Honours even in another 8-goal thriller
Kingstonian and Tower Hamlets share eight goals in a thrilling match.
It was with a changed-looking squad that we went in to our home game against a Tower Hamlets team who, judging by their recent results, despite their league position were not to be underestimated. We were without Renae Huggan-Broughton, Hannah Jacobsen and Nele Quast but welcomed back Becky Roberts, Saskia Veldhuizen and Sophia Demetriou.
We were rocked back on our heels within three minutes of the start when a Tower Hamlets striker evaded a lunging challenge on the edge of our area and crossed for a team mate to head past Chloe Bailey in goal. 0-1. It took us a few minutes to settle after that, but as we regained our composure chances started to fall to our strikers. With 15 minutes on the clock, the ball dropped over the head of a defender to Sophia Demetriou on the edge of the Tower Hamlets’ box and she took a few strides before slotting the ball home 1-1. The ladies pressed forward after that and, 25 minutes, in a trademark run from Charlotte Willis-Sloanes saw her burst into the penalty area from the right and, from a narrow angle, fire the ball past the Tower Hamlets goalkeeper to put us ahead. 2-1.
Back came Tower Hamlets, competing well for the loose ball and then playing some composed passing football in possession. We were rather back-pedalling in this period and sure enough two rapid fire Tower Hamlets goals in the period before half time saw the break arrive with us trailing 2-3.
The half-time talk was all about desire, but it took a while for this to translate into results. However, Kingstonian Ladies’ teams never give up and, with 20 minutes to go, Sophia Demetriou once again burst in to the Tower Hamlets area and lashed the ball home for the equaliser. 3-3. We were very much on the front foot after that, with Bethan John, Mairead Halliday, Becky Roberts and Olivia Watson probing for the killer ball through to Sophia Demetriou or Charlotte Willis-Sloanes. Eventually, what looked likely to be the winner arrived with ten minutes to go when Sophia Demetriou was rewarded for pressurising the otherwise impeccable Tower Hamlets goalkeeper into spilling the ball, and then followed up to tap the ball home herself. 4-3.
It looked as though we had got ourselves out of jail, but there was another twist to come in this game. With five minutes to go, and after our defence had failed to clear the ball, the most unlikely of back heels from a Tower Hamlets from the most unlikely of narrow angles somehow trickled its way over the line and into our goal. FT 4-4.
Overall, we were rather disappointed with ourselves today, but another point means our unbeaten league run extends to four games now and we move up to 5th in the league table.
Team: Chloe Bailey, Georgina Wickham, Annie Jenkins (c), Laura Joseph, Lucy Potter, Vicky Cockle, Mairead Halliday, Sarah Sinkins, Charlotte Willis-Sloanes, Olivia Watson, Sophia Demetriou
Subs: Elesha Edman, Becky Roberts, Bethan John, Saskia Veldhuizen, Coral Robinson
Goal scorers: Sophia Demetriou 3, Charlotte Willis-Sloanes 1
Player of the match: Sophia Demetriou (pictured)