Category: Ladies


REPORT | Eastleigh First vs BSLFC First


The match started brightly with both teams competing hard for the ball and the two defences needing to be switched on. It took some time for the Sports players to find their groove in a new formation and with some valuable squad rotation, but when they did, there were large passages of control.

As with previous games, however, we lack a ruthless touch; winning lots of corners off defenders where a little more composure may put the opposition keeper under more pressure. Luckily, we have been dangerous on corners so it wasn’t a huge surprise to see one of Miles’s deliveries find Shaw at the back post, who lobbed it back across goal to Eden’s shouts of “it’s in” only for the ball to surprise Eden by coming back off the bar. The one-time forward turned full-back fell back on her instincts and snatched the ball home: 0-1.

The game fell into a pattern of solid and composed Eastleigh defending and wasteful Sports attacking. Cross after cross into really dangerous areas, yet left wanting, was frustrating the players. Definitely one for the training ground.

Just before half-time, a second breakthrough finally came. Eden this time provider, making a trademark run from the left, Folkenstern played to Shaw who managed to slide the ball through to Eden, who made her way into the box to square across to Hawkins who made no mistake from close range: 0-2

The second-half started with a formation change for the home side which posed our defence a few more problems. But the flow of the game still stayed in our favour. Fowell and Tilly doing a great job marshalling the midfield providing freedom for attacks down both flanks. Folkenstern heading just wide and Miles stinging the keepers hands from range the pick of the chances.

It was perhaps most pleasing in the game that changes from the bench kept the game flowing, and the added energy was enough to see the game through. 20 mins to go, Miles makes a great run which Hughes and Shaw both notice. Hughes plays the ball through Shaw who lets it run through her legs to the on-running Miles whilst the defenders deceived by the action. Miles makes no mistake in putting it past the keeper this time: 0-3

Thoughts started to turn to a clean sheet at this point as the game became very stretched. Eastleigh were not done. Sports had to defend some difficult corners and good wing play, and one deflected shot that brought Chrippes into the limelight. Looking like the deflection was going to evade her first dive, she found an extra arm length to get a hand to the ball skipping off the surface and turn it wide. Seeing the players celebrate a save is the type of passion we need to bring into next weeks FA cup tie.

The game ended on a sad note when within the dying seconds an Eastleigh player, stood on a foot in the challenge and its seems like a nasty twist to the knee. We wish her well.

Rory went to Eden, who despite a goal and assist managed to be remembered for her repeated comical moments- don’t ever change Eden ?

Player’s player went to Davis for a juggernaut of a performance. If we had stats for tackles one and interceptions, she may have been setting records. Add to that a willingness to attack and to win her 1v1s and she picked up manager’s player of the match also.

Report | BSLFC Res vs Bursledon

After last week’s 7-1 free flowing victory, this 0-0 draw was a stark reminder that teams in this league won’t all roll over for us at Chapel Gate. Despite 22 hard-working players on the pitch, the game simply didn’t have any spark to it. Even the few good chances in the game at both ends were squandered rather than requiring any excellence from either goalkeeper.

I don’t think dwelling to hard on the game has merit. I’m just glad for more minutes in the legs, a valuable point, and ultimately, no injuries against a tough, organised yet borderling cynical side.

Players player unsurprisingly went to a defender, with Fabio showing a good display on and off the ball.

Managers player went to Acott for an energetic and brave display regardless of how many times Bursledon took turns to chop her down.

Faith harshly got Rory when herself being felled by another nasty Bursledon tackle had had enough and quite formally appealed for sanity.

REPORT | Wycombe Wanderers vs BSLFC First

Wycombe Wanderers 0 vs 1 BSLFC

After the excitement of the FA Cup last week it was back to league action to try and maintain our good start to our new league. We were playing a team that have a lot of experience at this level and were expecting a tough game.

Early exchanges were pretty even as both teams settled down on the immaculate Burnham FC surface. A couple of early minor fouls showed that Wycombe were not gonna be a roll over.

