Demetriou hat-trick gives Ladies winning start
Our pre-season has been disjointed to say the least, with the squad only gradually taking shape, lots of players unavailable to train due to holidays and work commitments, and two of our three pre-season friendlies cancelled when our opponents pulled out.
It was however a gloriously sunny day today for the opening game of our 2018/19 season in the Greater London Women’s Football League Division 2 South and Balham Panthers were our first opponents at our Kew Association home ground.
There were several players on the list of ill, injured or otherwise unavailable today, and in fact we were only able to include 12 names on the team sheet. Among these was Laura Timmins, our very own Gaelic footballer, who answered an SOS a couple of hours before the match to don the gloves in goal. We had three players making their competitive debuts - Emily Hobern, Lisa Nichols and Lily Dusting.
We began brightly and took the game to Balham. Only some wayward shooting and a few outstanding saves from the Balham goalkeeper prevented us from taking a first half lead. The closest we came was when Sophia Demetriou hit the post, while Lisa Nichols was thwarted by a point blank save. Balham only really threatened from corners, but they came very close from a couple of those. As the half wore on we were more and more in the ascendancy but just couldn’t make the breakthrough. HT 0-0
Ten minutes into the second half, we finally got the break our play deserved. A Balham player went down on the half-way line, but while several Balham players hesitated, the referee waved play on, and Olivia Watson played in Sophia Demetriou who raced through to slot the ball past the Balham goalkeeper. 1-0.
Ten minutes later and an excellent ball from Emily Hobern fed Sophia in again and once again she ran through and made no mistake with a crisp finish. 2-0.
On 75 minutes, a lung-bursting run from Georgi Wickham down the right flank culminated in her crossing perfectly from the bye-line to find the inrushing Sophia Demetriou who coolly slotted home to complete a fine hat-trick. 3-0.
Balham launched a few attacks in the final quarter of an hour, but our defence of Georgi Wickham, Zoe McLaughlin and captain Lucy Potter held firm, with Laura Timmins in goal comfortably mopping up anything that got past them. In midfield, Mairead Halliday, Olivia Watson, Vicky Cockle, Emily Hobern and Sarah Sinkins were dominating affairs and the whole team worked hard to ensure a rare and very satisfying clean sheet. FT 3-0.
With a numerically depleted squad, this was nevertheless a very encouraging start to the season. There were strong debuts from Emily Hobern, Lisa Nichols and Lily Dusting and good performances all over the park. We still need reinforcements but we are up and running and in good heart.
Team: Laura Timmins, Georgina Wickham, Zoe McLaughlin, Lucy Potter(c), Emily Hobern, Olivia Watson, Mairead Halliday, Vicky Cockle, Sarah Sinkins, Lisa Nichols, Sophia Demetriou
Sub: Lily Dusting
Goalscorer: Sophia Demetriou 3
Player of the match: Sophia Demetriou (pictured)