Result : WIN 6-1 vs Ipswich
Match Report : Allan Dick
The Scotland v England rugby clash may have detained a few supporters at the bar, but for those that braved the wild February winds, they will have seen a determined Southgate ladies team braced against the weather and ready to take on Ipswich for the kick off of the second half of the season.
The game started off a bit hairy for Southgate, as Ipswich piled on the pressure, but it wasn’t long before SG won a crucial corner, helping the team find their groove. Captain Char hit a strong ball off the top and with Ellie Rob on the post ready for the rebound, the nifty bit of teamwork paid off to see a 1-0 lead.
The floodgates were open, and it wasn’t long before a hard hit through from defence found Jess in the D, ready to bang the ball into the bottom corner. A lovely finish and an even nicer 2-0 lead.
The half time whistle blew but Southgate had already secured a corner. There were two options; a goal, or another corner to result in a goal. Luckily Powers had a night out to get to and wanted to keep the minutes down – she opted for a whack straight into the goal. “That was the first goal I’ve scored in 12 years” she rejoiced, as we all enjoyed her well deserved – and really rather adorable – celebration. So, with that historic moment and 3 goals under their belt, the team headed to the bench for half time.
Following a hasty huddle, shivering on the side lines, the girls gathered as much intel as possible before venturing back onto the pitch. The defence were keen to send the ball round the back at speed to find openings in play, and with midfielders ready to jump into the gaps, there were some rather nice passages of play on display. The screens were defensive and ensured Ipswich felt the pressure on the ball, although Soph had to take it down a notch after the whistle blew for ‘intimidation’. Who knew Soph could be so scary!
Tensions continued to run high when a couple of SG players found themselves on a time out on the naughty bench. However, the team were cool, calm and collected and held their own with a man down on both occasions.
This tricky section of the game seemed to make Southgate hungry for some more goals. They looked for a foot in the D, and a foot was found. From top D the ball was fired in for Em RH to make a brave, yet brilliant deflection into the corner of the goal. Quickly after Char dangerously drove with the ball just in the air and volleyed a Serena-style shot into the bottom of the goal. 5-0. And then one goal wasn’t enough for Jess, she went for another and found it. In a perfectly picked position in the crowded D, she was ready when the ball fell to her, taking it round the goalie and guiding it over the line.
The final quarter saw Ipswich switch things up and raise the pressure as they fought for a goal on the scoreboard, duly found in a few messy moments in SG’s defensive D. The team were a bit down-hearted but the job was not finished yet. Composure was maintained and Southgate managed to hold their own as the clock munched down. The whistle blew and the 6-1 win was secured.
Saturday was a brilliant start to this half of the season but there are a lot of tough matches to come. Southgate face Barnes next week, and with a devastating loss at the start of the season on home turf, the girls have a big job away on Saturday to turn the tables and head to top of the leader board.