Revenge for Rushmoor Saints against battling U15 Girls

TAFC U15 Girls v. Rushmoor Saints

2 - 4

The last time these two sides faced each other it was Teddington U15 Girls who blotted Rushmoor Saints 100% win record with a stunning victory. Rushmoor were eager to exact revenge and they dominated a bruising encounter in the February sunshine today. Their passing game was of a superior quality and you can see how they top the league with only those 3 points dropped. Although Teddington fought to the bitter end it was a comfortable win for Rushmoor.

The match started with a cagey 10 minutes period that gave neither team an advantage. Although there were few clear goal opportunities it was obvious that this was going to be physical battle played at a fast and furious pace. After coming back from injury we hadn't seen the best of Megan in recent matches but here she was brave in defence at right-back and decisive when pushing forward. Teddington's creativity flowed down this right side, Megan to Matilda, who in turn gave Kitty a series of chances. In the first bruising skirmishes Willow took an injury to the shoulder (?) and Catia bounded into the fray. Catia has a swagger to her playing style that perfectly suits a clash such as this. Rushmoor started to assert themselves and after five probing corners they found a way through the Teddington defence (0-1). Corners were their main weapon in the first half with Jess, Neave, Lydia, Kate and Megan constantly under attack. We saw a few of Kate's trademark Kung Fu clearances as Rushmoor's excellent swinging spot-kicks peppered the Teddington goalmouth.

Teddington pushed back up the pitch as Emma catapulted her long throw-ins toward the retreating Rushmoor, and when that didn't yield results she tried a number of corners. On more than one occasion the ball bounced through a crowd of players and squeezed out the other side. In the winter sunshine Sophia was a ray of shimmering light. Her bright darting runs were a flashing reminder of Teddington's threat in attack. Unfortunately Teddington didn't convert any of the chances they created and Rushmoor made them pay as the first half neared its conclusion. Their striker connected with a loose ball that bounced invitingly in the Teddington box (0-2).  It could have been worse but Jess pulled out a dexterous full length save to deny a third. While many of the players flagged in the unseasonal heat Lauren kept powering on throughout the first 40 minutes and beyond.

Teddington exploded into the second half, their positivity brought an early shot from Emily. A rejuvenated Willow danced through the towering Rushmoor midfield. A Catia shot won a corner, Kitty's tenacity won another, the pressure started to build. Eventually it paid off as Emma floated a beauty right into the danger area and Emily muscled the ball into the net (1-2). Stung by the goal Rushmoor laid siege to Teddington penalty box, corners swung in but Neave, Lydia, Megan and Kate were equal to the challenge. In fact it was a moment of individual brilliance that saw Rushmoor restore their two goal lead. A jinking run ending in a wonder strike that buried itself in the top corner (1-3). The Rushmoor strikers were ebullient and despite some leaping saves from Jess it was the opposition who scored again soon after (1-4).

As the winter heat tired the legs of the players you could be forgiven in thinking that the game would fizzle out. Yet Teddington have a tremendous resilience and they kept fighting until the last whistle. Emily epitomised this spirit with a skilful run that started at the halfway line and ended with the ball in the Rushmoor net (2-4). She is a class act, a player who never gives up and this wasn't the first time her strength has torn a defence apart (25 goals this season!). It's not all about goals either for Teddington, in the last minutes both Emily and Jess were knocked to the ground by opponents. Although shaken, both girls got to their feet and with heads held high they joined the Teddington ranks once again. All the girls can be proud of their contribution today, they played as a united team. Win or lose they stood together.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, to Rohan for being our linesman and to the referee.

TAFC Team: Emily, Catia, Emma, Neave, Lydia, Sophia, Jess, Willow, Lauren, Kate, Matilda, Megan, Kitty
Player of the match: Sophia (Chosen by Luke)
Shots total: TAFC 15 - 31 Rushmoor Saints
Shots on target: TAFC 9 - 21 Rushmoor Saints

U15 Girls in Udney Mud Draw

TAFC U15 Girls v. Woking Cougars

0 - 0

It wasn't only the glorious mud that cooled the blood down at Udney Park today. Teddington Athletic U15 Girls and Woking Cougars also had to contend with a whipping wind from the North that chilled the game into a cryonic 0-0 draw. Both Teddington Athletic and Woking Cougars tried their hardest to fire up this encounter, and both teams had chances to win, but the conditions really won this match on such a grey and wintery Sunday.

