Huddersfield Town 4 - 2 SWLFC
Elizabeth Martindale, Rachel Mccall, Rebecca Allen, Hannah Eastwood ( c )
Jodie Murphy-Bigley, Jessica Elrick, Amy Nowell, Isobel Wragg, Nicole Hague
Daisy Parry, Olivia Mellor,
Substitutes: Brooke Grayson, Elizabeth Walker, Jasmine Hewitt, Katrina Bennet
A long trip to Huddersfield, who were the only team left with a 100% record, but with both teams undefeated up to now, we knew it was going to be a tough, yet great game. Against the top teams, we have opted to play a little more defensive minded, however we decided collectively to stop worrying about the opposition, and play to our own strengths, and we nearly had the perfect start with the first attack of the game. After great work from Daisy we put our chance just wide of the goal, what a start it could have been. Within the first 5 minutes we fell behind. After some great passing and movement, Huddersfield broke, and were able to get past Izzy in our midfield a little too easy she would admit and finished well. For the next 15 minutes or so we were struggling to get a foothold in the game with our midfield dropping deep and allowing Huddersfield too much room. Again the Huddersfield midfield were getting the better of us, with their passing and movement, and broke through midfield went one on one with Becs, who unlike she usually does, dove in, allowing them to get by her, and again finish really well. After this we decided to make some changes, Brooke came on for Jess on the right hand side of midfield, and Katrina replaced Izzy. With the fresher legs on the pitch, and instructing Amy and Katrina to play further up the pitch in centre midfield we got ourselves back into the game. We created some chances upto half time through the very impressive Daisy who was having a great game up front. Holding the ball up well, and waiting for the team to get up the pitch to support her, but also when she had the chance she ran at the defence, and created a great chance for herself which unfortunately she fired straight at the keeper. With 5 minutes to go we brought Jiggy on the left hand side for Nicole, as Nicole wasn’t quite getting much success vs the Huddersfield right back so we thought we would try something different.
HT 2-0 – We told the girls to keep doing what they had been doing for the last 15 minutes of the first half, and to press Huddersfield even more, as given too much room they would hurt us. At half time we replaced Olivia for Jasmine up top. Jasmine has the pace to get at a defence which had played a full half, and Olivia was letting her emotions get the better and need some time off the pitch to cool down so she could get back to her best.
The second half started and the girls were doing really well, we just needed a goal to get us going! Huddersfield were trying to break, and Jodie cut out a pass, and played a superb ball out to Jiggy, she whipped in a cross to Jas, who looked odds on to score, but was brought down, and a penalty was given. Even though reluctant at first, Daisy was encouraged by her team mates to step up and take it, and the girls confidence was well placed as she coolly slotted the penalty away. A very deserved goal for her. We were then so close to getting a second after Jiggy, who had been really impressive since coming on, fought her way into the box with the ball, and made the keeper make a great save tipping the ball onto her crossbar and out for a corner. Then a moment of madness. The ball went out for a Huddersfield throw in, and Amy in midfield took the opportunity to tie her lace, both her and her team mates told the ref who acknowledged this, but then the throw was taken and due to players being out of position, Huddersfield regained their 2 goal lead. They then scored their fourth after we didn’t clear our lines well, and a Huddersfield player was able to hit a shot into the bottom corner leaving Liz with no chance. Jiggy had to come off injured, a shame as she was playing really well, as was replaced about 15 minutes into the second half by Nicole, and around the same time we brought Jess on at right back for Rachel who had ran herself into the ground trying to keep one of the two very pacey wingers quiet, a job she had done very well. We then snatched our second goal from a corner, a brilliant ball whipped in by Daisy, was met by Becs to make the score 4-2 and set up and brilliant final 15 minutes. We brought Amy of for the last 15 minutes, and replaced her with Izzy and Amy was running out of legs, and with more space we knew Izzy had the quality to either score or find a pass. With us pushing on so much we were allowing them to counter, Becs and Spanner both were covering really well, and defending resolutely against the Huddersfield lone striker, and Jodie exhausted herself trying to keep the right winger at bay, a very hard task as both Huddersfield wingers have so much pace. We gave her a rest brining Olivia back on the left wing and putting Nicole at left back. Olivia then had two great opportunities, but she just didn’t have her scoring boots on, one chance to be fair was a really difficult volley from a brilliant cross from Brooke, who had played her best game of the season so far. Unfortunately despite the effort and never giving up, we weren’t able to claw another goal back and the game finished 4-2
FT 4-2 – A first loss of the season for the girls, but a game we learnt so much from, and saw how good they can all be. They all pulled together and showed they are growing as a team. Huddersfield have a team made up of very good players, who have played together for a long time, whereas we have 7 new players just this season, so we are still getting to know eachother, and this will go a long way to help. Huddersfield deserved their win as they took their chances when presented, and played some brilliant football. The game on a whole was brilliant to be involved in and sure everyone who watched or were involved enjoyed it. All the girls contributed to the best team performance of the season, and the subs came on and all impressed, giving their all, and really added to the team when they came on. The Huddersfield manager had some kind words about our performance, as did we about theirs.
MOM – Daisy Parry – This could have been anyone of the girls today, as they all played brilliantly. Daisy however was able to fight all through the game, hold the ball up allowing the team to push out, her link up play was a joy to watch, she stepped up and took a very important and pressured penalty, and also set up the second goal. A really good all round performance from her, her best in a blue and white shirt, and one I’m sure she will take a lot of confidence from. As I said though, this could have been any one of the girls, and any would have deserved it.
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