Peckham down K's in nine goal thriller
With two weeks since we had last played and after a winding journey through South London into Dulwich to face Peckham we were looking forward to returning to competition. Today we were welcoming two debutantes, Chelsea-Ann Woods and Sylvia Grierson who had volunteered to be our stand-in goalkeeper this week.
From the start Peckham's trademark aggressive physical game caused us a few problems and prevented us from settling. With 20 minutes on the clock a long range Peckham shot found its way across the face of goal to nestle into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. 1-0 Peckham. Almost immediately from the restart however some lovely combination play put Libby through one-on-one with the goalkeeper and she coolly slotted the ball home. 1-1. With the Ladies beginning to get into their stride, we began to play the better football and troubled the Peckham goal on numerous occasions but couldn't quite find the finish the football deserved. The half-time break was approaching and we seemed to have things under control when out of the blue a huge clearance by Peckham sailed high over Sylvia's head and dipped into the goal. 2-1. We put ourselves under further pressure soon after when we had three chances to clear the ball from inside the penalty area but instead gifted the ball to Peckham who graciously accepted the gift to smash the ball home from 6 yards. Half-time 3-1.
The girls now had something to fight for but could we pull the 2 goal deficit back? We picked off where we finished the first half by playing the better football and creating opportunity after opportunity, but our finishing malaise continued.
In the 60th minute Peckham found some time on the edge of the area to shoot across the face of goal. Our goalkeeper was confident that the slowly bouncing ball was heading out of play when all of a sudden the ball bobbled onto the inside of the post and back across the goal line into the path of a Peckham centre forward who tapped in from 6 inches! 4-1. The scoreline did not reflect the game and the never say die spirit of the girls kept us coming back to pile the pressure on Peckham. Within 5 minutes we had pulled one back with a goal from Evie Foster. 4-2. The gods were not on our side this week and we conspired to concede another. 5-2. We closed the gap soon after when a superb 30 yard free kick from Maraid Halliday was adjudged to have crossed the line after coming off the crossbar. No VAR needed here, a clear goal. 5-3.
The ladies had the bit between their teeth now and were playing some nice flowing football. Libby was put through again and brought the game back to within one goal. 5-4. With 5 minutes remaining Peckham conceded another free kick in almost the identical location to the previous one, centrally about 30 yards out. Mairead lined this one up again and floated a beautiful shot destined for the top left hand corner but the Peckham keeper just about managed to get fingertips to the ball on this occasion to deflect it onto the crossbar and out. Final whistle, 5-4.
The final score could have been very different but at the end of the day we gave ourselves just a little too much to do.
K's Team: Sylvia Grierson, Lucy Potter, Zoe McLaughlin, Danni Bourne, Chelsea-Ann Woods, Evie Foster, Emily Hobern, Mairead Halliday, Georgina Wickham, Olivia Watson, Sophia Demetriou. Sub: Lily Dusting
Player of the Match: Olivia Watson