U15 Girls sunk by Caterham Cannons

Caterham Pumas v. TAFC U15

5 - 1

Teddington Athletic U15 Girls suffered their first league defeat of the season against a fluent and ruthless Caterham Pumas today. After making the long trip to Caterham two weeks ago in the cup both girls and parents were hopeful of a positive outcome, but Teddington were always on the back foot, and never looked like securing the win. Yet on this wet and gloomy day there were still gilt-edged performances that shone through.

Like a harbinger of doom the first spots of rain hinted at a rough voyage ahead for Teddington. No sooner had they cast adrift it was Teddington who were shipping water, two quick goals plunged into their net and the team were close to capsizing. Teddington are made of stern stuff and they soon plugged their leaking holes. Issy had a fighting game at right back, often repelling wave upon wave of Caterham attacks. As the wind and rain pummelled the pitch the girls grew more resolute. The tough conditions bringing out the best in a Teddington team that resembled a slightly ragtag but battle-hardened pirate crew. Caterham had their silky skills and neat passing game but Teddington had the guts and the heart to fight back. Despite Willow putting in an early tackle the midfield was being overrun. Consistently the Caterham vanguard forced back the Teddington back four of Harriet, Lydia, Kate and Issy. Kitty worked tirelessly, sitting a little deeper than usual, she was a consistent outlet for an attacking force that was being cut off from their defence.

Slowly Teddington pressed Caterham into their own half, Issy winning throw-ins down the right and Emma pushing back Caterham with her excellent long throws. Despite this dominance they couldn't find the space to fire a really clear shot at goal. Teddington had just 5 shots in the first half, two of those on target. They won a series of corners though, taken on the left by Emma and the right by Harriet. These were pumped into the danger zone but no easy chances fell Teddington's way. As the half drew to a close Kate was swamped 3 times by the Caterham attack and 3 times she kept her side from drowning.

The second half heralded a change in fortunes, the Teddington pirates had found the key that unlocked the Caterham treasure chest. Kitty swept down the left wing, feeding Emily who was starved all game of those balls she likes to run onto. This was Emily's bounty, she drove to the touchline and cut back an exquisite cross that Sophia rifled into the Caterham net. Fate though is a cruel mistress. Just as Teddington looked to be back in the game a slippery ball escaped Jess' grasp and fell at the feet of a Caterham striker. Once again Teddington came under intense pressure, Caterham counterattacking with speed, forcing a fine save from Jess under her own crossbar. It wouldn't be proper game if we didn't see Lydia swooping in to deny an opponent their opportunity. Now the tide began to turn a little in Teddington's favour, Neave grabbed a foothold in midfield and alongside Willow they were able to link up with Emily. Unfortunately in the wet conditions it wasn't easy for Emily to go on those jinking solo runs, that so often end in a goal.

It was a frustrating second half with a number of corners for Teddington and the inevitable bagatelle in the Caterham box. As the rain abated Caterham's passing game flowed even stronger, consistently they tested Jess, forcing a number of difficult saves in damp conditions. Twice they were quicker to the rebound and buried these chances without mercy. In the final minutes there were some flashes of class from the TAFC midfield too, clever interlinking play from both Willow and Emma gave chances to Emily in attack. The bleakness of the winter rain didn't dampen the spirits of Sophia and Kitty who kept charging forward to the bitter end. Nor to the resilience of the Teddington defence, who looked exhausted at the final whistle. Harriet was awarded Player of the Match by Richard for her steeliness and defiance under intense Caterham pressure.

A big thank you to Megan for coming along to support the girls. On such a wet and inclement day it was beyond the call of duty but very much appreciated.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, to the referee, and to Jon and Martin for linesmen duties. Congratulations to Caterham who have deposed Teddington at the top of the Division 1 table.

TAFC team - Emily, Emma, Harriet, Lydia, Jess, Willow, Neave, Kitty, Sophia, Kate, Issy
Goals - Sophia (1).
Player of the Match - Harriet (Chosen by Richard)
Shots - Caterham 32 vs 9 Teddington
Shots on target - Caterham 22 - 5 Teddington

Caterham K.O. Black-eyed Teddington (U15 Girls)

Caterham Pumas FC v. TAFC U15 Girls

6 - 3

Teddington Athletic Under 15 Girls ended their cup run in fighting style at Caterham Pumas today (30/09/2018). It was a bruising encounter that ended in defeat and an early exit from the cup but featured heroic performances from Teddington's nine players.

