Match Report 18/09/2022
Eastleigh Reserves 2 – 1 BSLFC Reserves
We paid our respects to the late Queen Elizabeth with a minutes silence before the game kicked off today.
Eastleigh gave us a tough game last season in the cup so there was no reason to expect anything less this time.
On what must be one of the biggest pitches in Hampshire it was the youthful legs of Eastleigh that applied the early pressure. Closing us down exceptionally quickly, giving us no time to settle and making it appear more often than not that they had at least one extra player.
It was this hurrying that would ultimately get the early goal. White was pressed in the middle and although she turned well didn’t make her decision to pass quick enough to go sideways, the ball was played back to Norman but again under pressure straight away they blocked the clearance and raced away. It was squared to an attacker on her own about 16yds out who gave debutant GK Traves no chance with a nice finish into the bottom left corner. 1-0 with 12 minutes on the clock.
Similarly to last year, once they had the lead Eastleigh appeared to drop off and set the challenge to break them down.
We eventually got a shot away after 25 minutes, Plummer raced away but was well marshalled by the chasing cb so cut back but couldn’t get the desired power on her snap shot that went straight at the GK.
This attack left spaces at the back and Eastleigh were straight down the other end with a replica of the finish for the first goal. This time the post came to Traves rescue though.
We changed our DM to an AM in an attempt to put more pressure on their back line and the introduction of West on right gave us a bit more pace to help Plummer up top.
It almost came to fruition on 38 minutes, a great ball from the back by Davies put West through down the right, she beat the challenge and her shot come cross was only met by the legs of the Eastleigh GK. It looped to the edge of the box and although the ball was well controlled by Thompson her shot didn’t match and flew harmlessly wide/over.
As with the first chance, this seemed to give Eastleigh a bit of space in our half and this time they took advantage, running across our back line before finishing right in the corner back across Traves. It was a great example that accuracy is more effective than power as it evaded the outstretched arm and crept just inside the post.
Half time 2-0
We had a mountain to climb as the Eastleigh back line had looked almost impenetrable and we were far from our best giving up possession far to easily even on the most simple of passes. However, we show glimpses that we were still in the game with a bit of luck.
We changed the formation to a standard 442 and pushed West and Plummer right up to see if we could cause some problems with their pace.
We had more chances in the first 4 minutes of the second half than we did in the whole first half and when Plummer cut back to Benjamin about 22yds out she made no mistake finishing in to the bottom corner to get us back in the game 2-1 (49).
We were in the ascendancy and some good defending by them gave a us a few a corners, one of which gave Norman a free header but she couldn’t get it on target.
It was a positive reaction to half time but we had a swift reminder just before the hour of how dangerous Eastleigh were on the break and only some great defending from Nhemachena stopped them.
The initial frantic start had died down and good defending by us limited Eastleigh chances while we were still being frustrated by them.
With 10 to go we went for it changing to a 343 but a combination of good defending and some rather frustrating referee decisions meant we just couldn’t find the equaliser.
Players player went to Sarah Plummer for her tireless running.
Managers player went to Kitty Norman for the second game in a row with a dominant display at CB.
Rory went to Sadie West, so many reasons but a particular highlight was 7 minutes to go she tried to win a corner by hitting it off a defender in the corner. Unfortunately for her it was no where near so just looked like she blasted it out for a goal kick.