We ran out in the Beveree Stadium today hoping to complete a double over our closest neighbours, Hampton & Richmond. Not only did we realise that we had the notorious Beveree slope to contend with but also a strong gusty wind, also blowing down the hill. We were without our skipper, Nele Quast, but welcomed back Hanna Robson from university and Annie Jenkins and Abi Elliott from illness.
We kicked off down the slope with the wind at our backs and soon applied some pressure on the Hampton & Richmond goal. After a few promising attacks, with 25 minutes on the clock, Abi Elliott received the ball in the right hand channel and ran at the Hampton & Richmond defence. Reaching the penalty area, Abi looked up and, spying a gap at the unsighted goalkeeper’s far post, she skilfully slid the ball through the gap and into the far corner of the net. 0-1.
The rest of this half was a fairly even affair with both sides having their moments and chances. The strong wind was primarily responsible for snuffing out most of our attacks, frequently carrying our through balls either to the Hampton & Richmond goalkeeper or out of play. HT 0-1.
We expected a full on assault from Hampton & Richmond down the slope with the wind in the second half, and things started exactly in that vein. The wind indeed played a big role in the Hampton & Richmond equaliser. With 55 minutes gone a corner was hoisted in to our 6 yard box almost on the goal line. Chloe in goal, under pressure, did well to push the ball up and on to the cross bar. But, as it dropped down, the wind blew the ball over the goal-line for the equaliser. 1-1.
We could have succumbed after that, but on the contrary we went on the attack and, with some really intelligent probing through-balls that held up in the wind, we created a number of very good chances for our strikers. The Hampton & Richmond goalkeeper was playing an absolute blinder, and a dubious off-side flag on one occasion halted Sophia Demetriou when she looked to have been played right through. Hampton & Richmond were always dangerous on the break, but we are always strong finishers of games, and in the last period of this game we looked much the more likely winners. Time ran out on us in the end however and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
There were some notable performances all over the pitch today. Up front Renae Huggan-Broughton worked really hard throughout to create her own luck, ably supported by Sophia Demetriou and our goal scorer Abi Elliott. In midfield, Olivia Watson was her usual bustling self but Bethan John, Sarah Sinkins, Hannah Jacobsen and Charlotte Willis-Sloanes all got on the ball today and made some telling passes. In defence, our experimental central defensive partnership of Hanna Robson and Laura Joseph complimented each other really well, and Hampton & Richmond had little joy throughout through the centre. Our full-backs of variously Annie Jenkins, Georgina Wickham and our captain today, Lucy Potter, worked tirelessly against some very dangerous Hampton & Richmond wingers. Annie Jenkins played brilliantly in both defence and also when she moved into midfield in the second half. In goal, Chloe Bailey was virtually faultless throughout.
After a slow start to their season, Hampton & Richmond have been in fine form of late – winning 5 of their previous 6 league games, so, we needed a good performance today to match them. We more than managed that, and in fact are now on a bit of a run ourselves having picked up 10 points from our last 5 games.
Team: Chloe Bailey, Annie Jenkins, Hanna Robson. Laura Joseph, Lucy Potter(c), Charlotte Willis-Sloanes, Bethan John, Sarah Sinkins, Olivia Watson. Abi Elliott, Renae Huggan-Broughton
Subs: Sophia Demetriou, Hannah Jacobsen, Georgina Wickham, Elesha Edman
Goal scorer: Abi Elliott
Player of the match: Abi Elliott (pictured)
Updated 11:08 - 20 Mar 2017 by Kingstonian FC