Even though this cup tie was dominated by Caterham it was a close and vibrant contest right until the final quarter of the match. Both teams started with 9 players on the pitch, 2 substitutes warmed the Caterham bench and Teddington had their very own cheerleader in the form of a poorly Sophia. The game was wide open with plenty of space for both teams to play expansive football. It was a difficult match for the 81 year old referee to keep up with, as his pacemaker worked overtime the passes flowed to every corner of the pitch. Caterham set the tone of the match with a shot that tested Jess in the first 60 seconds. Not to be outdone Emily intercepted a Caterham goal kick and fired off a shot in reply. Willow was at her creative best, her flashing green boots a blur as she linked defence and attack. Kitty perched on Emily's left shoulder, keeping close to one another they had a handful of chances in the first 15 minutes. Nothing epitomised Teddington's fighting spirit more than Willow who took a brutal butt to the eye after 20 minutes. It took her out of the game until well into the second half when she bravely took to the field again. Caterham took advantage of Teddington's reeling 8 girl team by laying siege to the TAFC goal. Ultimately it was a high ball that breeched the Teddington defences. (1-0)

Neither Emma nor Megan were cowed by the black eye inflicted on fellow player Willow and the team. They repeatedly broke free on the wing, darting dangerous balls across the Caterham penalty box. Both Harriet and Lydia were kept busy in defence, they never had a moments rest as Caterham slipped passes into the space between keeper and the back three. Again and again they were called upon to rescue Teddington, swooping in at the last moment. Caterham were skilful, and drew some smart diving saves from Jess. As the half neared its end Emma won the ball near the centre circle and sent Kitty loose on the left. Head down she gouged through Caterham like a raging bull. With the Caterham defence split in two Kitty found Emily who finished smartly. GOAL! (1-1).

Teddington looked tired in the first 10 minutes of the second half and their 8 players were starting to feel the pace. A speculative shot found its way past Jess (2-1). Moments later she responded with a brave double save that knocked a Caterham attacker from her feet. Neave was gritty in defence, nipping at ankles and winning a series of close combat skirmishes against her opposite number. It was a busy half for Harriet, she switched last gasp defence to attack, often giving Emily the opportunity to batter the enemies lines. Caterham started to stretch away, outnumbering Teddington with slick counterattacking moves. In quick succession Caterham scored four more times as their attackers showed great composure in front of the Teddington goal (6-1). Emma had another excellent half, as heads started to dip she tapped her deepest reserves of strength and stamina. One of her special long throws threaded its way through the Caterham box and burst through the keepers hands GOAL! (6-2). This galvanised Teddington and once again they took the fight to Caterham. With seconds left on the clock Emily's tenacity gave Kitty the chance to skin the last defender. Her cross was perfect for Megan who rocketed the ball into the roof of the net. GOAL! (6-3).

As the whistle blew Teddington sunk to their knees in exhaustion, they couldn't have given more. It was a deserved win for Caterham Pumas who were just that little bit more fluent and they progress onto the next round of the cup. Congratulations to Lydia who was awarded Player of the Match by Lori. Time after time she saved Teddington with her speed. Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, to Martin and Jon for running the line, and all the parents who negotiated the long journey to Caterham and back.

TAFC team - Emily, Emma, Megan, Harriet, Lydia, Jess, Willow, Neave, Kitty.
Goals - Emily (1), Emma (1), Megan (1).
Player of the Match - Lydia (Chosen by Lori)
Shots - Caterham 32 vs 17 Teddington
Shots on target - Caterham 20 - 9 Teddington

U15 Girls Edge Cobham Clash

TAFC U15 Girls v. Cobham Village U15 Girls

2 - 1

Last season the Teddington Athletic Under 15 Girls played two close matches against Cobham Village Girls. Each time Teddington stuck to their task and came away winners. Today was true to form and Teddington edged this early season encounter once again.

The size of the pitch has increased for the Under 15 girls and this match showed that there is more space and time for the girls to play their football. In the first half Cobham were dominant in the middle, with two of their most agile and statuesque players dictating the pace of the game. Despite this advantage they couldn't truly break the defensive line of Harriet (left), Lydia (centre), Emma (centre) and Megan (right). Cobham found it hard to create those clear chances and were reduced to 7 shots, 3 of which were on target. Teddington in contrast spent the first 15 minutes engineering a host of golden opportunities that they couldn't quite convert into a goal. They were also kept at bay by some inspired goalkeeping by the Cobham number 1. Kitty and Emily tested the keeper early on before a Sophia/Lauren combo drew a brave series of saves. A last ditch tackle denied Emily in the ensuing melee, and the offside flag stopped Neave in full flow. The Cobham midfielders varied their attack, spreading the ball wide to their wingers. These crosses pinged dangerously across the TAFC penalty box. The larger pitch is really bringing out the best in Lauren, and with the extra space she was linking well with Emily, who took the opportunity to test the keeper as often as possible.