The game was largely played out in the centre of the pitch, the ball constantly ricocheted between the two teams with barely a clear chance for the strikers or keepers to gain notoriety. This isn't to say there wasn't noteworthy performances. Lauren opened the match on sparkling form, and we saw the best of her ability to play short passing football with Willow and Emily. Matilda's skill on the right wing was the brightest of sparks on this dull day, and she regularly beat her opposite player and pumped dangerous balls towards the strikers. Emily too was able to trouble the Woking defence, she fashioned the clearest of chances in the opening quarter with a cross that just evaded a leaping Willow in the six yard box.

Teddington were caught between the 'up and under' football typified by Neave and Harriet at the back, and a more scudding approach employed by Emma and Lydia. The wind nullified the high balls while the mud sucked the life out of the passes that skipped across the patchy grass. An energised Megan, Catia and Sophia came on with fresh legs and immediately they seemed to turn the game. Their dogged work helped Emily break through, but the ball just eluded her in the final strides. Quick-thinking Catia and Emma put Plan B into operation, their long shots tested the Woking keeper who had an excellent game. Teddington managed two shots on target in the first half while Woking weren't far away with four. It goes without saying that both defences had an excellent game.

With the wind in their favour in the second half Teddington restarted the match with new vigour. Kate bisected the Woking midfield but Catia's shot was saved, then Emily muscled her way into a fabulous scoring opportunity only for the Woking keeper to make a fingertip save down to her right. Kate had an absolutely epic second half. She could be seen regularly flying through the air like a Kung Fu master, her interceptions cutting out Woking passes in all corners of the pitch. Although the shot count is marginally in Woking's favour it was Teddington who had the clearest chances and more of the possession. It was largely a match for the toilers, Sophia and Megan epitomised this work ethic, running themselves into the sodden ground.

The contest was surprisingly open in the last quarter of the match with Woking regularly hitting Teddington on the break. Issy, the new titan of the defence, averted disaster by shouldering her opponents into the touchline. Lydia swooped in at the last minute, her pace the saviour. Harriet and Neave kept the Woking right side under wraps. Despite this Woking forged through the middle three times, and all three times Jess bravely slid head first into the danger zone. These vital saves not only kept Teddington in the match but with the wind behind her she was able to turn defence into attack with a mighty kick downfield. It was the home side who had the last chance, a gilt edged opportunity just two yards from goal that bobbled cruelly over a Teddington boot. Perhaps it was the pitch playing one last cruel trick on the players.

Thank you to the referee, to Demetrios, and to Rohan for being our linesman.

TAFC Team: Emily, Catia, Emma, Neave, Harriet, Lydia, Sophia, Issy, Jess, Willow, Lauren, Kate, Matilda, Megan
Player of the match: Matilda (Chosen by Tracey)
Shots total: TAFC 16 - 17 Woking
Shots on target: TAFC 11 - 12 Woking


Thrilling Draw for Under 15 Girls

TAFC U15 Girls v. Caterham Pumas

4 - 4

In one of the most nail-biting matches of the season Teddington Athletic Under 15 Girls took on highflying Caterham Pumas and came within a big cat's whisker of securing a memorable win. Caterham had convincingly beaten Teddington twice already this season, so for the girls to hold their opponents to a draw must be celebrated.

Last week's match against Rushmoor Community was a difficult match to draw conclusions from with players taking on unfamiliar roles. Today's contest was a true test and so it was a surprise to both sides that Teddington not only drew first blood but dominated a first half that was full of physical battles and decisive attacking intent. Teddington were utilising a series of forward balls that fell delightfully between the retreating Caterham back four and their keeper. They were the kind of passes that strikers like Emily and Kitty dream of. These lofted balls were not only supplied by the midfield quartet of Catia, Emma, Kate and Lauren but it seemed that Neave and Harriet were also keen to get in on the act. The opening goal came as Emily turned the defence and chased a ball toward the Caterham end. Winger Willow was there in support and bravely challenged the keeper. The ball somehow squeezed through and bobbled over the line (1-0). Caterham aren't used to going behind and immediately drew a double save from Jess' knee. They were stung into life but quickly swatted away by Harriet and Neave in defence.