It was Sports that got the first real site of goal on 10 minutes, a Hughes cross found it’s way to Miles just inside the 6 yard box but with the Wycombe GK committed low she just couldn’t find the lift and it was a well held save.

2 minutes later in what was to be the first of a set of frustrating decisions today the linesman flagged for a corner to Wycombe on the opposite side. A Wycombe player had clearly slid the ball out of play as Davis tried to shepherd the ball out. Fortunately the resulting corner came to nothing after the volley was sliced wide.

15 minutes and we were through but a narrow offside prevented Miles making it count.

Eden arrived late to hit an effort from the edge of the box 4 minutes later. It was blocked by a superb challenge but despite clearly deflecting over from the out stretched leg it was only given as a goal kick.

20 mins on the clock and it would be a proper game if we didn’t try to give the opposition a really good chance. Yeo passed back to Chrippes but because (self confessed) she wasn’t looking she didn’t realise and picked it up. The ref didn’t actually realise at first because she picked it up so confidently but the eagle eyed Lino flagged and it was an indirect free kick from 7 yds. The team packed in behind while Vernon broke the pitch rules and had a little lie down on the line, luckily the pressure was enough and the ball sailed harmlessly wide of the far post.

5 minutes later and Brewer should have opened the scoring after latching on to a great Fowell through ball. It appeared she had too much time as she approached the Wycombe GK and she was denied by the gk. The ball broke just outside the box, Miles was first on the scene but couldn’t find the quick finish and it flew wide.

A minute later and that practice paid off, Yeo put the ball through this time, Brewer made the same run but this time a quicker finish found it’s way into the corner. 1-0 Sports (26 minutes)

27 minutes gone, Brewer put Shaw in but the linesman flag abruptly halted her.

We were growing into the game and winning more free kicks, Eden got an early taste of some special treatment as she began to push forward more and was unceremoniously sent into the air.

Just after half hour Eden was on what was becoming a regular adventure forward. She beat the right back for pace but before she could make the box she was once more sent to the sky. This time the ref deemed it enough to pull a yellow card.

Another corner for us on 33 was cleared out to Yeo who struck a vicious attempt from distance, it was blocked on the edge of the box fell to Shaw who laid off to Hughes but her attempt went just over.

Eden was on form and beating players for fun but time and again she was sent tumbling. Again the referee didn’t use his cards and it was becoming increasingly frustrating that the players had no protection.

Brewer had another chance from a fizzed cross, lewis stretched for the initial chance but only succeeded in diverting it to Brewer, 6 yds out but she couldn’t hit the target to make it count.

HT 1-0 up but it was far from comfortable as Wycombes direct style and pace up top meant Vernon and Yeo had to constantly be alert and we’d been wasteful of a few very good chances.

Eden started the second half as she finished the first, beating a couple of players out wide before running along the byline. She cut back towards Lewis and Shaw in support but it wasn’t close enough to either to be dangerous.

A bit of handbags on 50 found Hughes in the book for us. Pushed a few times while on the ball and then shoved when the ball went out of play she reacted by pushing the Wycombe player in the chest. Some how she was only one carded for it.

Folkenstern and Hawkins were introduced for Lewis and Fowell to freshen up the middle of the pitch and to help us go in pursuit of a second goal to relieve some pressure.

Another horrific tackle on Eden on 55 was met by a yellow card for a player that had looked like she was desperate to find her name in the refs book for a while. The linesman was quickly on site to discourage the sports managers passionate plea for the ref to start protecting the players properly because it appeared everyone had at least two goes at curtailing Edens season before he’d realise it was a genuine foul and not just clumsy. Despite him explaining he was calm, he had convinced himself, and when Barton was merely explaining the situation to Yeo he felt it necessary to call the ref over to book him.

There was always going to be a phase that Wycombe would be dangerous, and just before the hour it came. Vernon ran dangerously close to foul when chasing back the Wycombe striker, but nothing given. A couple of crosses gave us something to defend against a big Wycombe side and Vernon had to head off the line from a particularly dangerous corner.

