We welcomed Winchester City Flyers Res to Chapel for our second game in Division 1. Although we came through the first game last week with a win it had flagged up some defensive frailties which was something we knew we would need to resolve having played a lot of this Winchester team in an early preseason.
We got off to a good start, and within 2 minutes Lander had a clear sight at goal but could only hit it straight at the Winchester GK. We’d settled well and for the first 5 minutes were comfortable spending the majority of it in the Winchester half.
Unfortunately, a mistake with an over-hit pass back on 6 minutes by De Angelis left Gard with no chance against the pace of the very powerful Winchester striker and she went through and executed an exquisite finish over Clarke’s head in the Sports goal. 0-1
As with last week the response was almost instant. It was fitting that the young De Angelis was involved, winning the ball and playing it forward to one of the 3 debutants, Lindsay Roe, who turned and smashed it top corner from 25yds out. 1-1
The game was now far more open, the direct nature of Winchester coupled with their pace seemed to panic us and mistakes started to creep in, but the quality of our midfielders and tenacity of Lander up top created chances for us.
Clarke made a superb save on 16 to keep us level before Roe was unlucky not to add her second when a glancing header bounced agonisingly wide just after 20 minutes.
We then got a little slice of luck on the 26th min as a huge goal kick from Winchester found their striker again who ran through one on one, Clarke rushed out to force the shot from distance but despite being completely beaten by the lobbed effort it bounced in the area before hitting the front of the bar and back into her, rather grateful, grasp.
That let off seemed to spark us into life, as Roe forced a great save from the gk winning us a corner. The resulting corner then gave us a few more chances that were first saved then blocked before Symes couldn’t get the touch required on the line to add a debut goal.
We found ourselves behind again on the 36th minute, giving their midfielder far too much time she unleashed a great effort to the far top corner from all of 35yds. 1-2
It was still an open game and when Gard abandoned her post at CB and went on a little adventure she was able to play a perfectly weighted through to Lander who hit her shot first time as the GK rushed out, it hit the goalkeepers shoulder but had enough power to continue goalwards and with both Lander and the defender chasing it, it eventually rolled over the line to make it 2-2 with 2 minutes of the half to play.
We brought on Norman for her first game in Bournemouth Sports colours having joined us this week.
We started the second half well and were creating chances but unfortunately couldn’t find a way past their defence or GK.
On the hour mark we had a couple of great chances but both were well blocked.
Despite a very good 20 minutes they almost had the lead again after 68. Clarke rushed a goal kick and fell to a Winchester player on the edge of our box. Luckily Clarke was sharp and the shot was straight at her and she was able to catch it easily. It was another warning though that despite creating a lot of chances, we were vulnerable if we didn’t take them.
Taylor had a superb shot from the edge of the box saved by the GKs feet 5 minutes later and it appeared to be one of those games.
Inevitably we were to be punished for not taking our chances and our luck had run out, they broke quickly from our corner, went down the right, fed it to the striker wide, who ran in behind and delivered a great cross to the back post to her unmarked team mate. Clarke got hands to it somehow but couldn’t collect it and eventually itfell into the back of the net as she scrambled to recover it. 10 minutes to go 2-3.
We pushed to get an equaliser but Winchester weren’t as generous as us with the clear cut chances.
There was then a huge decision by the referee to deny us a blatant penalty on the 91st minute. Lander turned in the box and as the Winchester player put her leg across her she went over. It was clumsy not malicious and Lander was going away from goal but it was clear. The referee was unmoved by the protests, and the Winchester manager even admitted he was relieved as there could have been no complaints had it been given.
It was a shame that we didn’t get the chance to potentially take a point that was probably fair but ultimately we had enough chances not to leave it down to that. Referees are human and make mistakes and while in the heat of the moment the manager gave him a hard time he appreciated him taking the time to describe how he viewed it. Let’s hope they balance out over the season 🙂
So we finally got the first ever league loss out of the way after 26 games across 3 seasons and 3 divisions since the reserves were created but not something we overly enjoyed so will look to bounce back as soon as possible.
Players player of the match: Lindsay Roe who worked tirelessly all game and added quality throughout the game, especially with her goal.
Managers player of the match: Lindsay Roe who had a great debut and picked up opposition player of the match too.
Rory: Hollie Bentley for confusing the Duracel Bunny for the much lesser-known Durex Bunny when telling us how Rebecca Knapton just keeps running.