The blustering wind benefited Teddington in the first half and complimented their up and under tactics. Emma was at her creative best, not only did she exploit the conditions but she took a large number of long throws and corners that pinned Caterham back into their half. Kitty was full of running and the side is always better for having her revving her engine at the opposition. She won and then converted a corner taken by Harriet. The six yard box was congested and it was hard to see the exact point of impact but you couldn't miss the net exploding with the force of Kitty's shot (2-0). She wasn't done there, Kate pumped a pass forward and Kitty skilfully slid the ball under the Caterham goalie's body (3-0). She could have had a hattrick but unfortunately her third goal was disallowed for offside. Caterham tried valiantly to fight back but again and again they came up against Issy at right back. She has grown in stature this season, and her name was heard more than any other from the crowd on the touchline.

With the wind in their favour Caterham were expected to blow Teddington apart in the second half. It was a prediction that Emily defiantly rejected as she latched onto a long throw from Issy. A largely solo effort was brilliantly finished as she dribbled past the Caterham defence and then danced around the keeper too (4-0). With four goals in the bank Teddington switched off and Caterham made them pay as a powerful driving shot rocketed over Jess (4-1). Caterham regained their purpose, Lauren and Catia had their hands full in midfield, Kate went on a series on mazy runs desperately battling against the wind. The defence was heroic with Lydia's speed saving Teddington on a number of occasions and Issy's towering presence a beacon of defiance. Caterham had four corners in a row and despite a rearguard effort from Harriet the ball kept coming back as though it were on a strip of elastic. Eventually a chance stuck, the wind filled the Caterham sails and they rode their confidence as though it were a crest of a wave (4-2).

With a quarter of the match remaining it felt like Caterham would not only draw but go onto win this match. Teddington showed tremendous resilience in this period. Kate won a number of 50/50 tackles in midfield, Emily marauded forward and had chances for more goals, Kitty never gave up. Despite this, Caterham scored again (4-3). Teddington fought back even harder, Emma pushed her team into Caterham's half with a series of corners. With a handful of minutes left a solo run brought Caterham level (4-4), and they even had a chance to win the match with a corner in the dying seconds. Yet however hard Caterham and the wind huffed and puffed they still couldn't blow the Teddington house down.

Well done to the girls, that was a full 80 minutes of hard graft. A good draw against a strong and skilful side.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls and keeping calmer than everyone else on the sideline, thank you to Rohan was being our linesman, to the referee and to Caterham for an epic battle.

TAFC Team: Emily, Catia, Emma, Neave, Harriet, Lydia, Issy, Jess, Willow, Lauren, Kitty, Kate 
Goals: Kitty (2) Emily (1), Willow (1)
Player of the match: Issy (Chosen by Simon)
Shots: TAFC 17 - 23 Caterham
Shots on target: TAFC 14 - 17 Caterham

Nine Karat Gold Rush for U15 Girls

Rushmoor Community FC v. TAFC U15 Girls

0 - 9

Rushmoor Community FC 0 - 9 TAFC U15 Girls

Teddington Athletic Under 15 Girls started 2019 in the same buoyant style that they finished the year before. It wasn't just the points gained against an improving Rushmoor Community FC that will have pleased the manager but also the opportunity to stretch the legs and run off the indulgences of the yuletide festivities.

Winter illnesses had swept through the TAFC camp and they started the match with 10 players against Rushmoor's full squad. Although the early skirmishes created few clear chances for either team it was Teddington who dominated play. Physically the teams were evenly matched but Teddington just had that finer touch. Their midfield of Emma, Megan and Catia we're comfortable and composed. Emily was prowling up front, and not just battering the defence in solo assaults but linking with her partners when attacking. After 10 minutes Emily pushed back the Rushmoor defence on another forceful drive, she passed to Megan who cleverly slid the ball between the keeper's legs (0-1). Willow was working hard on the left flank, pinging in crosses and taking speculative shots if the ball came close. Catia was able to mix finesse with hard graft, her interplay with Megan was the engine room that powered Teddington forward. It was her electric pass that sparked Emily's match into life. Teddington's striking figurehead netted the first of what was to be a hattrick of goals (0-2).