We defended well, if a little erratic at times and had got through it. 67 Miles got a chance out of nothing when a miss kicked free kick landed to her, she tried to beat the GK from 30 yds but it narrowly went over.

Brewer had a chance to square for a simple Miles finish on 69 but over hit it the pass and too far in front of her for it to be capitalised on.

5 minutes later, Yeo put another through ball in from CB, this time to Miles, but as it looked liked she’d done enough she was met by a superb last ditch slide tackle to stop her. She rolled her ankle in the challenge but was able to shake it off.

All that running around at the back had tired Yeos knee out and she had to be replaced on 76 for Fowell. She was quick to remind me that we hadn’t conceded all season with her on the pitch, so not it was time to prove we could do it without her too.

Brewer had half a chance from a Shaw cross with 9 minutes but volleyed it away rather than goal wards. Miles was delivering some crosses from corners but they were either being well punched clear the GK or our attacking runs were just a couple seconds early.

Our game management has been something we have improved and with a few minutes to go Miles and Folkenstern started to spend some extra time in the corners with the ball as the danger of the huge goal keeper kicks meant it was too risky to find a second with more Wycombe players staying up.

Miles made way for Tilly as we looked to shut up shop going into injury time. Eden and Shaw were now in the corner trying to run the clock down. It was clearly frustrating the Wycombe players and 11 jumped aggressively into Shaw. While the tackle should have been enough to pick up her second yellow the ref seemed happy to let ago again until she appeared to have some choice words for him. He pulled out the yellow and gave her her marching orders with 93 on the clock.

We saw out the last minute to secure 3 points and our first ever Southern Region Premier league clean sheet.

Managers player Rosie Eden

Players player Rosie Eden

Rory Sam Chrippes despite some good Rory moments it wasn’t even a competition after picking up a back pass.

REPORT | Pagham Ladies vs BSLFC First

Match report

Pagham Ladies vs BSLFC (FA Cup 2nd Qualifying round)

It was off to West Sussex for the firsts in our opening game of the FA Cup. After a superb run last year that saw us narrowly beaten by a team 2 tiers above us in the First Round Proper we were hungry for another good run this year.

It was our first competitive visit to a team from the Sussex league and because of this, and despite our 2 tier advantage over our opposition, we took no chances in our preparation. The squad met early, the team was announced the day before and even Ricky was early. We had the added advantage that the reserves opposition had progressed from the previous round so everyone fit was available.

Despite the good prep, the opening 5 minutes were nervy. We struggled to get any rhythm and most of passes only succeeded in finding Pagham players. They were clearly not just going to roll over and had a lot of energy about them in the early exchanges.

It didn’t take long for us to find the lead, with a goal of equal fortune and quality after 8 minutes, Brewer a clever flick, gave Shaw something to throw herself at and despite the GK making a superbly brave save the ball fell to Hawkins. She made no mistake on her weaker foot firing past the two defenders in her way.

This seemed to settle us a little but we were far from our best, a free header for Shaw from a Miles corner a few minutes after the goal almost doubled our lead but flew past the far post.

20 minutes in and the initial energy of Pagham had levelled out and it was clear they would look to release their striker over the top but Yeo and Vernon were on hand to sweep up and despite some unorthodox passing/clearances all was safe for Chrippes’ goal.

Miles fired a free kick off the bar after 22 minutes which would be a warning for a few minutes later. Eden released Brewer who cut inside and squared for Hawkins to put away her 2nd of the day.

Miles was at it again on 28, this time testing the cross bar with her left foot after a clever short corner. The ball rebounded to Plummer who couldn’t generate the power in her header to put it over the line.

We looked comfortable but we’re still no where near our best and the problem with a narrow lead is the home team only need a something to spark them and the game can turn on its head.

Brewer was up top being her energetic self and was unlucky not to add her name to the scoresheet just after the half hour mark. Following up a dropped shot she forced it over the line but the ref saw a handball and it was disallowed.

She had more decision making for the ref 6 minutes later, turning inside the box she looked to be clearly brought down with no reason to hit the deck but the ref ruled against her again.

