Five Star Victory over Clapham United
K's produce one of their best performances of the season with a 5-1 win away to Clapham United.
It was a bitterly cold day on Clapham Common for our game against a high-riding Clapham United, but little were we to know that the Ladies would warm us all with a firecracker of a performance. We welcomed back Chloe Bailey, straight off a plane from California, as well as Carolina Bottarini-Boltz, Hannah Jacobsen and Olivia Watson. Vicky Cockle’s name also went on the team sheet for the first time in two months as she works her way back from injury.
In the first ten minutes, there was little to hint at what was to come as we started sluggishly, struggled with the wind and Clapham were edging us out in the challenges. However, as so often happens, it was a perceived injustice that got the team fired up. A long ball over the Clapham defence saw Olivia Watson running through from a clearly onside position to bury the ball in the Clapham net, but after a long consultation with his lineswoman, the referee chalked it off. We could only think that it was a case of mistaken identity.
This spurred the team on and, after the Clapham goalkeeper survived a few one-on-ones with our strikers, it was Carolina Bottarini-Boltz who, after 25 minutes, finally broke the deadlock with a dribble through the Clapham rearguard and a sweet curling right foot finish. 0-1. Our lead didn’t last long however as within minutes the wind caught an in-swinging Clapham corner and carried it over our goal line. 1-1. Back we came onto the attack and our strike force began to forage more and more dangerously in the Clapham half. With 35 minutes gone, Olivia Watson raced through and buried the ball into the net at the second bite of the cherry. This time there was no need for the referee to consult with the lineswoman. 1-2. Only moments later, a blistering run down the left wing from Carolina Bottarini-Boltz saw her reach the bye-line, and fire a low hard cross that found Renae Huggan-Broughton racing in at the far post to ram the ball home for the goal of the game. HT 1-3.
We started the second half brightly with Charlotte Willis-Sloanes moving into the attack. And, with barely five minutes of the second half gone, Olivia Watson raced through yet again and smacked a shot against the cross bar, but, as we collectively groaned, up popped Renae Huggan-Broughton, following up, to blast the ball home. 1-4. Clapham didn’t stop trying to get back into the game, but our defence of variously Georgina Wickham, Nele Quast, Laura Joseph, Lucy Potter, Annie Jenkins and Elesha Edman was in determined mood, and behind them Chloe Bailey was having an absolute blinder with no hint of jet-lag to be detected. In midfield Hannah Jacobsen, Sarah Sinkins, Bethan John and Mairead Halliday were working hard to contest that area of the pitch and all of them, especially Sarah Sinkins, were breaking forward from time to time to dangerous effect. Our fifth and final goal, ten minutes from time, was entirely made by our midfield. Bethan John went on a mazy dribble down the right and burst into the box from where she found the arriving Hannah Jacobsen. Hannah sidestepped a challenge and tucked the ball home.
The only downer on a day of positives was the loss of Bethan John near the end of the game to an ankle injury. We wish her well for a speedy recovery. Otherwise this was an excellent all-round high tempo performance by the ladies. One of the best so far this season. FT 1-5.
Team: Chloe Bailey, Georgina Wickham, Nele Quast (c), Laura Joseph, Lucy Potter, Annie Jenkins, Hannah Jacobsen, Mairead Halliday, Renae Huggan-Broughton, Olivia Watson, Carolina Bottarini-Boltz
Subs: Sarah Sinkins, Charlotte Willis-Sloanes, Bethan John, Elesha Edman, Vicky Cockle
Goalscorers: Renae Huggan-Broughton 2, Carolina Bottarini-Boltz 1, Olivia Watson 1, Hannah Jacobsen 1
Player of the match: Chloe Bailey (pictured)