As the half pushed beyond the midway point Kitty and Kate cracked the midfield conundrum. Kate started to win those 50/50 contests and Kitty profited with some searching forward runs alongside Sophia. Kitty, last week's Player of the Match had another excellent game. Teddington hadn't taken the chances they had created and this bolstered Cobham's resolve. To describe it as a stalemate would be to undersell the fiery battle that was flaring up in the middle of the pitch. Catia lit the blue touch paper with her sparky tackling while Matilda's skillful close control gave those ahead of her chances to push forward. With half time on the Udney Park horizon Emily produced one of those ranging attacks that took her half the length of the field. The defenders desperately shepherded  her to the touchline but Emily tucked a skimming shot under the Cobham keeper from an acute angle. GOAL 1-0.

The second half started in the same vein with Emily immediately testing the Cobham Goalkeeper. Emma had moved into midfield and around her Catia and Willow hunted tirelessly. They worked as a pack, Emma was the lioness, she was sleek and stylish but with a ferocious bite when needed. Megan stalked the right wing and there were opportunities for Kitty, Catia and Willow who prowled dangerously around the Cobham box. It wasn't long before Emily was at it again, through strength and determination she fashioned another excellent solo GOAL! 2-0. Cobham knew they were in a scrap and as Teddington legs tired they stretched the defence before them with their good passing football. Jess and Megan combined to stop a marauding Cobham attack, and Harriet's big boot was called into action to clear the lines (she even managed to kick the ball out of the ground). Lydia was as dependable as ever and extinguished a clear Cobham chance with a speedy tackle. Cobham started to take long range shots but Jess dived left and right, catching high balls and blocking daisy cutters alike. Eventually a Cobham shot just dipped over Jess, her fingertips unable to deflect the ball, GOAL 2-1.

The final 10 minutes were a tense affair. Cobham had a series of very well directed corners that spread panic along the touchline. Kate was unflappable during this tense time, invariably she got her boot in, redirecting Cobham shots or unsettling their rejuvenated strikers (Jon awarded her the TAFC Player of the Match). With Harriet's big kicks Teddington were able to switch defence to attack in the blink of an eye. Both Kitty and Emily profited, and it was the former who hit the bar in the last minutes. There was time for one last chance from Cobham, a fierce shot bouncing on the dusty ground in front of Jess. She was not to be beaten and Teddington were not to be denied an excellent win against a strong Cobham side.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing the side, and to Chris for linesman duties. Thanks to the referee for a fair and enjoyable game. Good luck to Cobham in the season ahead.

TAFC team - Sophia, Emily, Lauren, Emma, Megan, Harriet, Kate, Lydia, Jess, Willow, Neave, Kitty, Catia, Matilda
Goals - Emily (2)
Player of the Match - Kate (Chosen by Jon)
Shots - Teddington 27 vs 21 Cobham
Shots on target - Teddington 13 - 13 Cobham

U15 Girls Blast 21 Goal Salute

Rushmoor Community FC U15 v. TAFC U15

0 - 21

Teddington Athletic U15 Girls kicked off their Division 1 (SCWG League) campaign today (09/09/2018) at newly formed Rushmoor Community FC. After a summer of good living and lazy day holidays the TAFC girls were expecting a struggle as they dusted off the cobwebs and put their fitness to the test. Teddington had nothing to fear as they started where they left from last season with smart dynamic football. They were too much for Rushmoor and finished the game with 21 goals from 10 different scorers.

The early exchanges of the match were hotly contested but it soon became clear that much of the match was going to be played in Rushmoor's half of the pitch. With this in mind defenders and midfielders were given licence to roam free, everyone playing in different positions except Jess who guarded her goal (only touching the ball once). Willow felt this was a day for flamboyance and peppered the Rushmoor goal in the early minutes but it was Emily's speculative shot that started a flurry of goals (0-1). Lauren had a scintillating match, marauding down the left and she soon found Emma hunting in the middle. Such a sweet connection inevitably ended in a GOAL (0-2). It was a day when Kitty's tenacity was rewarded with both goals for her but opportunities for her teammates too. She set up Willow who buried a short range chance (0-3). Megan was clever with her interceptions, and alongside Emma they gobbled up the bouncing balls in midfield. Megan's poaching instincts paid off as she pinged the ball off the post and into the net (0-4). Once Sophia gets up a head of steam nothing derails her, she continually powered into the Rushmoor box, an early chance clearing the keeper, goal (0-5). After some smart link up play with Neave the Sophia locomotive was blowing through the Rushmoor defence again (0-6).

Emma was bossing the midfield as Rushmoor tried to reverse the run of play and it was her skill that gave Megan her second goal, a delightful chip that just cleared the keeper (0-7). Teddington's eighth goal was a historic one, a first for Neave in a Teddington Athletic shirt. It was a classic opportunist's chance, won through quick thinking and a deft touch (8-0). Kitty was finding plenty of space in front of Rushmoor's goal, a cheeky back heel didn't quite break her drought but a bullet straight shot dipped under the keeper's hand and soon it was raining goals for her (0-9). The big kicking Harriet was always a danger and she scored toward the end of the half, straight from a corner (0-10). Amongst all this chaos Emily bagged another goal and Teddington reached halftime with an Eleven goal lead.

