Beecholme Bobcats v. TAFC U12 Girls
2 - 2
Beecholme Bobcats 2-2 Teddington Athletic FC U12 Girls
The table-topping U12s got 2018 up and running with their first draw of the season in a hard-fought game in cold, wintry conditions in the delightfully-named Nork Park.
Despite being halfway up a hillside on a pitch carved into the cliff face to develop a grassy wind tunnel that chilled spectators and players to the bone, Teddington started strongly. Milla’s curling left-wing crosses immediately caused alarms in the home defence with Jess O’Shea narrowly failing to convert one good chance. A short corner brought the breakthrough on 9 minutes, Chloe taking the ball from Milla, jinking past a defender and delivering a perfect ball to the near post where Jess O’Shea darted across her market to exquisitely flick home the opener.
At that point, it looked as though Teddington might be on for a good day against a team that have traditionally been tough to beat. But just three minutes later, and against the run of play, Beecholme equalised with a fine drilled finish into the bottom corner. Teddington regained the lead after 19 minutes when Milla’s cross found Chloe who finished well into the top corner to make it 2-1 and in the final minutes of the half Teddington dominated, twice going close to extending their lead through fine efforts from Chloe and a surging JJ.
They were left to rue those missed opportunities just four minutes into the second half when they found themselves out of position and outnumbered as they vainly defended a counter-attack and could only watch as Beecholme’s energetic midfielder ran from the halfway line to slot home the equaliser.
For the remainder of the half, the game ebbed and flowed, but never really caught fire as the biting cold left everyone waiting for the final whistle. There was plenty of endeavour but neither side could find the winner. One brilliant run from Milla nearly ended with a goal of season contender but the Bobcats keeper smothered, as she did again two minutes from time when Gemma burst clear with an eye on extending her pre-Christmas goalscoring run. There was just time for Beecholme to nearly snatch a late winner but the game ended level with both sides deserving of praise for their level of effort in hostile conditions.
TAFC team: Sophie, Beth, Vivie, Izzy, Gemma, Milla, Ava, Scarlett, Johanna, Chloe, JJ, Jess
Goals: Jess O’Shea, Chloe
Player of the Match: Milla