Brewer is persistent though and 2 minutes later she was through one on one, she knocked it past the GK but before she could even attempt to get to the ball she was clattered by the out rushing GK. Ref had a quick think and likely with his previous decision fresh in his mind awarded the penalty. Eden up to show us her dead ball exploits of preseason were no fluke and confidently put it away for 3-0.

Plummer found a way through just before half time but was denied by the toe of the GK who pulled off a great save.

Just as the half time whistle was about to go Pagham found a way through for what was to be their best chance. With a clear run at goal, Chrippes was quick off her line a made a good save with her legs outside her area to keep her clean sheet in tact.

HT 3-0

The scare of the final few seconds was enough to refocus us, and the message was to keep our discipline and concentration and not let Pagham back in to the game.

With management planning the second half subs there was 2 goals in the first 6 minutes.

Eden was released down the left by Plummer, she beat a defender and crossed for Brewer to hit a first time finish. Despite being denied by the gk the first time she got to the follow up to make it 4.

2 minutes later and after testing the cross bar at the other end a couple of times in the first half, Miles was on hand to make sure the other goal was structurally sound. Hitting a great first time effort from a Plummer cut back. However, this time she used the underside of the bar and the linesman flagged to say it had crossed the line before bouncing out.

Plummer and Vernon were replaced on the hour with Norman and Tilly.

The fresh legs intensified the pressure and 2 minutes later, Miles put summer signing Davis in down the right, she cut inside and took aim to make it 6-0 and open her Sports account.

Miles got even better as Pagham tired and another effort off the woodwork (post) this time found it’s way Hawkins who, although on a hat trick, unselfishly laid off for Brewer to have a simple tap in. 64 minutes 7-0.

That was Hawkins last involvement as she came off for Fowell on 67.

The sub made an instant impact, a cross by Miles found Fowell who placed a neat side foot in to the far side of the goal with her first touch.

A Miles corner was met by a powerful Norman header a minute later giving Miles 3 assists in 7 minutes and Norman her first of the season.

2 minutes later, with 71 minutes on the clock, Captain Shaw thought she’d get in on the scoring for a bit. Miles putting a great ball through to be finished well across the keeper. 3 assists in 7 minutes was good but she now had 4 in 9 minutes. Evidently last years silver boot winner wants to keep it.

With a frantic 11 minutes, involving 3 subs and 5 goals, the game calmed down. Credit to Pagham they kept working and despite seeing little of the ball in the second half their attackers worked relentlessly to try to force a mistake from us.

83 minutes on the clock, Fowell put Shaw in for her second with a well-timed run and finish to make it 11-0.

We lost Miles for the last part of the game with a niggle and although she wanted to carry on despite us telling her to come off it was only that she couldn’t face listening to Yeo moaning at her about the risk (her words not mine ;-)) that forced her off.

Just enough time left for Brewer to be a thorn in the Pagham side one last time, running into the box she appeared to be tripped, with the whistle not going she was quickly up to pass the ball to Shaw who duly completed her hat trick and made it 12-0 with a minute to go.

The Pagham pressure almost got them the goal they’d been searching for, a timely intervention had to happen from Chrippes to preserve her first clean sheet for Sports. It gave Pagham a rare corner but it was well defended to give us a good win and clean sheet against a spirited opposition.

Player of the match went to Hollie Shaw, it was a smart move scoring the last 3 three goals so it was fresh in the players minds.

Managers player went to Becky Miles who was a threat all game from open play and dead balls.

Rory went to Kitty Norman, after a slip in the box as Pagham attacked led to some unorthodox defending. We also later found out her bag got peed on by a supporting dog.

REPORT | BSLFC Res vs Fleet Ladies

After two tricky away fixtures and three-points gained, three points dropped, we needed to start our home campaign with purpose. We set out with an attacking line-up and a few experiments thrown in to keep even the players guessing. It almost backfired when a few lapses in concentration and a little nerves gave Fleet a few great chances. Fortunately, the Fleet strikers squandered these, giving Sports time to settle.

