Bursledon Ladies 2 vs 2 BSLFC Res (28/11/21)
After a couple of weeks of cup games it was back to league action for the reserves. With an injury crisis hitting the club over recent weeks we were lighter on options than normal. Bursledon have always been a difficult team to break down and we knew today was going to be no different with some very close results for them including a last minute 2-1 loss to us a few weeks ago.
The pitch was not the easiest to play on with a heavy slope from one end to the other, narrow and very bobbly. Any sort of football was nigh impossible especially under the added pressure from Bursledon.
Lander got half a sight at goal with 12 minutes on the clock but fired over under pressure.
Bursledon put over a dangerous cross 2 minutes later but it was well dealt with by Hillier in the Sports goal. She then had to make a great save one on one a minute later. Bursledon kept finding a way through and we were fortunate the striker had a heavy first touch allowing Sarah to collect easily when clear through. A couple of minutes later and a dangerous cross was met at the front post but the contact was insufficient to trouble Hillier again.
We hadn’t settled, couldn’t get to grips with the tough pitch and seemed to be panicked in possession.
If we did get down the other end and manage to keep it in play Bursledon defended in numbers and made it very difficult. Lander had a good chance blocked after dribbling through the box before Knapton snatched at a chance at the back post sending it over and regretting not taking the required touch.
We’d started to settle a little bit when we found our selves 1-0 down. Hillier came out to play a short pass, Bradford was dispossessed in the middle and a quick effort caught Hillier out of position and the ball floated in to the empty net from all of 30yds, despite Hilliers best efforts to recover.
It was almost 2 just before half time. Hillier dropped a low cross under pressure from the striker, the striker got a toe on it but Sims was on the line to clear. Bursledon then played a few passes to carve through our defence and Hillier had to make another good save low to her right.
HT 1-0 down but we were about to play up the hill which would hopefully stop the ball accelerating out of play every time we tried to play forward or wide. We also changed our shape to accommodate the narrow pitch and move some more players forward to apply pressure.
The response was superb, Corredera Espejo playing some great football with Curtin and Lander on the left before Lander squared the ball back to her. She took a touch inside beat a defender and finished across the GK into the far bottom corner. 1-1
This seemed to give us confidence, the change of shape and now playing up hill was helping to stop the ball run out of play allowing us to build some pressure. For 5 or so minutes it looked like we could run away with the game as we began to dominate but unfortunately we couldn’t make this count.
After the hour, Bursledon had a dangerous corner on 63 which we eventually managed to scramble clear, before a clearance bounced loose 35-40 yds out, it was hit first time by a Bursledon player and out of no where they were 2-1 up.
We tried hard to get back in to the game and the 79th minute gave us a chance. A bad challenge on Lander on the edge of the box gave Symes a chance to hit a free kick. She made a good connection but it was well saved low to the GKs left.
As with last week, a decent free kick seemed to buoy young Symes and as with last week she would soon after find the target. A throw inside by Knapton to Symes who turned and finished well from the edge of the box in to the bottom corner.
Thompson made a great run through with 3 minutes left but was denied by superb last ditch tackle by the defender and block by the GK which ended in an injury to the defender as the GK landed on her. Some how Thompson avoided this carnage as she rolled away unscathed.
Thompson got our last decent chance from a Symes corner on the final minute heading back across the goal just a touch too high and saw it land on the roof of the net with the GK scrambling back across.
With a large chunk of injury time to play it was almost Bursledon that took all three points, a rushed clearance gave them a good chance but it was blazed high over and another half chance on the 95th went harmlessly over Hilliers bar much to everyone’s relief.
A tough, cold afternoon but a overall a competitive game of football with the draw probably a fair result.
Was edged by Irene Corredera Espejo, from Demi Curtin who has been putting in some great performances recently. She had a superb game after coming off the bench and got a rare goal too.
Went to Demi Curtin for her relentless energy.
Emily Gard almost rallied enough support to avoid Rory by reminding the squad about the crawling GK Sarah Hillier but it wasn’t quite enough as we had to stop the game 2 minutes in to give her both shin pads that she’d forgotten 🤦🏼♂️