Last Home match won and dusted
By Michael Lethbridge
Berks County arrived with 10 players and mentioned their goalkeeper would need to leave in the second half, even though we'd delayed the start by 30 mins at their request !! The Swans’ game plan remained unchanged by this.
The Swans were the bare 11 with a new look central defence of Anna and Izzy with Abby at left back; Olivia took up her normal right back berth. Another change was to have Lucy at right wing and Ruby on the left. Leonie joined Lally up front. In centre mid It was Grace with Maud as per usual.
The first half was more even than the difference in numbers might suggest. When our attacks broke down there always seemed to be an opposition player who could hoof it into open play and threaten our defence. However, the back line held well with Lucy frequently helping out and putting pressure on Berks County. The opposition eleventh player arrived and was almost immediately asked by the ref to leave the field for removal of her earrings. This proved to be our moment to strike with good movement of the front four, a mix up in their defence allowing Lally pounce on the mistake rounding 2 defenders and slotting the ball home. A well deserved goal for the team. The first half finished with the Swans looking strong.
Half -time ended and the game resumed with most of the action on the downhill side of the pitch and possession and territory shifting with the ball frequently out of play. Anna and Izzy looked like they had played together all season and Abby and Olivia were frequently in the action as Berks County countered. Anna’s towering header was one of many defensive highlights. Ten minutes into the second half Berks County's goalkeeper had to leave being replaced by an outfield player. Our attacking moves looked threatening against them with only the final strike being off the mark. Leonie and Lally played well off each other and Ruby and Grace both came close. However, without the cushion of a second goal the Swans had to hold what they had and Maud joined the battle in deep mid to win ball and keep the clock running down. Late in the second half it was a case of cometh the hour cometh the keeper to keep us in the match. A looping kick looked certain to creep in under the crossbar, but Serena stood tall and saved and caught the ball in a single movement.
As the whistle went the girls celebrated an another well deserved win to finish off our last home match of the season.
With 2 games left to play we know that we can still win the league, but we must win both of our last 2 games. Hopefully AFT slip up in their last remaining 3 games ( one which is against us).