A few quality combinations involving the impressive Orton, the vibrant Asira and the classy Mosley had the watchers in good voice. Then, while Fleet struggled to contain the dribbling of Asira, they took their eyes off of Plummer, who made no mistake with her first of the game; 1-0.

Later KDA caught up with the game’s pace, linked the midfield with Benjamin, and Sports found a balance to their threat. Some excellent attacking phases allowing both fullbacks up the pitch caused the visitors a host of problems. It was Mosley who struck next, not known for her pace, yet frequently gets a chance to face down a GK, remarkably cunning, and it was a cunning finish over the onrushing keeper that the defender eventually helped on. Mosley would add another shortly after. A cross from right back Lander found our left-back Orton, who caused the keeper issues, and Mosley did what Mosely does; 3-0.

The pressure led to a few corners and a chance to show what we have been working on, but we couldn’t quite find the right delivery for the first few. Fleet defended the first delivery well each time. Finally, after a strong delivery from Acott, the first clearance was not enough to prevent the lively Plummer from poking home at the second, maybe the third attempt for a scrappy fourth of the game; 4-0.

There seemed no way back for the visitors, but they kept coming, and like the first phases of the game, they started to threaten before the break. We sat back a little and soaked up the pressure, but a short back pass in the long grass held up to allow the Fleet striker to slot home against the stranded Traves; 4-1 halftime.

The second half became very much about the next goal. Fleet went for it with additional strikers, and there were half chances at both ends. The breakthrough eventually came, KDA matching the decisive run of Acott with a measured pass. Despite a slightly heavy touch, Acott was athletic and composed to find the far bottom corner; 5-1.

Taylor, Thompson and West entered the game and slotted straight in without the team losing momentum. Thompson, can’t buy a goal, but looking like a more robust prospect this season. Taylor, came agonisingly close to finding the top corner from a distance.

The debutant Gubb was finding her way into the game and, looking comfortable, created the next clear chance. Unfortunately, Plummer couldn’t convert for a hat-trick. It was then Acott, now with a taste for a goal, who got the next. An intelligent 1-2 with Knapton, got released for what would look like a neater duplicate of the earlier finish; 6-1

All the play was now down the right side. Knapton at fullback covering ground to cover both ends of the pitch. Knapton played in West, who used her strength to beat the defender and then fired across the box with a clean connection, causing the defender to panic and slide the ball into the empty goal. Great work from the young striker; 7-1, final score.

Rory went to Taylor for an amusing stumble in the middle of the park, well off the play. Tilly will tell you there is a pesky molehill still there from the last game.

Managers’ and players’ player went to KDA for a great all-round game; if you do the basics right, it makes you stand out. The young box-to-box player is finding her form now with some good back-to-back performances.

REPORT | Eastleigh Reserves vs BSLFC Res

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.

REPORT | BSLFC First vs Winchester City Flyers

Match Report 18/09/2022

BSLFC 4 – 1 Winchester City Flyers

We paid our respects to the late Queen Elizabeth with a minutes silence before the game kicked off today.

The similarities with our first game 2 weeks ago were striking. We faced a youthful opposition with a lot of talent, but maybe yet to settle into the women’s game. Bournemouth started well with plenty of the ball in the first phases, but Winchester looked quick on the break. Sadly, on one such break, Winchester lost a player to a painful looking ankle injury. A further injury to Bournemouth striker Hawkins meant 10 mins of stoppage had accrued with only 10 played. The game resumed more evenly, with the Winchester replacement making herself known. Lewis (aka Yeo) and Vernon are always up for such a battle and they doubled up well and limited Winchester to one real chance after some complacency – luckily the young striker hit high over the bar.

Finally a breakthrough for Bournemouth with Shaw getting in behind down the right, and playing it to poacher Brewer, with a snapshot save, she lashed the follow up top left. Bournemouth then won a series of corners through energetic work from left back Eden. Miles had a few warm up deliveries defended well, before finding that extra whip to bypass everyone and put not one but two straight in! Efficient!

Halftime, 3-0 for the second time. Can we improve on last time.

