Ladies' game turns on crucial penalty
Victoire victorious in league match at K's.
We are learning fast in this division against much stronger opposition than we faced in the Surrey League last season. Victoire were another case in point, and we could see right away today that once again we were going to have our work cut out. Victoire applied pressure from the off, but our shape was much better this week than last and with the players sticking admirably to the jobs we had asked them to do, we were holding out well and also occasionally threatening the Victoire goal. Chloe Bailey in goal pulled off a couple of spectacular saves in the early period, but after 20 minutes a Victoire striker won a one-on-one race to the ball and slotted the ball past her to make it 0-1. Back we came however and as the half wore on our raids on the Victoire goal, often led by Olivia Watson, started to come more and more frequently, and we sense the tide was turning. With five minutes to go until half time, Saskia Veldhuizen recovered a loose ball in the Victoire penalty area and pulled it back for Olivia to slide the ball home. HT 1-1.
We started the second half well and were, for a while, looking the more likely of the two teams. Fifteen minutes into the half, the Victoire goalie and defence lost their bearings and the ball dropped to Olivia Watson on the edge of the box and her chip rolled agonisingly just the wrong side of the post. Shortly afterwards came the crucial moment of the game. Victoire swung in a cross and Lucy Potter moved to steer the ball away with her chest. With the Victoire players appealing loudly for handball, the referee at first hesitated and then, to our dismay, pointed to the spot. The Victoire taker made no mistake to make it 1-2. While we were still licking our wounds, Victoire struck again almost immediately to make it 1-3. It was always going to be uphill after that and, although we never threw the towel in, cracks started to appear in our defence and Victoire added two more goals in the last 10 minutes to make the final score 1-5.
For two-thirds of today’s match we were well in this game, and could even have had our noses in front, but the penalty was the turning point from which we never really recovered. Victoire were strong, well organised opposition, but the eventual margin didn’t really reflect the game as a whole. We will learn from this, regroup and look forward to our next match.
Team: Chloe Bailey, Georgina Wickham, Nele Quast(c), Annie Jenkins, Lucy Potter, Renae Huggan-Broughton, Hannah Jacobsen, Bethan John, Sarah Sinkins, Sophia Demetriou, Olivia Watson
Subs: Mairead Halliday, Saskia Veldhuizen, Elesha Edman, Coral Robinson
Goal scorer: Olivia Watson
Player of the match: Hannah Jacobsen (pictured)