Scorers: Annika, Tash
You’d be forgiven for thinking our confidence had taken a knock after last week’s game, but the 11 of us (sadly no subs*) arrived at the arid Millwall ground in good spirits and very much up for the game.
We started off well, fighting for every ball and the play was in their half more than ours for the majority of the first 40 minutes. Unfortunately, we failed to capitalise on the countless corners and free kicks awarded to us and went behind just before the whistle with an unfortunate deflected goal.
Rejuvenated by oranges at half time (thanks Zoe), we equalised when Lale played a long ball over the last defender to Annika who burst through on goal. With the keeper closing down, she tapped the ball goalwards. Time stood still as it trickled towards the line with two defenders chasing it down but it eventually crossed it and the score was tied at 1-1! We were back in true game and the opposition were furious. All we needed to do was concentr… Oh. Damn. They just scored again. This time with a pretty fabulous backwards volley. Nothing we could do about that one!
Annoyed, confused and boiling hot (why is the sun always out when we play?!), we conceded again – this time from a well-worked set piece. “COWS” (their nickname, not ours – they were rather pleasant, actually) won a couple of headers in succession and the ball unfortunately went in. However we knew it wasn’t over yet. It couldn’t be. We believed we could get something from this game – we were equally matched in everything but the scoreline. Goals had to come.
A few great runs from Zoe down the right flank resulted in a great attacking position for a throw. Annika received the ball and laid it back to Jennah, who calmly switched feet, found some space and put in a peach of a cross to Tash who rose magnificently to shin(!) the ball into the net. It really was so impressive that Tash ran to celebrate in the stands with the crowd! (Of one – thanks for coming down, George!)
With 10 minutes to go, we still believed a point was for the taking as Chelsea took off on one of her Messi-esque runs and bore down on goal. Unfortunately she was stopped by a great tackle and the keeper gathered the ball.
The final whistle was blown on the closest game of the season so far. I have no doubt that if we’d had a sub or two to allow us a little breather and bring on some fresh legs we’d have won this game. Which leads us on very nicely to this:
*We are still recruiting for new players. If your sister, girlfriend, mate’s girlfriend, neighbour wants to play football please send them our details!
Big shout out to Zoe, our Player of the Match who never stopped running, clearing, fighting for every ball. Let’s just say we’re relieved Louis van Gaal chose not to sign any top defenders this season or we’d have lost her. And our half time oranges.