We experimented with the formation a little adding Tilly to the midfield and Asira to wide attack. But the players were sent out to maintain the attack. A few more changes this time at the back with Fowler on at CB and later Asira dropping to left back meant it was an unexpected back four arrangement. Winchester would likely be able to take advantage of the disruption, but with the safe hands of Chrippes and combatants Vernon and Davis, any major threats were managed and the defence settled quickly and largely looked comfortable. It was an uneventful 20 minutes before another breakthrough, Hughes superbly playing Miles through, who unselfishly on a hat trick played it across to brewer to tap into the gaping net. 4-0 but it’s not a game for the purists as both teams struggled to keep the ball, Sports just that bit better at winning it back higher up the pitch with the energetic Acott making an impact off the bench in her first team debut, which kept Bournemouth looking the more dangerous.

Attention started to turn to the clean sheet, Bournemouth had settled into a nice rhythm and Winchester consolidating. It was not to be. Some good Winchester play and a good chance to test our keeper saw Vernon put in what the opponent manager later described as an excellent tackle, the Referee who was better placed, paused for a long time before deciding that it was a clear penalty.

Final score 4-1

Players player went once again to Miles, 2 goals and an assist maintaining her flying start.
Managers player went also again to Brewer, 2 goals and excellent movement and work rate leading the line.
Rory went to Brewer also, we think that she may have practiced the national anthem as she was certainly ready to sing it.

REPORT | Winchester City Flyers Res vs BSLFC Res

Hampshire Division 1 – 4th September 2022

It was a familiar venue for our first away trip of the season having faced Winchester in some form in a season for as long as I can remember.

With both squads at full capacity for the first time in a while, it was the unenviable task of the management and coaches to leave some people out this week. Everybody knew they had to make sure they were switched on from the start.

The mood in the changing room was good pre-game and the attitude in warm-up was positive.

Chances for both sides in the early minutes, Knapton found herself one on one after a few minutes but the Winchester GK was equal to it and denied us an early goal.

Seconds later that save proved to be even bigger as Winchester broke up the other end, a hopeful through ball on the floor bobbling over the foot of the Sports defending and leaving the very pacey striker through 1 on 1 who made no mistake putting the ball past Clarke in goal. 1-0 with 4 minutes on the clock.

This team have never been afraid of falling behind though and it took just 3 minutes to bring us level. Asira pressing the Winchester defender and blocking the clearance, despite being denied by another good save first time round the ball found its way back to her to finish into the empty net. 1-1 – 7 minutes played.

We then began to grow into the game. Lander had a good chance to make it 2 after a good run from Asira but fired over on the 14th minute before Knapton fired an effort from the edge of the book just missing the top right corner on 25.

The defence had adjusted to a deeper line to give them some chance against the frankly terrifying pace of the Winchester No. 14 and although she caused us problems we had enough bodies around to keep Clarke safe and just dealing with some sweeping up.

A huge moment just before the half hour mark should have seen Mosley put us in the lead. Corredera Espejo firing in a low cross that eluded the GK to find Mosley at the back post but with the goal at her mercy from a few yds out she put it over. In her defence a rain shower at the start of the game had made the pitch incredibly slick but it wouldn’t stop her picking up Rory at the end.

We made some subs just after with debutant Acott getting her first competitive involvement for Sports.

Symes who had just come on as a sub too, hit a very good free kick under the wall but it wasn’t good enough to beat the GK before a great strike by Asira was pushed over the bar by the GK on 40 minutes.

We had settled at the back but it was beginning to feel like we’d never beat their GK again having wasted some good chances and being well denied when we did hit the target.

However, if you can’t beat them, go around them and it was a debut goal for Acott on 43 minutes to give us the lead. Mosley heading across the 6 yard box allowing Acott the simplest of tap ins at the back post, 1-2.

Then like buses the goals came, a minute later a good through ball by Symes, who incidentally had been practising her straight through balls, much to the managers distress, since she came on, found Asira who made no mistake with her finish. 1-3.

