Caterham Pumas v. Teddington Athletic U14 Girls
2 - 2
Caterham Pumas vs Teddington Athletic U14 Girls, 03/12/2017
A 50 mile round trip, a dank December day and a last minute equaliser didn't diminish the spirits of Teddington Athletic U14 girls as they battled against Caterham Pumas FC this weekend. Despite the boggy conditions underfoot Caterham started at a canter, within minutes they had swept down the right, drawing an excellent save from TAFC goalkeeper Jess. Unfortunately the rebound fell invitingly and Caterham scored in the ensuing melee (1-0). Caterham pressed hard in the first 15 minutes, taking up residence in the TAFC half. Harriet and Lydia had their hands full with the opposition's fleet-footed winger, but despite her twists and turns they held firm, repelling waves of attacks, while Jess scooped up the long shots that peppered the goal.
With the Caterham frontline pushing for a second goal and the match being only 9-a-side there was plenty of space in midfield. Megan capitalised on this freedom and linked well with Emily, who took the ball from the centre circle to within yards of the goal, only to shoot wide. This was a harbinger of better things to come though. Teddington Athletic's confidence grew as Catia's energy and enthusiasm overflowed in the centre of the pitch, she fed ball after ball to the front two, with Kitty running into the open spaces that were starting to open up. Once again Catia slid a ball into the path of Emily, who shrugged off her marker, taking the ball to the left she deceived the keeper and buried her shot in the bottom right corner. GOAL! 1-1.
The second half was back and forth, an even game that relied heavily on the defence of Lydia, Harriet and the ever elegant Isobel who glided across the claggy pitch. Following a similar pattern to the first half TAFC improved, with Kate acting as a sweeper in front of the defence. She played a role that could quite easily go unnoticed, but an essential one in turning the game in Teddington's favour. With both Lauren and Sofia full of running either side of her, she created the platform that brought the win within grasp. A Caterham free kick brought Jess back into action as the ball skidded off the wet surface and soon it was end-to-end stuff. First Emily ran through, faced the keeper and shot wide. Then Lydia and Kate kept the opposition at bay, swooping in before the Caterham strikers could deal a decisive blow. The match turned on a smart interception by Harriet, her stoic defence turned into attack as Emily ran at the defence yet again. A brave and strong solo attack ended in a smart goal as she slid the ball past the Caterham keeper once again. GOAL! 1-2.
The game became even more open as first Caterham shot across the goal and then Emily was a whisker away from a hat-trick with a similar cut across the Caterham keeper. All the Teddington girls sensed that this was the time to be strong and as the game neared its end they remained united. Sofia and Megan were tenacious down the right hand side while Lauren tried to relieve the pressure by pushing forward when she had the ball at her feet. Kitty was knocked to the ground on more than one occasion and won a free-kick on the edge of the Caterham box. Unfortunately Harriet's piledriving kick was cleared by Caterham's last defender, and it looked like it would remain just a slender one goal win for Teddington. But life and sport are full of the unexpected and as the referee brought his whistle to his lips the talented Caterham winger went on one last jinking run. The tired Teddington legs just couldn't get there in time and Caterham scored an equaliser with the last kick of the match (2-2).
TAFC team - Catia, Emily, Harriet Isobel, Jess, Kate, Kitty, Lauren, Lydia, Megan, Sophia
Shots Caterham 12 - 9 Teddington
Shots on target - Caterham 7 - 4 Teddington