With three wins to their name, the W2s confidently marched towards their fourth in a midday match at home. We could not begrudge the absence of our coach Ronan who was otherwise engaged in the birth of his child and so Chris generously stepped in for the day. The opposition were Tulse Hill & Dulwich who had been struggling in their previous games. Nevertheless, the first half was well-balanced with both sides getting their fair share of D-entries. Southgate at times had the upper hand, but opportunities for an early lead were denied by the THD defence.
Things heated up in the second half as the oppo upped their tempo and put us through our paces. Southgate were kept under pressure by an aggressive press but were able to sneak the ball through their lines. A short corner for the W2s gave us hope of taking control of the match once more, but despite a well-worked routine the keeper just about got a foot to a ball headed to the bottom left and the score remained nil-nil. THD responded with more determination and eventually (yet inexplicably) won their own short corner. The injection was inaccurate, the trapper took control of the ball, and an unfortunate deflection off a defending stick landed the ball in the back of the goal. But opposition celebrations were short-lived as the umpire thankfully saw that the ball had not left the D and this warning shot gave us the courage to push ahead.
Tensions rose as THD aggressively forced an injured Liv Richardson off the pitch. Undeterred, we continued to fight and as the minutes counted down and we feared we would lose our winning streak, Maddy Davies superbly intercepted their transfer and charged into their D unopposed. The goalie came out but the ball slid under her and thumped the backboard. Southgate were so jubilant that we were told off by the umpire (unfairly) for time-wasting in our celebration of this marvellous goal. THD would not give up but a tenacious Southgate defence refused to let them equalise. Another short for them threatened our hopes but Rhi Hart blocked a shot from the penalty spot and cleared the ball away from the danger.
At last, the final whistle went to our joy and relief. The W2s now have four out of four wins and remain joint top of the table with a promising future. A break next week gives us a chance to destress after that nail-biting match as we face Wayfarers on the 28th, determined for yet another win. Congratulations go to Sydney Beare who received a near-unanimous vote for MoM for her ferocious skilling round the opposition and beautifully timed runs and passes. Congratulations must also go to Ronan and Nicole on the birth of their daughter. As our coach, Ronan must by now be used to sleepless nights but we wish him and his wife our very best.