Then some great football playing out from the back ended with a bit luck, firstly, Corredera Espejo played a slightly high ball to Symes who then managed to regain the ball with a rather kind rebound off a Winchester player before the slippery surface helped her evade the GK from 20 yds with the ball bouncing just in front of the GK and squirming under her body. 1-4 at 46 minutes.

It was not an underserved, but slightly flattering lead given the problems Winchester had caused us early in the game.

A change of formation at half time to give us a chance to use all subs seemed to disrupt us at the start of the second half. For the first 15 minutes Winchester were having the lions share of possession and only some well organised defending from Gard, Sims, Orton, Benjamin and notably Norman who was clearly trying to impress her watching fan club including her mum that had just landed from Canada to see her.

It was Norman from CB who took it upon herself to turn the tide back in Sports favour on the hour mark though. Winning on the half way line before playing forward and following her pass and appearing 16 yds from the Winchester goal screaming at Asira for a cut back. Unfortunately, the excitement got to her and the shot went high but the confusion on the bench as to why and how she had suddenly appeared was worth the effort.

Knapton not deterred by moving positionally further away from the goal going from RW first half to RB cut inside and forced a good diving save from the Winchester GK.

Despite our best efforts Clarke would be called upon on 67 Winchester clear through only be denied by a strong right leg from Clarke who managed to put the ball for a throw.

Symes found the back on the net on the 69th minute, after a scramble with the GK and defender after being denied by a good save originally but the ref saw an infringement and disallowed it.

Benjamin hit a rocket of a free kick from 30yds a few minutes later, for all its power and height it was slightly too straight and the GK got a strong hand to push it over the bar.

It appeared a very entertaining game would likely finish 4-1 as both teams defended well in the second half. There was some desperate defending on the 87th for Knapton and Clarke as the ball had to be saved and blocked before finally being cleared in a very close goal mouth scramble.

As in the first half it was to be another late show from Sports to add a bit of gloss to a decent performance. Gard heading the ball off the defender to Mosley who had now found her composure. She rode two challenges before slotting calmly into the corner for a belated birthday present to herself. 5-1 on 90 minutes.

There was still time to put into practice our preseason hard work on corners and it was a good run to the front post from White flicking in a Knapton corner on the 92nd minute that would make it 6. 1-6 at 92 minutes.

A great performance from the squad and a big thank you to Sam Gubb who ran the line for us after narrowly missing out on a place in the squad this week.

Player of the match went to Kitty Norman, a few votes clear of Benjamin and Asira.

Managers player also went to Norman who was superb at the back winning almost everything Winchester could throw at her.

Rory to Justine Mosley for that goal line clearance at the wrong end

REPORT | BSLFC First vs Eastleigh ITC

Southern Region Womens Football League – Premier Division


After a long, hectic, and disruptive preseason, it was almost a welcome sight to see the Eastleigh minibus arrive at Chapel Gate. Game on. There is nothing like that first league game; add to that, it is our first game at our highest ever level after our 4th promotion in 8 years.

Sports, often slow starters, showed desire by dominating the early phases of the game. This pressure led to a series of corners. With precision, Titch put in the first of what must have been ten superb match-day corners. Six minutes in, the Eastleigh defence half cleared the first delivery. Still, it fell to Hughes at the edge of the box to calmly sidefoot the ball into the bottom corner, aided with a slight deflection. After winning player’s player in her first season for her defensive work, Hughes knows that goals are needed to raise her game, and this is the way to start.

Another corner from the left, delivered by Titch, sailed past the ever-optimistic call from Eden, and onto the glancing head of goal poacher Brewer, 2:0 with 19 played. Only 5 minutes later, the marauding Titch finally found herself upfront and in space. then, after some effective anticipation play from the midfield with Hughes and Shaw linking to find Brewer, who, in her own style, helped the ball onto the edge of the 18, where Titch hooked keenly into the bottom corner. 25 minutes in and three nill up, so spirits were up. The next period of the game was tight, with Sports over-eager in the final phase and Eastleigh consolidating well.