The second half was just as frenetic and the goals kept coming despite Rushmoor's valiant resistance. They will get stronger throughout the season, and these early setbacks will be a distant memory. With a first goal in the bag Neave was shooting like a trigger happy gunslinger. Not to be outdone Lydia started to put her considerable pace to good use and hit the post with a stinging shot. This half belonged to Kitty and nearly everything she touched turned to gold, she scored a second goal (0-12) and then Harriet set her up for a third (0-13). Lydia also scored her first ever goal for Teddington Athletic when she nutmegged the keeper (0-14). Lauren was buzzing and caught the eye with her unselfish attitude, she passed to Harriet whose whipping shot bobbled over the goalkeeper's head (0-15). Lauren got a deserved goal with a long range potshot (0-16). A long throw ended with Willow slotting in a second (0-17) and she was soon to bag a hattrick as she tidied up a shot parried by the opposition's keeper (0-18). On her birthday Emily was hunting her very own hattrick, and it wasn't long before she achieved it, curling in a goal directly from a corner kick (0-19).

Throughout the match TAFC manager Demetrios had not only been shuffling the team but also reducing the number of players on the pitch. By the end there were 7 girls playing for Teddington. This left a creative space for both Issy and Kate to express themselves in. Kitty benefited from their passing flair and her Midas touch didn't desert her when she netted her fourth goal (0-20). The ever resourceful Megan powered down the wing, and with a pinpoint cross found an express Sophia who cracked her very own hattrick (0-21). It was a 21 gun salute that heralds the start of a long campaign, with muddy battles and more goals of glory to come.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing the side, and Keith running the line. Thanks to the referee for a fair and enjoyable game. Good luck to Rushmoor Community FC in their new venture. The TAFC Player of the Match was Kitty, chosen by Nikki.

TAFC team - Sophia, Emily, Lauren, Emma, Megan, Harriet, Kate, Lydia, Issy, Jess, Willow, Neave, Kitty
Goals - Lauren (1), Emily (3), Harriet (2), Willow (3), Kitty (4), Lydia (1), Sofia (3), Megan (2), Emma (1), Neave (1)
Player of the Match - Kitty (Chosen by Nikki)
Shots - Rushmoor 0 vs 49 Teddington
Shots on target - Rushmoor 0 - 30 Richmond

U14 Girls Tame Tabletoppers in Season Finale

Teddington Athletic U14 Girls v. Richmond Park FC

3 - 3

Teddington Athletic U14 Girls brought their 2017/2018 league campaign to a conclusion today against local rivals Richmond Park FC. Despite only 1.5km separating their two grounds it wasn't expected to be a close game in terms of goals. Richmond have dominated the Division 1 standings, winning every game in the league during their 15 game run. Despite the odds being stacked against them Teddington produced a performance full of desire and intent. A 3-3 draw was a fitting achievement for Teddington, who have improved throughout the season and deserved to bow out on a high.

Teddington Athletic bucked recent trends by pressing forward from the first blow of the whistle. Their positivity gave the front two chances immediately. Sophia scythed into the Richmond box on one of her legendary runs while Emily was just as belligerent, firing off a warning shot across the Richmond bows. Their opponents were no pushovers, reminding Teddington with a series of chances that rattled posts and tested an ever vigilant Jess in goal. Teddington's throw-ins were  a surprisingly effective weapon, and both Harriet and Emma were the deadliest exponents. Harriet was everywhere in the first half, not only did she loosen off a shot but she put in a number of crunching tackles, keeping the Richmond right side under wraps. Teddington's midfield had an inspirational game, supporting one another in both attack and defence. Megan and Emma were ferocious in the middle, it was the former who epitomised the Teddington ethos, pushing forward purposefully whenever the team got the chance.

Creatively Teddington were at their best. Issy and Matilda played some neat football on the right resulting in a shot from Emily. Lauren did the same on the left, switching from defence to attack when required. Despite Teddington's possession it was Richmond who scored first. GOAL! 0-1. The fresh legs of Kitty and Willow immediately made a difference, combining in a flowing move that gave Emily the chance to level the score. GOAL! 1-1. Suddenly Willow was everywhere, both brain and brawn making her a formidable opponent. Kate shepherded Teddington toward the break, a rock in central defence.

The second half exploded into action within minutes of the restart. A flying tackle by Megan put Teddington on the front foot. Clever interplays between Neave and Catia created an opportunity for Emily. Showing her strength she shrugged off two Richmond defenders before burying her shot in the net. GOAL 2-1. Emma was a lynchpin in centre midfield, her throw-ins a constant threat. Willow took advantage of one when she cracked a sweet volley beyond the Richmond keepers' reach. GOAL. 3-1. You don't get to the top of the league with a 100% win ratio without being resilient and Richmond poured forward, stung into action. Even the most ardent Teddington supporter could appreciate Richmond's play during this period. Two goals in quick succession levelled the score at 3-3!

