’t bounce back again?
Credit to Wednesday, the goal didn’t alter the way they played and they were quickly back on level terms. With Macie’s and Ellie’s through balls causing the defence all sorts of problems, Wickersley conceded yet another corner. Once again Libby Andrew fired in a perfect cross, but this time, Ellie Wright was at the back post to blast home the equalizer.
But was it too late? An honourable draw was not enough. With time ticking away yet another great pass found Libby out on the right wing. She held off the full back and cut inside to drive a low shot low hard at the Wickersley goal. The ball took a slight deflection and ended up in the back of the net.
A last minute winner and runners-up spot was secured.
It was the game of the season and The Owls performance of the season.
The result saw the league’s two best teams deservedly finishing first and second place, but who wouldn’t bet that this Wednesday side can go one better next year?
Final score: Wickersley 4 – 5 Wednesday.
Well done girls.
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