Minutes later Catia turned provider once again, she flicked-on one of Emma's dangerous long throws and it was Megan who popped up in the box to lob the Rushmoor keeper (0-3). Willow had a goal disallowed for offside before Emily produced one of her trademark solo runs that ended in a cool finish and a fourth goal for the team (0-4). The manager rang the changes, Lydia was pulled out of defence and into the front line where her speed immediately gave her several opportunities to score. Rushmoor Community have improved considerably since September when they played their first match against Teddington Athletic. Today they troubled the Teddington's defence throughout the match, both Harriet and Issy were kept busy in the closing stages of the first half.

Teddington were Topsy-Turvy in the second half with Neave moving into an attacking role, Harriet bossed midfield, while Emily and Megan joined together in central defence. With the blow of the referee's whistle still ringing in the spectators' ears Neave profited from some good old fashioned 'Route One' football as she latched onto a long pass and lifted a sweet chip over the Rushmoor goalkeeper (0-5). Neave doubled her tally within minutes as she pounced on a rebounding save from a Lydia shot (0-6). Both the Rushmoor keepers were on excellent form, producing a series of classy saves, even saving an Emma penalty in the first half. Teddington were awarded a second penalty and much to everyone's surprise Jess took the long walk across the pitch. Her stinging spot kick pummelled the Rushmoor crossbar, bounced on the goal line and span away. Caught out of position, Jess sprinted back toward her own goal and unfortunately slipped over in the muddy centre circle much to the amusement of her teammates.

Despite being 6 goals behind, Rushmoor Community dominated the last quarter of the match. Megan sustained an ankle injury that left her prone on the touchline and reduced Teddington to 9 players for the last 20 minutes. Issy was now the senior defender and she kept the opposition at bay, shoulder to shoulder she fought back against a rejuvenated band of strikers. Harriet too was a calming (and steadfast) influence as Rushmoor pushed forward. After being largely redundant in the first half Jess kept out the Rushmoor strikers with a handful of brave saves.

Even after taking up residence in defence Emily couldn't stop her scoring habit, and her third goal was a beauty. She curled in a long range shot from just outside the Rushmoor penalty box (0-7). Lydia got her reward for some fleetfooted attacking when she slid the ball into the net after the Rushmoor keeper had parried a shot into her path (0-8). Harriet was the busiest player in the dying minutes, stopping a series of desperate Rushmoor attacking moves. Teddington's gilt edged performance was given a little extra shine with the last kick of the match. Emma exchanged passes with Lydia before she lobbed the ball into the goal from just beside the left touchline.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, to Richard for running the line and to the referee. Good luck to Rushmoor Community in the second half of the season.

TAFC Team: Emily, Catia, Emma, Neave, Harriet, Lydia, Issy, Jess, Willow, Megan 
Goals: Emily (3), Megan (2), Neave (2), Lydia (1), Emma (1)
Player of the match: Catia (Chosen by Jack)
Shots: Rushmoor 6 - 42 TAFC
Shots on target: Rushmoor 4 - 24 TAFC

U15 Girls Pull a Christmas Cracker



Rushmoor Saints FC 3 - 4 TAFC U15 Girls

Teddington Athletic U15 Girls gave their manager and supporters an early Christmas present today at Rushmoor Saints FC in Aldershot (15/12/2018). Rushmoor were unbeaten in the league, only conceeding 6 goals in 8 games, and sitting on top of the Division 1 table before this game. Yet it was a dynamic Teddington who upset the form book, fighting back to win this match in thrilling style.