At the start of the season Teddington might well have been overwhelmed at this point but not now. The last 15 minutes of the match was a nail biting affair with high emotions on the touchline as well as the pitch. Lydia and Kate showed why they are so valued at TAFC. Despite wave upon wave of attacks besieging the Teddington defence they held firm. Often they were flung to the ground but Richmond couldn't break their spirit. In the dying minutes both teams had chances to win the game. Jess bravely ending in a tangle with Lydia but came up with the ball in hand. It wasn't all backs to the wall. Kitty's tireless forward forays gave Teddington an invaluable release from the constant bruising attacks of Richmond. Both her and Catia worked hard to give Teddington the chance of a winning goal but fairy tale endings will have to wait for another season. The final lines of this story belong to the Teddington Athletic U14 Girls. A team to be proud of.

Thank you to Demetrios and Keith for managing the side. To the referee and linesmen (especially Jon). Good luck to Richmond Park in their final two games. Congratulations to Harriet on being our Player of the Match.

TAFC team - Sophia, Emily, Lauren, Emma, Megan, Matilda, Harriet, Kate, Lydia, Issy, Jess, Willow, Neave, Kitty, Catia
Goals - Emily (2), Willow (1)
Player of the Match - Harriet (Chosen by Tracey)
Shots - Teddington 13 - 22 Richmond
Shots on target - Teddington 8 - 15 Richmond

Walton Casuals too smart for U14 Girls

Teddington Athletic U14 Girls v. Walton Casuals Juniors FC Jewels

2 - 4

It was a game of two halves as Teddington Athletic U14 Girls took on Walton Casuals at Broom Road today (11/03/2018). Despite some strong and forthright play by the U14 girls it was Walton who ran out the victors after a good second half performance sealed the win. With TAFC on a superb run of recent form hopes were high and the mood buoyant, but Walton played the better football on the day and deserved the win.

Traditionally Teddington soak up the pressure in the first 10 minutes and this game was no exception. The Fantastic Four at the back immediately flexed their superhero muscles and saved the day on more than one occasion. Lucy had a very busy afternoon, and she was a standout performer in central defence. Issy and Lydia too were kept busy, and Walton attacked with numbers whenever they got the chance. The waspish Matilda once again caught the eye with some beautiful close control, she buzzed around her opponents, looking to sting them with her neat passes. Teddington broke the deadlock from the penalty spot when a Walton defender handled in the box. Emma slotting the spot kick past the keeper with aplomb. GOAL 1-0.

Teddington sniffed an opportunity as the Walton keeper was carried off after twisting her ankle. Megan was a whirl of creativity on the right, often providing the link between the rest of the team and Emily, who marauded up front. First Harriet took a shot and then Matilda beat two players before unleashing one of her stingers toward the goal. Walton pushed back though. Jess produced a fingertip save but it wasn't enough. A smart swooping move by Walton finished in a GOAL. 1-1. The teams didn't remain level for long as Lauren started to find her feet on the left, and it was from this side that Emily drilled a ball across the Walton box. Megan popped up with a quick fire finish that the keeper had no chance of stopping. GOAL 2-1.

Emma was an essential player alongside Kate in the centre of midfield, and these two combined brilliantly to quieten the opposition during this period. With half time on the horizon both Abi and Sophia came into the fray. Sophia as always full of running and full of heart, while Abi combined with Issy and Matilda on the right in a creative triangle. Unfortunately a mix up in the Teddington box gave Walton a clear chance and they didn't miss the opportunity. GOAL 2-2.

The second half wasn't the finest of Teddington Athletic's season but that wasn't due to a lack of effort or desire. Catia had an excellent game at left back, on more than one occasion her big clearances not only stopped Walton in their tracks but also turned defence into attack. Harriet revealed her versatility as she started the half in midfield and eventually finished it as a striker. For 20 minutes or more it was a stalemate, with crunching tackles and a seesawing midfield duel. Kate was strong and totemic. Both her and Abi clashed regularly with their opposite numbers. As the game neared its end Walton managed to move the ball that bit quicker, and a flowing attack ended in a GOAL. 2-3.

As Teddington pushed forward for the equaliser Walton shoved back just as hard. Jess pulled out a full length dive to push a whipping shot to safety. Lydia, Lucy, Emma and Catia broadened their shoulders in defence but luck played a cruel hand. Sometimes it isn't your day and an unfortunate series of ricochets fell invitingly at the feet of the Walton striker GOAL 2-4. Teddington never gave up, fighting to the end. Emma with her long throws causing trouble. Emily and Harriet combining in a last ditch attempt for that elusive goal. It just wasn't meant to be.

Well done to Walton on a good win. A fighting performance from the TAFC girls. Congratulations to Kate on being our Player of the Match. Thank you to Demetrios for managing, and to the referee and the linesmen. Good luck girls with your final match of the season.

