BSLFC Res 2 – 0 US Portsmouth (Hampshire Trophy)
We welcomed US Portsmouth to Chapel Gate for the 2nd round of the Hampshire trophy. We were confident, with the club on a current run of home form that sees both Sports sides unbeaten in the 9 games we’ve had at home this season, winning 8 of them.
It was USP that started the brighter, finding themselves through on goal inside the first two minutes. Luckily Clarke was alert and the effort was straight at her body and she was able to hold.
We should have had the lead on the 8th minute, a first time shot by Benjamin was sliced wide thanks to a bobble but hit a defender and Nash was on hand to fire it across the goal, it found Mosley on the line but she was unable to get a full connection and it went wide.
6 minutes later and it was USPs wingers causing us problems again, they got away down the left but under some good pressure from Nhemachena the high shot was well saved by Clarke.
18 mins and Asira rounded the GK but was forced wide, she confidently took the shot but it went straight across the goal.
Clarke was quickly out to smother a through ball just before the half hour as both teams looked like they could take the lead.
Almost immediately after Nash had a shot from distance after two good touches took her clear of a couple of challenges, but it went narrowly wide of the far post.
33 and Asira had a great chance but the extra touch just gave the USP defender enough time to drop in and make the block.
Just before the half time whistle we looked like we might take the lead, some great football released stocker who took on the shot first time. It was hit well enough but hit the side netting of the near post.
Stocker was then released twice in quick succession from long balls on the stroke of half time. She took them both on her left side and both were a long way high and wide. It sort of summed up the half, good possession, some moments of good football but not enough composure in the opposition box.
We spent a long time at training this week working on kick offs, and it paid off. Stocker was released down the left and the half time call for more composure was met as she squared the ball across the box. The recovering USP defenders could only divert the ball past their own GK to give us the lead. 20 seconds on the clock and we were in front.
Chances were much harder to come by this half though. The threat of their wingers was pegging back Orton and Symes and in turn this meant the cms had limited options.
USP had a free kick in a dangerous area on 57 and while Clarke was setting up the wall they took it quickly. It was well struck and could have caused Clarke some problems but Benjamin put her head where it hurts and nodded it away.
A couple of minutes later and a great through ball from Benjamin found Nash. She beat the GK to the ball but the shot went narrowly wide.
Just after the hour USP had an audacious attempt, keeping the ball in on the byline the player tried to bend it round Clarke from the tightest of angles and did not miss by much. It was a warning that they were still dangerous and this game was not safe.
Stocker was through again on 66, she took a touch this time but still managed to slice her effort wide of the post as she just kept testing if she was left or right footed. We know it’s right now though 😉
Benjamin had a good shot from the edge of the box well saved down to the GKs right.
From the resulting goal kick, USP were through, Clarke came rushing out to put the pressure on but it was a very good lob that beat her. Unfortunately for USP it bounced too high and went just over the bar saving Nhemachena from any goal line heroics as she chased back into the net.
They had another good chance on 75, the ball played into the middle of box but the striker got her feet wrong and it went safely wide.
Mosley had a good chance a couple of minutes later but couldn’t generate the required power and it was comfortably saved.
There was then a delay, as a committed 50/50 between Anderson and a USP player ended with a knee injury for the latter. We wish her all the best and hopefully it’s not as bad as first feared.
The game was back underway 5 minutes later, and it was a nervy last bit of the game with everyone doing their best to protect Clarke clean sheet.
Asira won a free kick about 25 yds out on the 91st minute and up stepped Benjamin. With the firsts now finished on the pitch next door she had a quite a crowd and she didn’t disappoint. A powerful strike clipped the wall and flew past the USP GK to give us some breathing space.
Another USP player needed treatment on the 95 minute but was able to continue. Asira was a through on the 98th minute to add some gloss to the win but was denied by a very good save before the ref closed the game around 102 minutes.
Rory end to Emily Gard who needed 3 attempts to give the first team their ball back.
Managers player went to Ayuma Asira who worked incredibly hard all game and did plenty of chasing back when we needed her.
Players player went to Ellen Benjamin who put in a real captains performance and scored a wonderful free kick to top it off.