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 😡