TAFC team - Emily, Lauren, Kate, Lydia, Megan, Jess, Abi, Sophia, Catia, Lucy, Harriet, Matilda, Emma, Issy.
Goals - Emma (1), Megan (1)
Player of the Match (chosen by Jon) - Kate
Shots: Teddington 11 - 19 Walton
Shots on target:  Teddington 7 - 12 Walton

U14 Girls Complete Cougars Comeback Win

Teddington Athletic U14 Girls v. Woking Cougars

4 - 2

In an impressive display of grit and tenacity Teddington Athletic U14 Girls battled hard to win a close contest against a skilful Woking Cougars today. Teddington showed there are many ways to win a game of football, sometimes it's about adaptability, sometimes it's about hard work. Today it took both.

In the crisp Winter sunshine it was Matilda who shone in the early stages. With cheeky footwork and blistering speed she caught the eye on the right. Yet it was Emily's direct approach straight through the centre that gave Teddington the lead. GOAL 1-0. These two combined again within seconds, with Emily's shot unfortunately ricocheting off the post. This set the tone for the rest of the half. It was a story of multiple chances and near misses.

Teddington Athletic dominated possession for the next 20 minutes, both Lauren and Megan were a creative force in midfield, helping Matilda fire off a couple of rapid shots. Catia was looking sprightly in defence but it was Kate who had the game in the palm of her hand. She was a talisman for Teddington, playing a defensive role in midfield and protecting the back four. As Teddington spurned their chances Woking grew in confidence, Jess first saved a point blank thunderbolt and then a smart flying dive to her right tipped the ball just wide. Sophia, Megan and Abi connected with some clever short passes, pushing back against their opponents. Yet it wasn't enough and Woking scored with minutes left in the first half. GOAL 1-1. They could have had another if it wasn't for some brave defending from Lucy in the last few seconds

The fresh legs of Willow and Neave made a difference at the start of the second half. Harriet was starting to have an impact on the game and both her throw-ins and corners caused havoc in the Woking box. Willow and Abi took advantage of confusion in the penalty area to try their luck with potshots. It was Woking though who made their corners count, with a back post shot sliding past Jess. GOAL 1-2. It could have been far worse for Teddington if Kate and Lydia hadn't selflessly thrown themselves into the breach, cutting down Woking attacks with last ditch defending.

Now a goal behind, Teddington needed something special to reverse their fortunes. Keeper Jess bravely saved at the feet of a rampaging striker before feeding Emily with her throw out. Deep in her own half Emily's solo run lit up the match, she beat 3 players and slotted past the Woking goalie with aplomb. GOAL 2-2. Teddington grew in confidence. Neave and Lauren started to spark in midfield. Lucy and Kate were cool and decisive in central defence. Another Harriet corner scythed through the Woking six yard box and it was Sophia who profited. A well deserved GOAL! 3-2.

As Kitty came on for the last quarter of the match Teddington asserted their dominance. An Abi cross bobbled dangerous in the Woking box, Kitty snapped at the defenders' heals creating the space for Emily to score her hat-trick GOAL. 4-2. Woking played some neat and sweet football in response but it was the perseverance of Teddington which won through. And let us not forget the skill and strength of Emily who was Player of the Match.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing what looked like a tricky game. Also to the referee and linesmen (including our Keith). Congratulations to the girls, who battled back against the odds.

TAFC team - Emily, Lauren, Kate, Willow, Lydia, Megan, Jess, Abi, Neave, Sophia, Catia, Lucy, Harriet, Kitty, Matilda.
Goals - Emily (3), Sophia (1)
Player of the Match (chosen by Lisa) - Emily
Shots: Teddington 14 - 12 Woking
Shots on target:  Teddington 10 - 9 Woking

U14 Girls edge Cobham cliffhanger

Teddington Athletic U14 Girls v. Cobham Village Club Girls FC

4 - 3

A mixture of flair and determination got Teddington Athletic U14 Girls over the line today against a very capable Cobham Village side (04/02/2018). Cobham deserved more from the game and they can go home with heads held high. The difference between the sides was a 20 minute period in the first half, where Teddington fought back from a goal behind and ended the half with a two goal lead. It was an advantage that Teddington never relinquished despite coming under intense Cobham pressure in the second half.

In the early minutes of the game the muddy pitch slowed all the girls down and it felt like this was going to be a slugfest. Undeterred, Sophia started the game at a canter, her speed an obvious threat, the mud a mere inconvenience. Emily was knocked down on the edge of the Cobham box giving dead-ball specialist Emma an early opportunity. Her excellent free kick bisected the Cobham defence and with pinpoint accuracy bounced off the post and into the goal! 1-0. With Lydia and Lucy dominating central defence Cobham chose to attack down the wings. A flowing attack on the left ended with a first time shot pinging into the Teddington net. GOAL 1-1. Cobham were taking advantage of their long throw-in specialists and peppered Teddington's penalty area. After another sustained assault Cobham popped up with a quick-fire shot that powered into the top corner. GOAL 1-2.