Rushmoor Saints haven't relied on divine intervention for their lofty league position, they've done so because they are a formidable, skilful and well-drilled outfit. Within the first two minutes of the match they had shown their class with a sweeping passing move that dissected the Teddington defence (1-0). They are the archetypal iron hand in a velvet glove, full of power in midfield and silky on the attack. Teddington tried to resist but Rushmoor dominated the first 20 minutes, Jess making a series of saves, and the defence stretched to its limits. Emily was getting a few half chances in attack, Kitty was brave as she threw herself at the Rushmoor defence. A heavy collision took her from the pitch and Willow came in as an able replacement. Issy and Neave were worked hard by the opposition wingers but both grew into their roles, often holding up the waves of Rushmoor attacks. Catia plugged many a gap in the midfield, her tireless running was emblematic of Teddington's desire and spirit. 

The momentum of the first half switched in Teddington's favour as they started to string their passes together. A sweet triangulated move between Abi, Emma and Kate gave Emily a shot on goal. On the right, Issy and Willow supplied Catia with an opportunity for a cheeky lob. Yet it was from the scrappiest of chances that Teddington equalised, Emily pounced on the Rushmoor keeper and Willow squirted the ball into the net (1-1). Rushmoor fought back immediately and Jess stopped a piledriver from a free-kick. Although Lydia and Harriet were tidying up all the loose ball around the Teddington box it wasn't long before Rushmoor took the lead once again. A deft dipping shot from outside the area was unstoppable (2-1). Teddington's endeavour didn't waver, they played their creative football through the middle of the pitch where Emma in particular, supported by Willow and Sophia, linked in smart interplay. The clearest of chances come when defence switches to attack and it was Abi who was the master today. First she won the ball in midfield and then threaded a pass to Emily who buried the ball in the Rushmoor goal (2-2).

Rushmoor took the whip hand in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. They thrust forward, testing Jess with a number of full stretch saves. Desperate to steer the game back to winning ways they put Lydia, Harriet and Jess under immense pressure. Lady Luck also joined Teddington's back four as a Rushmoor shot bounced safely after hitting the crossbar. Kate had a slow start to the match but suddenly she was everywhere, and she was one of the defining players in the later stages. In midfield she was breaking apart Rushmoor's creative play while in attack she started to feed her hungry strikers. She won a corner that Harriet expertly pumped into Rushmoor's six yard box, Emily scored with a delightful headed glance at the foot of post (2-3).

Rushmoor fought back and Teddington responded with a mighty team effort. It was a joy to watch, to see Neave's full bloodied resistance, Catia and Issy tussling with their opposite numbers. Kitty who had recovered from her injury returned to the pitch and was knocked to the floor once again. Within seconds she was back on her feet, staunch and proud. In fact she sealed the win with a superb sweeping move that emanated from Abi's tenacity in midfield. Kitty's goal gave her team a two goal cushion as they entered the last 10 minutes (2-4). Rushmoor fought tooth and nail to preserve their unbeaten record but despite a headed goal from a corner (3-4) they couldn't dampen Teddington's yuletide cheer. Congratulations to the girls on an absolutely wonderful performance. 

Thank you to the referee, to Martin for being our linesman and to Demetrios for being such a brilliant and supportive manager in 2018. Good luck to Rushmoor Saints in 2019.

TAFC Team: Emily, Kitty, Catia, Emma, Kate, Abi, Neave, Harriet, Lydia, Issy, Jess, Sophia, Willow
Goals: Emily (2), Willow (1), Kitty (1)
Player of the match: Abi (Chosen by Alban)
Shots: Rushmoor 33 - 18 TAFC
Shots on target: Rushmoor 24 - 12 TAFC

Teddington Tame the Woking Cougars

Woking Cougars U15 Girls v. TAFC U15 Girls


- 3

This week's match report has a guest author who does not seem that familiar with footballing terms. Sorry about that.

Our regular goalie, Jess, is out this week so the green jersey is up for grabs. After a very unseemly scuffle, almost breaking out into a fist-fight, Kate comes out victorious and is the first half goalie!

So under a drab sky in a freezing corner of Surrey a confident looking Teddington Athletic wander out onto the largest pitch we have ever seen.

