After the usual delightful trip around the North Circular the ladies arrived to face top of the table Ealing this week. We welcomed a new junior to the team – Bella – and were grateful for her young legs and defensive skills in midfield.
Ealings team consisted of their U16A girls, a couple of 20 year olds thrown in for good measure and plenty of subs.
But, we were expecting a tough game and had changed our line up in preparation. Sticking Millie and Lucy, our two nippy juniors upfront to do the leg work. We had our experienced midfield of Claire, Bhu, Sarah and Bella and brilliant back line made up of Kim, Andrea, Fi and Niamh keeping the hungry younglings from Ealing at bay.
The pressure was relentless! But the tackling from Southgate was outstanding and rarely did we give a penalty away. Ealing had countless opportunities but it was well into the first half when they scored. Our goalie for the day, Elise was simply magical.
Playing against a clearly organised and well drilled team meant opportunities for the Southgate girls were few and far between but when we finally got the ball into our own third and then D – a short corner was awarded. A clean injection from Fi ensured an accurate strike by Millie who buried it straight in the back of the net. 1-1. But Ealing came back quickly and secured their second just before half time.
HT – 2-1 Ealing
I have never witnessed three packets of sweets demolished so quickly at half time but they were thoroughly deserved and with no subs to call on, much needed.
Having a half time team talk saw a slightly different Ealing emerge – targeting certain Southgate players and with a constant stream of young fresh legs to take to the field they had opportunity after opportunity but still the ladies in black and red held them back. Again, we defended short corners ( Bhu even taking a ball to the face to ensure a save !) and though they finally scored their third just before the end of the match our ladies have much to be proud of. Simply the best display of team work, resilience and determination so far this season. Just hoping everybody recovers in time for the next match!!
FT 3-1 Ealing ( Casualty count – a cracked rib, black eye, and countless bruises for Southgate)