Nuneaton Borough Ladies 2-0 Hinckley Ladies
By Adam Etheridge
Newly formed Nuneaton Borough Ladies competed in their first friendly fixture last night at Liberty Way, hosting neighbours Hinckley Ladies.
Boro's squad of 16 consisted of a good balance of youth and experience. A good number of the ladies hadn't played together before, some hadn't played for a few years and there were even senior debuts.
Manager Danny Cole decided to keep things simple with a standard 4-4-2 formation for the game. Both teams started quickly and sharply. The Boro' held the ball very well in the opening exchanges, the midfield four very composed under pressure from the Hinckley side.
The longer the half went on the more Hinckley grew into the game and the match was soon very competitive and fast paced. Both teams giving it their all for the first 45 but cancelling each other out all over the pitch with neither side able to break the deadlock.
The second half saw both teams come out refreshed and re-briefed, with plenty of changes to the line up from the Boro'. Hinckley started on the front foot and pushed the Boro ladies back into their own half immediately. Boro fought hard defensively and in the 49th minute midfielder Claire Burrell picked up the ball midway in her own half and threaded a wonderful through ball into the path of young striker Tamara Smith who raced clear of the Hinckley defence and slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner with a very composed and mature finish.
Boro taking the lead certainly didn't dent Hinckley's confidence one bit. The away side were straight back on the front foot, pushing high and causing the Boro a few problems.
Boro ladies started to look increasingly heavy legged and Hinckley ladies continued to pile on the pressure. The girls in blue dug deep and gave there all, fighting hard for every ball no matter how tired they were.
With the constant pressure from Hinckley keeping the home side pinned back it seemed like an equaliser was coming and a nervous feeling could be felt around the ground. However, in the 90th minute, against the run of play, a long ball forward from Carol Walsh in the right back position allowed striker Megan Wild to give chase. Megan sprinted almost half the pitch, ball at her feet, with the Hinckley defenders hot on her heels. A cool calm finish and it was game over.
The match finished with both teams absolutely spent after giving their all and putting on a great game for the spectators. The new Boro radio channel gave live commentary of the game throughout and also awarded Rebecca Mortiboys Player of the Match.
A special mention to Courtney Smith and Natasha Harris, both 16 years of age and both making their first ever adult appearance in ladies football which they handled brilliantly.