Teddington get off to a confident start against the local side and after 2 mins Emma gets her first chance to size up the pitch from the corner flag which looks like it needs a 5 iron to reach the goal from there. Teddington keep the pressure on as Emily shoots but despite slipping it past the goalie, the ball passes right across the face of the goal. Then back at the other end of the pitch Kate makes her first save (more like a casual catch actually) as she denies Woking a rather feeble goalstrike.

Five more minutes pass, with a lot of girls kicking it in both directions. Nothing really comes of it, but there's a lot of encouragement from the parents, and the girls are all having fun, so that's good isn't it?

The ball is back in the Woking half with another great chance by Emily - solid strike but stopped from a bullseye by their wicket keeper. Still on the attack, a lengthy throw by Emma from the outfield finds Abi who is dazzling in midfield avoiding the opposing pack, weaving her way out and passing clear. Another corner now and Harriet selects a one iron and places the ball bang in the middle of the green between the stumps. A goalmouth scramble ensues, but we'll have to wait a little longer to put points on the board. Emma's corner from the other side, places well into the pack, but we're denied again. Teddington still looking strong though with great determination shown all over the court and it's our 4th corner that delivers the goods with Harriet placing accurately into the middle, Emma stopping the ball with her cleats for Emily to bang it into the end zone to get our first point on the board. (1-0).

Minutes later that same pair deliver again as a solid long range pass from her own half, Harriet finds Emily who makes a great break up on the left and slices the ball past the goalie, rebounds of both stumps and ends up in the net (2-0). The crowd go wild (well there are a few mumbled "well-done"'s and some glove-muffled clapping). The touchline committee are definitely impressed with the girls performance at this point with Teddington dominating the offense territory play despite playing uphill.

Half an hour in and the head coach makes a swap - Sophia coming on for Lauren.

Woking start to get a few breaks now, but there is some solid defending by Issy & Megan who tackle well to end the Cougars fun and send the ball back in the right direction. Another attempt by the Cougars gets closer with a shot on goal but that point is denied by a great save from Kate who is pressed into action after, it has to be said, not having much to do for a while.

More Woking breaks follow with some fast attacking players, but Lydia's quarterback speed put pay to several of their yardage gains up the field. Woking win a corner from another advance but it falls short, and after a ruck (or was it a maul) another shot rings out but Kate gets her foot to it stopping a Woking home run.

End of the Half. Teddington still in control at 2-0.

So the team are back for the second half and it's Kitty this time who comes out wearing the green jersey of the wicket keeper. Also, Lauren is back on the pitch with Catia now watching from the dugout. Kate now in a dee-fence position.

The girls continue with some accurate passing from Emily, Abi & Emma although Woking do get a break and put a little pressure on, but Sophia tackles well and clears the ball, nutmegging the ref in the process. (Local Trivia: our ref, who had just finished reffing another match, apparently lives in a hut at the corner of the field and refs all the matches here).

Another Woking break produces a corner for them but Kitty, now apparently allowed to use her hands in the magic green shirt, makes a great catch ending their attacking play.

Some very confident defending easily keeps Woking at bay with Lauren settling into the midfield with some solid tackling and a solid header by Megan bravely stops a very long and high kick from the Woking defence and despite the appreciation of the crowd, she seemed to regret that move afterwards. Woking make a long and rather hopeful shot on this monster pitch, but Kitty is enjoying those gloves and easily gathers up the ball.

After an hour of soccer the team are holding up well, remaining calm when under attack with some great passing in the middle by Lauren, Abi, Harriet and Issy, each person picking their target carefully. Lydia also continuing to outrun the Woking fast forwards and more great passing in defense with careful clearances by Megan & Harriet.

Back at the other end the Woking goalie is kept busy, first when Abi gets locked in tackle with a defender, and still manages to loose off a great shot, then a few minutes later when Harriet gets another shot on target from about 20 yds. The forwards Sofia, Lauren, Emily are also demonstrating their passing play.

Harriet’s throw-in to Kate who makes a great reverse header sends the ball further up the pitch. Woking maintain pressure, possibly helped by having 3 subs to our one, but Teddington are still fighting well with accurate passing and lots of running with Emma breaking down the right hand side drawing their defence who prevent another goal. There's more left in the tank for Teddington though as Emily gets in another shot only for their goalie to get a foot to it and send it wide. The resulting corner sees Emma landing it at the near post (which is nearly a pitch length in other venues) and the defence only clear as far as Abi who gets in a shot but stopped again by their goalie.

