Sunday 24th Feb 2019 (Match Date)
NERWFL: League Cup Quarter final:
Ossett Utd 2 : 1 SWLFC 1st
1. Michelle Stephens, 1. Emily Darwin, 3. Lucie Spendiff, 4. Emma Otley,
6, Sophie Eyre (Capt), 7. Emily Higgins, 8. Phoebe Davis, 10. Channy Rymer,
12. Jodie Stancill, 15. Jess Morrison, 16. Ruby Bristow.
The 1st team travelled to league champions Ossett Utd who had lost just one league game all season. A tough task made harder due manager Dave Higgins having just 11 players at his disposal.
The first half was an even game with the Owls having the best chance with Jess Morrison hitting a great shot that beat the keeper but cannoned off the crossbar. Coach Michelle had stepped up and taken her place in goal and did well to save the only two efforts that Ossett had on target during the first half. She saved the first with her feet and then pushed a 2nd on to the upright.
Half time 0 : 0
Our ladies had played the better football in the first half without troubling the keeper too much whilst Ossett consistently played the long ball over the top for their players to chase. Emma, Ruby and Lucie at the back defended well and limited the opposition to wasting chances in the final 3rd.
The 2nd half was a tale of two penalty decisions the first coming in the 3rd minute of the second period when an Ossett defender saw the ball hit her arm with the contact diverting the ball into her keeper’s possession, unfortunately the ref did not see it and waved play on. The game remained fairly open with both teams creating a few chances but unable to convert. Jess sent over a great cross which was plucked off Emily head and then an Emma free kick was met with a bullet header from Emily at the far post but sailed just the wrong side of the upright.
The Ossett number 4 had had a good game in the middle of the park and scored a cracker of a goal with just 10 minutes of the game remaining, shooting from 25 yards to give Michelle no chance. Our lot were certainly still in the game but another penalty decision gifted Ossett with a 2 goal lead. With Ruby running away from goal, Goalkeeper Michelle went to hit a clearance that hit an unsuspecting Ruby on the arm as she was running away from goal with her back to play. The referee then blew amazingly for a penalty which was dispatched very well for 2-0. With just 2 minutes left our girls rallied and from a 30-yard free kick Emma hit an unstoppable low shot into the corner of goal for 2-1. The whistle blew 30 seconds later for full time.
Manager Dave Higgins commented:
A great game and very proud of the team, we matched the league champions and had them arguing between themselves in the second half such was our performance with us clearly playing the better football and the opposition having to settle to the long ball to try to catch us out. Emily Darwin (our normal keeper) played on the right wing and was injured playing the last 10 minutes hardly able to run as did Midfielder Phoebe Davis but both refused to come off. If we had lost to the super strike from their Captain, I wouldn’t have complained but the two penalty decisions just spoiled it for me. Having said that I know we would have struggled if the game had gone to extra time with the injuries we had so its well done to Ossett and good luck in the semi-final.
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