Cobham were the dominant force, bristling with confidence but slowly Teddington wrestled back the initiative. Lauren, Kate and Abi started to outmuscle their midfield counterparts, and this made the difference. Abi's instinctive long ball found Emily marauding up front, and she finished a sweeping move with an excellent shot. GOAL 2-2. Cobham were desperate to fight back, and once again long throw-ins rained down on the Teddington defence, Kate's head frequently came to the rescue while Willow and Megan repelled surging attacks. Emily then produced a moment of magic, a solo run that carved the Cobham defence in two. GOAL 3-2! There was still time for Sophia to put her mark on the match, a deserved reward for her hard work. Emma's long throw found its way to the far post where Sophia thumped the ball beyond the Cobham keeper. GOAL 4-2!

Cobham's forward press in the second half was largely nullified by Teddington's resolute defence. Kate stepped into a central role with Lucy. Lydia swooped down on any danger on the right. While Catia produced some big clearances on the left. These were invaluable as the pressure started to build, another Cobham goal was imminent. With 9 shots on target in the second half Jess was kept busy in the Teddington goal. She produced a series of fine saves: from a deflected free kick; stopping a point blank rocket; a shot parried past the far post; and a last-ditch leg on the line that denied what seemed a certain goal. Yet despite these valiant efforts Cobham beat the Teddington goalkeeper as the match neared its end. GOAL 4-3.

Teddington weren't cowed as the match drew to a close, both Abi and Emma reasserted themselves in midfield and restored stability. Neave and Willow found a little more creative space and both had shots in the dying minutes. It was a tense finale but more for the spectators than the players. The girls took it all in their stride. Another fine win against competitive opponents. Congratulations to Jess on being our Player-of-the-Match. Thank you to Demetrios for managing the team, to Keith for linesman duties, and to Martin for his brilliant portfolio of match photos that you can see HERE.

TAFC team - Emily, Lauren, Kate, Willow, Lydia, Megan, Jess, Emma, Abi, Neave, Sophia, Catia, Lucy.
Goals - Emma (1), Emily (2), Sophia (1)
Player of the Match (chosen by Anne and Nikki) - Jess
Shots Teddington 17 - 19 Cobham
Shots on target  Teddington 9 - 14 Cobham

The Weather Girls wash away Halliford

Teddington Athletic U14 Girls v. Halliford Colts Girls FC

4 - 2

Rain, sleet, snow and icy winds pummelled both teams today as Teddington Athletic U14 Girls faced a physical Halliford Colts Girls side (21/01/2018). It was Teddington who powered through the mud and sleet, recording another win at their home ground.

Teddington Athletic started the stronger, responding to the blowy conditions by playing the ball on the ground. Matilda typified this approach, often beating her marker, charging down the left wing. The early pressure yielded several corners as TAFC peppered the Halliford goal but they couldn't score. Even a Matilda-Emily-Kitty combo that swept the ball into the back of net was disallowed for offside. A turgid 15 minute spell ensued as Halliford asserted themselves. Emma dominated wherever she played but it was left to the fleet-footed Matilda to turn the game in Teddington's favour. Dribbling the ball 40 yards, her cross found Kitty, who buried the chance. GOAL! 1-0

Catia came on to bolster the defence as Teddington expected a backlash from Halliford. Lydia was caught in a Halliford sandwich as she was brought crashing to the ground. With the sleet whipping across the pitch Neave danced down the right wing, impressing with several moments of skill and dexterity. It wasn't long before one of her passes bounced dangerously in the Halliford box and Emily clinically powered a shot in the right hand corner. GOAL! 2-0. As the half drew to a close Teddington were awarded an indirect free kick in the Halliford penalty area. Kitty knocked it to Emma but unfortunately her shot slashed over the crossbar.

It was a miserable day to be a goalkeeper and Jess didn't face a shot on target in the first half. All that changed within minutes of the restart as Halliford scored to cut the deficit by half. GOAL 2-1. It was now a game fought in the middle, between the trenches, a muddy battle. As Emma and Abi moved into defence this released Megan on the right. Almost immediately this paid dividends as she combined with Kitty, who won a corner. The resultant corner eventually reached Kate on the edge of the box. Her shot weaved through a forest of players, eventually hitting the back of the net and reinstating Teddington's two goal advantage. GOAL 3-1.

