It’s always good to start a match in the harsh conditions of a boggy, minus degree hackney marshes, by being greeted at the pitch by the opponents dog in full kit. God he was intimidating.
Anyway, AP have had a pretty good run of late but with the announcement of three hangovers in the changing rooms, we knew we couldn’t count our chickens.
We were BEYOND pleased to welcome Kelly back into the no. 1 (?) goalie shirt and started with real pace, attacking from the whistle.
We had lots of chances in the first half – the wingers – Emily, Annika and Nicky proving a powerful force as ever. Jennah was pushing forward in a bid to be more like Stevie G and support Beth with through balls to die for. Athena coming on just before the end of the first half injected more energy again – playing some brilliant football with Chelsea in the middle.
At half time it was still 0-0 (I think) and Tash stepped up to offer us her usual supportive ‘we can do this, team’ from the sidelines.
Lale joined us on the pitch for the second half with Beth and Annika taking a break. Annika put her jogging bottoms on to keep warm which took 20 minutes. The dog mascot watching on.
It seemed Tash’s words of motivation had done the trick – it wasn’t long before Chelsea capitalised on a weak defense, taking on, probably all eleven players and cracking it in from outside the box. It’s Chelsea though, we’ve come to expect it. A crackin’ goal and new boots too.
Emily was keeping a watchful eye on the overall strategy from the sidelines and shouting words of wisdom to keep up momentum having gone 1-0 up. Harry, Lale, Jean and Naomi were working tirelessly to stop any attacking play and kept a watchful eye on those tricksy corners. Unfortunately, they were too tricksy and snuck in a good goal from a set piece.
Beth and Annika were back on the pitch (once Annika got her joggers back off) and, with Tash making powerful runs down the wings, Beth managed to slot in after being called offside 9000 times to make it 2-1.
With fifteen minutes on the clock it was all to fight for. We were pushing forward and had some good chances – after an incredible ball down the line from Lale, picked up by Tracey – Annika smashed it into the corner like she was born to do it. 3-1.
With moments left, jean accidentally popped her hands in the air (dancing??) to concede a penalty. Luckily, Kelly is SO intimidating – they fluffed it.
In the final seconds of the games, we conceded another from another brilliant set piece. A good game and a great win for AP.
3-2 (I think)
Report by Beth Turrellk