L1s were grateful to both their Emilys for salvaging a draw against Barnes.
On a sunny Saturday before storm Ciara hit, the L1s took on second place Barnes vying to narrow the gap on top of the table Wimbledon. A dominant opening passage led to a well-worked deflected goal from Emily Ruffell-Hazell. From then on Southgate continued to control the tempo of the game and possession, utilising the strength on the ball of Hannah Kilpatrick, Lucy Leel, and Lisa Filarmonico as well as the distribution of Lucy Thayer and Clarissa Schilling. However, the combination of a few careless moments and some pacey Barnes players allowed the opposition to get two breakaway goals. The team remained resilient and continued to push forward, creating good opportunities until defender Emily Meredith was the one to break through with a reverse stick strike from a tight angle.
The second half was a different story however, and despite a strong work ethic, particularly from Ella Sherring, Charlotte Childs, Frankie Cox and Jennie Stephens, and great tackling from Caitlin Creeley and player of the match Bobbie Burkin, Southgate were not able to dominate in the same way. GK Zara Rose was required to make important saves with the game turning scrappy on both sides. Southgate fought hard until the end, at some points with only 10 players, but could not find that extra level to get the three points on this occasion. The team will need to bring all their mental resilience and the quality of their first-half performance to L1s next game; away against Wimbledon on February 15.