K's Beaten by Development Lady Hatters
Kingstonian go out of the John Greenacre Memorial Trophy with a 2-4 defeat at Luton Town Development.
Unlike the men, the Greater London Women’s League takes a rest over Christmas, and in fact today was our first game since 11th December. We travelled to Luton’s Stockwood Park Stadium to play the Luton Development team whom we had beaten in a 4-3 league thriller back in the Autumn. We welcomed back Abi Elliott for her first game of this season, and also Hanna Robson who was back from university, but we were without our captain Nele Quast and also Chloe Bailey, Bethan John, Charlotte Willis-Sloanes and Elesha Edman.
We have made a habit of slow starts this season, and sadly today was no exception. With barely five minutes on the clock, our midfield managed to gift the ball to an opponent inside our half and the Luton player strode through to hit a high looping shot which landed in the back of the net. 1-0. After this, we started to enjoy the greater share of territorial possession but Luton were looking dangerous on the counter-attack and after 20 minutes a break from a lone Luton striker saw her shrug off two tackles on the edge of our penalty area and slide the ball into the far corner of the goal. 2-0.
We really took the game to Luton after this and after a few near misses, finally with a couple of minutes to go before half time the ball dropped to Olivia Watson in the Luton 6 yard box and she made no mistake. 2-1. However, almost immediately from the restart some poor defending on the edge of our own area saw the ball drop to a Luton striker who hit another high dipping shot into the back of our net. HT 3-1.
The second half saw us dominate possession and territory, and play some decent passing football; however, against the run of play in the tenth minute of the half it was Luton who scored again next after a speculative shot from the left wing squirmed its way in to the net. 4-1. The Ladies didn’t give up however, and the chances were coming more and more frequently. With 65 minutes on the clock the ball dropped to Renae Huggan-Broughton, again inside the Luton 6 yard box, and she tapped home for 4-2. Then with ten minutes to go Sophia Demetriou had the ball in the back of the Luton net once more and we thought we had given ourselves a fighting chance of taking the tie to penalties. However, after a long consultation with the linesman, the referee chalked it off for offside. The Ladies were frustrated, and not least by the fact that throughout the game the Luton linespeople’s flags were going up regardless of whether players were becoming active or not. The “must be active” rule has been place for a few seasons now so it really is disappointing, and distracting for the players, to still find linespeople who flag as soon as a ball is passed.
We finished the game in the ascendancy, but were left to rue some shoddy first half defending, and an inability to take our chances, or really to sufficiently often seriously trouble the two excellent Luton goalkeepers (one in each half). FT 4-2.
So, our cup campaigns have proven to be short-lived this season, but we still have plenty to play for in the league.
K's Team: Coral Robinson, Georgina Wickham, Annie Jenkins(c), Laura Joseph, Lucy Potter, Mairead Halliday, Hannah Jacobsen, Hanna Robson, Renae Huggan-Broughton, Abi Elliott, Olivia Watson. Subs: Saskia Veldhuizen, Sophia Demetriou, Vicky Cockle, Saskia Veldhuizen.
Goalscorers: Olivia Watson, Renae Huggan-Broughton
Player of the match: Vicky Cockle (pictured)