Kingstonian Ladies 3-2 Wandsworth Borough
Mark Robson reports on an afternoon when the eleven of K's became ten, but bravely battled to a win.
With several of the squad away, working, injured or ill, we were only able to include the bare 11 names on the team sheet for today’s home league game against Wandsworth Borough. Included in that number was debutante Lace Edgcombe, Georgi Wickham who despite being under the weather had come all the way back from university in Brighton to play (we love you Georgi!), and Sylvia Grierson who, once again, answered our SOS for a goalkeeper.
Wandsworth started the brighter and pressed us back in the early stages. After 13 minutes, a wayward defensive pass let in a Wandsworth striker who burst in to our penalty area and was then tripped. The referee pointed to the spot, and the Wandsworth penalty-taker gave Sylvia no chance with a powerfully blasted kick down the middle. 0-1.
As the half wore on however, we started to attack Wandsworth more often, and a tactical switch pushing Lace Edgcombe from defence into midfield seemed to give us a boost. With 39 minutes on the clock, Olivia Watson fed in Sophia Demetriou and she slotted the ball home to level things up. 1-1. With only a minute to go until the break, we won a corner which Lily Dusting swung in beautifully. Lace went up to win the header and the ball found its way, via a deflection, into the back of the Wandsworth net. HT 2-1.
We were down to 10 players after half-time when, after an excellent first half contribution, Vicky Cockle couldn’t continue and so we faced the prospect of 45 minutes of 10 versus 11. This was always going to be a tough task, and, after 55 minutes, a long Wandsworth ball skidded off a defensive head into the path of an onrushing Wandsworth striker who hit an unstoppable shot into the far corner of our net. 2-2.
After that, the game veered from end to end. In goal Sylvia was doing everything that was being asked of her and, in front of her, captain Lucy Potter along with Danni Bourne and Georgi Wickham were battling hard. In midfield we were playing an intelligent game - Lace Edgcombe was contesting every ball and Evie Foster and Lily Dusting were working hard to ensure Wandsworth’s wide players knew they were in a contest. Mairead Halliday, in the centre of midfield with Lace, was supplying most of the passes to our front two of Olivia Watson and Sophia Demetriou who together, despite us being a player down, were still able to give Wandsworth’s defence a torrid time with their pace and intricate passing interchanges.
As the game moved into the final quarter, it really was anybody’s game. However, with 75 minutes on the clock, Sophia sprang the Wandsworth off-side trap and, with Wandsworth appealing loudly, she maintained her concentration to run through and slide the ball past the outrushing goalkeeper and towards the far post. It looked as though the ball might drift wide, but it hit the post and rebounded back into the goal to give us the lead. 3-2.
The last 15 minutes were nerve-racking for the Ks supporters, as we survived a couple of long-range free-kicks and several corners, but some intelligent game management in the last few minutes finally saw us over the line for a hard fought victory. FT 3-2.
We felt hard done by last week’s 5-4 defeat, but today’s battling victory against a talented Wandsworth team was a great way to bounce back.
Team: Sylvia Grierson, Georgina Wickham, Danni Bourne, Lace Edgcombe, Lucy Potter(c), Lily Dusting, Vicky Cockle. Mairead Halliday, Evie Foster, Olivia Watson, Sophia Demetriou
Goal scorers: Sophia Demetriou (2), Lace Edgcombe
Player of the match: Danni Bourne