BSLFC vs Southampton Women Res
We welcomed Southampton Women Res to Chapel Gate for our first game of 2022 and hoping to get back to where we left off in December with a win.
It was a different looking side to the one we faced 7 weeks ago in the away game, a couple of subs and at times very aggressive.
The opening 10 minutes were pretty uneventful, barring an early off the ball incident against Eden which the referee never saw, as both sides looked to put their respective Christmas breaks behind them.
It was to be Eden who would break the deadlock on the 11th minute though. Davies on throw duties for Vernon out on the right had her throw returned to her and put in a great cross in to the box. The Southampton GK opted to rush out at the unmarked Eden who made a quick decision and took her chance to glance a first time header past her from about 14 yds. 1-0
We were comfortable in the Southampton half without creating much as we tried to settle down. Eden got another chance on 18 after some good football played her through but she could only fire wide from an angle.
Taylor was the next in line for some off the ball treatment as she was kicked round the back of the legs by the same player involved in the first incident following a strong but fair challenge but again the ref didn’t see this and the game continued.
Yeo got herself a rare chance on the 25 minute mark when a corner was eventually laid back to her about 30 yards out but her first time finish probably looked better in her head and the ball flew harmlessly wide.
Although Clarke was merely spectating in goal, as the back 4 stayed well organised protected by the dms, she was on hand with a couple of well played clearances when the defence found themselves under a bit of pressure.
Asira was incredibly denied a penalty on the 35th minute as she was cleared out from behind in the box much to the amazement of both benches. The ref later clarified his position that although the tackle was late and from behind he didn’t feel her first touch was good enough to warrant a penalty.
It was obvious that Southampton had enough ability to get a goal especially when paired with our ability to play ourselves into trouble but thus far we had got away without and weren’t left to rue and couple of good missed chances or the referees decisions.
At HT we decided to change the shape to give Folkenstern a bit of extra support in CM and try to play a bit closer to the Southampton goal in the hope we could put the game to bed.
The second half started brightly, Southampton clearly came out with a bit more energy up top and immediately put us under more pressure but this did give Eden a chance to run into a bit space at the back. She took advantage of this on the 51st minute as she dribbled past the right back but just before she could cross the line of the box she was unceremoniously brought down from behind with a professional foul that CB Yeo was probably internally applauding herself. The ref awarded a free kick on the line of the box but had clearly forgotten his cards as once again they escaped any sanction. Lewis almost manage to apply her own sanction when it eventually fell to her in the box but despite a decent connection the GK made a great reflex catch.
Yeo then limped out for Norman to take her place at CB just before a further triple substitution to change the shape as planned at HT.
It was a little belated but Sports had a Christmas present for the opposition 5 minutes later as we punished ourselves for not taking chances. Clarke sliding out to collect a long ball couldn’t gather the ball in her arms and as it popped up it fell kindly the Southampton striker who beat the desperate attention of Norman and Davies to square for a tap in just before Vernon could get across. 1-1
It was almost 2 a minute later as this now energised striker beat Norman to a bouncing ball in the air but luckily for us got her finish wrong and put wide of the far post.
We rode the storm for a couple of minutes as the changes settled down and it was one of the changes that helped us back in front. Some great play out wide on the right by Miles saw her fire a cross low to Folkenstern who first touch killed the pace and she was able to lay a perfectly weighted ball to the on running Eden. She struck it hard at the post, it bounced back, hit the back of the diving GK and squeezed over the line for 2-1. Slightly fortunate but a well worked goal and a lead that was deserved on the balance of the game.
The other 2 subs combined for a 3rd 5 minutes later. Hughes running through midfield played a heavy ball between defenders using the outside of right foot (a pass described by the manager as terrible in real time due to the awkward nature of it) it found Mosley, who’s touch was impeccable, controlling with her right onto her left in one motion and finishing into bottom left corner without breaking stride.
Knapton almost added a bit of gloss a minute after, Eden finding her in the box but the GK made a good save low down to her right.
Folkenstern weaved her way through the opposition on 75 before finding Mosley in the box. Despite the shot being scuffed the ball was far enough into the corner to draw another good save from the GK in the bottom corner.
A superb flowing move by Sports on the 78th minute gave Eden a great chance to finish her hat trick but with too much time at her disposal she got her feet confused and barely got a shot away as it bobbled harmlessly towards the GK. It’s difficult to hold it against the stand in Captain who has been in incredible form scoring 4 and assisting 3 in our last 3 games.
There was a little bit of handbags at the end of the game as the frustrated Southampton continued to push the limits of the referees notebook to no avail and the game was swiftly finished by the ref to give us our first 3 points of 2022 as we go into 2 weeks of very difficult fixtures against the other two unbeaten teams in the league sitting 2nd and 1st.
?Managers player went to the tough tackling right back Abbie Vernon who had one of her best games for us in both halves of the pitch.
? Players player went to Abbie who topped a list of 7 players that received votes edging out Folkenstern by a single vote.
? Rory also went to Abbie to become the first player to win all 3 match day awards in the same game! Picking up a couple of votes for an almost suicidal ball across the box but mainly for trying to control a ball with her face!