Issy and Abi stop another couple of breaks by Woking and with a few minutes to go Teddington win another line-out 20yds out. Emma takes the throw which lands in the box and eventually finds Emily who takes a quick turn slipping it past goalie into far lower corner of their goal.

A confident play from Teddington delivered to goods this week. Well done to all the girls, and to our player of the match Harriet who made a great contribution to this win and seemed to be everywhere on the pitch.

Thanks as ever to the gaffer, Demetrios, and to Richard for being so keen to run the line for some reason.

Back to you in the studio Jeff.

TAFC team: Emily, Sophia, Issy, Lauren, Kate, Emma, Abi, Harriet, Catia, Megan, Kitty, Lydia
Goals - Emily (3)
Player of the Match - Harriet (Chosen by TAFC supporters, and Demetrios)
Shots - Quite a few
Shots on target - A few less, but still enough
Goalmouth scrambles - The usual plethora


Firecracker U15 Girls Back with a Bang!

Cobham Village U15 Girls v. TAFC U15 Girls

- 11

A confident Teddington Athletic U15 Girls got back to winning ways against Cobham Village U15 Girls at the ACS International School in Cobham today (04/11/2018). It was Teddington's best performance this season, reversing a run of below par results with an excellent win. Against Rushmoor Saints in their last game Teddington had just 4 shots on target, today they had 33. Teddington were back with a bang!

Traditionally matches have always been close between Cobham and Teddington, only a single goal separated the sides in their last encounter. Today Teddington were on ruthless form, trying out a new formation to boost their attacking potential. Last week Neave made an excellent debut in left defence, and today she played even better. She was neat with her close control and energised when under threat, often winning the tackles against a spritely opponent. Harriet moved into central defence and she looked like she had always belonged there. Together with Lydia they reduced Cobham to shooting from distance. Harriet deployed her very own 'Big Bertha', a howitzer of a left foot clearance, often taking Teddington from their own box to beyond the halfway line in one giant kick.

Within a minute of kick-off Emily forced a good save from the Cobham goalkeeper, Willow intercepted the rebound, chipped the keeper and Teddington had an early lead (0-1). This set the tone for the first 20 minutes of the match. Emma took her corners with aplomb, often dropping them right into the danger zone. The second goal came from just this route, Catia popping up at the far post to rifle in her shot (0-2). Emma had a fine all-round performance marshalling defence and attack from midfield. She set up Teddington's third goal with a beautifully weighted through ball that Emily finished with great composure. Here was another player who was at her peak, Emily prowled around and terrorised the Cobham defence, breaking through their lines and chalking up 5 goals by the end of the match.

Cobham are a resilient group, full of skilful players at the centre of their team. It wasn't long before they hit back (1-3) and piled on the pressure for the remaining 20 minutes of the first half. As one of their supporters said after the match "I couldn't believe were weren't in the lead". Issy had a tough physical battle at right back, but it wasn't all about her brawn. Her 'Total Football' brain is developing every match, she interspersed intelligent passing balls with full bloodied tackles. Although Cobham had much of the possession and exerted a huge amount of pressure on the visitors they couldn't score again. In fact it was Teddington who hit back with a fourth goal just before halftime. After a series of good saves Jess fired the ball into the centre circle where Willow's dancing feet sashayed the ball onto Kitty. A well deserved goal for the hardworking left winger (1-4).

The TAFC U15 manager Demetrios doesn't get much of a mention in match reports but his rousing halftime talk propelled the girls into the second half at full pelt. Matilda has had a quiet start to the season but today she shone brightly in the Autumn sun. She beat defenders and flashed some brilliant passes to the Teddington strikers. Catia benefitted in the opening minutes, drilling a powerful shot over the Cobham keeper's head (1-5). Again Cobham came back at their opponents with a smart solo effort (2-5). Jess then pulled out a long leg to deny a certain goal, and followed with a punch under pressure. Kate and Emma united in the centre of midfield, the former dropping back into defence when needed. Together they cut off Cobham's last thread of resistance, and turned the game irrevocably in Teddington's favour.