Issy had a tidy match on the right once again, her unflappable demeanour radiating calm throughout the back four. Halliford looked dangerous and a timely clearance from Lauren preserved Teddington's advantage. Sophia started to find her range up front and had a couple of shots to test the keeper. Both Kitty and Emily were bundled over in the penalty box but no penalties were forthcoming. Willow's dazzling footwork won a corner but Teddington couldn't kill the game off. Despite some stoic defending by Abi, Emma and Lydia, it was Halliford who scored next. A chaotic melee in front of the Teddington goal meant a nervous last quarter of the match. GOAL 3-2.

Once again it was the nimble footed wingers who caught the eye in the last 10 minutes. Willow and Matilda (Player of the Match) employed both grace and grit to give Teddington some breathing space. With Halliford pushing for an equaliser Jess parried a close range shot, stinging her frozen hands back into life. Teddington breathed a sigh of relief when the ever reliable Emily put the match beyond doubt, bursting through and slotting past the Halliford goalie. GOAL! 4-2.

A battling win for Teddington Athletic U14 Girls. Well done to all the girls on both sides. Thank you to Demetrios for managing the team, and to the two linesmen, referee and spectators who braved the elements.

TAFC team - Emily, Kitty, Lauren, Kate, Matilda, Willow, Lydia, Megan, Jess, Emma, Issy, Abi, Neave, Sophia, Catia.

Goals - Kitty (1), Emily (2), Kate (1)

Player of the Match (chosen by Darragh and Martin) - Matilda

Shots Teddington 18 - 11 Halliford

Shots on target  Teddington 12 - 5 Halliford

Under 14 Girls sparkle against Crystal Palace

Teddington Athletic U14 Girls v. Crystal Palace U14 Reds

4 - 0

2018 got off to a bright start for Teddington Athletic with a home win against high flying Crystal Palace Reds at Broom Road today (14/01/2018). It was a truly impressive performance that owed much to TAFC's growing confidence, and a genuine team spirit that is blossoming in the chill of winter.

Teddington Athletic made an excellent start to the match. Matilda and Willow made headway on the right while Kitty and Emily combined through the centre. Sometimes the two forwards can be isolated from their midfield but today the whole team worked as one. Emily induced a good save from the Palace keeper, but it was fellow striker Kitty who drew first blood. Powering through the centre Kitty shrugged off two defenders and calmly placed her shot beyond the keeper's reach. GOAL!!! 1-0.

This set the theme for the first half. With a bristling creativity Teddington Athletic took the game away from Crystal Palace. Matilda combined well with Willow on the right before she was replaced by Abi. Both Kate and Abi were herculean in midfield, two pillars that supported Teddington's attacking force. It wasn't long before Emily was reaping the benefits. She broke through the centre and within seconds the Palace net bulged once again. GOAL!!!! 2-0.

The Teddington defence had work to do too, Harriet's powerful boot cleared the lines, Lucy's anticipation made light of many a tricky situation while Lydia's speed snuffed out trouble. Megan's all round skill meant that Palace were largely restricted to shots from outside the area but when the opposition did break through Jess' bravery in goal meant a clean sheet was a possibility. In attack Kitty was roaming dangerously on the edge of the Palace box, and it wasn't long before she won a free kick. Substitute Emma drew gasps of wonder from the crowd as her free kick dipped just under the Palace bar. GOAL!!!! 3-0.

Three goals against a quality side like Palace exceeded all expectations. With the first half drawing to a close Teddington Athletic weren't finished yet. As the ball bounced dangerously in the Reds box, Lauren skilfully nudged the ball to the left, and hit a sweet daisy-cutter in the bottom left hand corner. GOAL!!!!! 4-0.

The second half didn't quite hit the cultured heights of the first for TAFC, but that was because Crystal Palace came back hard. Two powerful strikers harried the Teddington defence and it was an impressive display from the back four and midfield who were called in as reinforcements. Sophia ran tirelessly at the front when she got the chance, and Neave was tenacious and resilient down the right wing. Lydia (Player of the Match) and Issy often had to double up on the powerful Palace forwards, to reign them in. Abi, Emma and Emily worked well with some beautiful interplay, and Kitty never gave up, she never ran out of steam. Palace worked hard for a consolation goal and would have got one if it wasn't for the acrobatics of Jess. As the match came to a close she saved a shot that was destined for the bottom left hand corner of the goal, parrying the ball to safety. A well deserved clean sheet for the defence (Lucy, Lydia, Megan, Lydia and the versatile Kate in the second half). Final Score 4-0.

A fine win for Teddington Athletic against a good side. Congratulations to all the girls. Thank you to Demetrios for managing, and to the two linesmen and referee. A few more photos HERE.

TAFC team - Emily, Kitty, Lauren, Kate, Matilda, Willow, Harriet, Lucy, Lydia, Megan, Jess, Emma, Issy, Abi, Neave, Sophia.

Goals - Kitty (1), Emily (1), Emma (1), Lauren (1)

Player of the Match (chosen by Keith) - Lydia

Shots Teddington 11 - 12 Crystal Palace

Shots on target  Teddington 7 - 7 Crystal Palace