The half-time message was clear. We knew Eastleigh had underperformed and would be better in the second half, so we had to contain. Eastleigh changed formation and started the second half like a different team, and put us under more pressure. The newly arranged defence of Davis, Vernon, Lewis, Eden and Chrippes were up to the task. Still, we couldn’t exploit the space they had sacrificed in midfield. Credit to the opposition that despite a healthy 3:0 lead, Sports could not settle. Then, at 70 mins a slip at the back and a quick-thinking striker saw Eastleigh roll the ball into an empty net to make it 3:1 and tense.

The last 20+6 minutes played out without great incident, Sports soaking up pressure and finding chances on the counter. At the same time, Eastleigh took more and more risks. Despite Titch hitting the bar, Rocket and Davis both hitting the post, a shot narrowly over from Shaw, a few clear attempts from Folkenstern, and a great defensive block from a Hawkins half-volley, Sports could not convert a fourth.

Competitive and positive debuts for Ashton, Davis, and Chrippes added to the occasion. Player’s player award went to Titch, who was on point with set pieces, finished well and showed moments of real quality (just don’t ask her about the back pass). Manager’s player award went to Brewer for a first-half display that must have had their defence thinking we have twins upfront.
Although a lion-like performance, the first, 1st team, Rory of the season, went to Bambi for some, oh deer, moments. I had better brush up on my lion and deer puns this season – suggestions welcome.

All in all, the second half showed two things. Eastleigh will stretch teams this year once they settle in the new faces, and Sports need to be more ruthless.

13/02/2022 US Portsmouth vs BSLFC Res

US Portsmouth vs BSLFC Res

Can you do it on a wet Tuesday in Stoke? Well, I’m not sure we will find out, but we can do it on a horrid Sunday in Pompey. Zero hospitality from the opposition only added to the occasion.

On reflection, it wasn’t a great game, and most of the players came away feeling like they didn’t represent themselves well. I can’t work out if this is just nonsense or testimony to the character of this squad. The day was about character, not pretty football. This was day measured in who had the least bad performances, not who was great. It is an often overlooked distinction.

32 players braved the elements to represent BSLFC this weekend, something that I imagine is pipe-dreams to most clubs across the country. Why? Take a moment to think about this! Maybe because 35+ players have represented the first team this year – wow. Maybe because Ricky and myself have different approaches to how we manage so the ups and downs are levelled out, or maybe because good people attract good people ??

With this in mind, I prepared for the game against an in-form US Portsmouth by informing everyone that regardless of form, all would be trusted to play 45/60mins or more. Away games like this are not the day to be drenched on the bench. Basically, regardless of the opposition, we have the quality and we can experiment and rotate yet still take the points. This is a great position to be in.

The highlight of the game from a club perspective was the halftime KO. The 1-1 first half ended square, Daisy B had released Rocket who hurried the keeper to spill, allowing a free shot from the edge of the box, followed by a retort of similar quality making it 1-1. The second half then started with Daisy T, Sassy & Sadie starting upfront, a combined age less than many still playing ? including that of Debs who played for us last year ?

Then, a moment to pause and savor when a poor clearance fell to Sadie, 16 years and 28 days, one-touch away from pressure, 2nd touch into the 18-yard box, 3rd touch was a firm shot into the far corner. Delightful. A record that may stand for at least 16 years and 28 days ?‍♂️

Other highlights included the return of Kiera after a nasty ankle injury, Jess after baba #2, and Hollie after a serious knee injury. The rain was just a side story to these narratives.

The result in the end was a 5-2 win , comfortable, but not the full story. US Portsmouth were threatening, and at 2-2 were the team looking closer to finding a winner. But it was Sports who found the 3rd and USP gave up. This led to an easy finish, where Rocket got her hat trick and returning Jess got one from distance.

Assists from Fabio, Hollie, and Rocket

Players player – Fabio who is in fine form
Managers player – Fabio who is in fine form ?
Rory split for Hollie and Jess for a painful yet comical moment where Jess’s through ball connected with Hollies trailing leg and she crumpled to the floor. Rumour has it that the resulting glare back at Jess was one that Jess herself will be proud of ?