Matilda's second half performance was worthy of adulation on the West End stage if there wasn't already a musical in her name. Her movement and speed broke apart the Cobham defence. A cheeky drag-back gave her an opportunity at goal and she didn't squander the chance (2-6). In the next 15 minutes we witnessed a rampaging Teddington. Four goals from Emily ensued (2-10), nearly all initiated by Emma's creative boots. Emily turned provider too, as she lofted an Issy throw-in into the box Willow was on hand to rocket a shot into the goal (2-11). There could have been more goals at either end, such was the fluidity and excitement of the game. The Cobham goalkeeper stopped several good Teddington shots. In midfield Kate crushed the Cobham attacks with a steely grip, never giving Cobham the chance to fight back.

Thanks to Cobham Village for their welcome and hospitality. Thanks to Demetrios for managing the girls and to linesman Rohan, and of course to the referee. Congratulations to Matilda on being Player-of-the-Match.

TAFC team - Emily, Emma, Harriet, Lydia, Jess, Willow, Neave, Kitty, Kate, Issy, Matilda, Catia
Goals - Emily (5), Willow (2), Catia (2), Matilda (1), Kitty (1)
Player of the Match - Matilda (Chosen by Laura)
Shots - Cobham 22 vs 57 Teddington
Shots on target - Cobham 15 - 33 Teddington

Stats (04/11/2018)

Autumnal Downfall for Gutsy U15 Girls

TAFC U15 Girls v. Rushmoor Saints FC Diamonds

- 4

Much to the delight of Teddington Athletic's players and parents the clocks turned back this morning but it was Rushmoor Saints who stepped forward with a dominant display of physical football and powerful finishing. Teddington Athletic Under 15 Girls battled hard in sticky conditions at their Udney Park home, making Rushmoor work for the win which see them reach the top of the Division 1 table.

However hard Teddington have toiled over the past games they have started at a disadvantage, with numbers below the usual 11 or lacking the substitutes needed to rejuvenate on-field players. Today they started with 10 players but were bolstered by a purposeful Abi who reinforced a stretched Teddington midfield toward the end of the first half. The numerical imbalance of players is also reflected in the scoring chances Teddington are able to fashion against their opponents. Neave had a good game at left back, looking comfortable in her new role. It was a busy morning for Jess in goal and she pulled off a hatful of agile saves. Rushmoor thought they had scored when a deft glance came off one post then the other before dribbling back into Jess' hands. Emily was the lone ranger up front and was relying on both Catia and Kitty to give her opportunities. In the first half Rushmoor were solid at the back and Teddington didn't even have a squeak of a chance from open play. In contrast Rushmoor were peppering Teddington's penalty box with corners, crosses and hot shots from their strikers. Their first goal was a poacher's gift after the ball rebounded from a close range Jess save (0-1). Rushmoor's second goal was a fine solo effort that dipped just under the Teddington bar (0-2).

It is a theme of recent matches that an embattled Teddington have fought back with great resilience and heart. Willow's green boots flashed quicker than a dancing leprechaun as she skilfully beat her opposite number on the right wing. Catia was full of running too, nipping at her opponent's heals but also forging forward to try and get that first shot at the Rushmoor goalie. Lydia and Issy dampened Rushmoor's early bravado with their stout defence. Kate showed her class, turning defence into attack with those ramrod passes that every striker likes to run onto. Rushmoor were too good to stay quiet for long, but Jess' lightning save denied them what seemed a certain three goal lead. Teddington pressed forward. Under pressure Rushmoor handled in the box and Emma stepped up to take the penalty. Megan gave a massive cheer on the touchline as the ball crossed the line. (1-2). Teddington finished the half in the ascendancy.

In a very physical match the strong shoulders of Abi were muscling Teddington into the game. The second half was just as brutal as the first, with Kitty and Lydia thrust to the floor on several occasions. Emma moved into a more creative role and it was her corners that started to cause trouble for the green and whites. But Rushmoor's passing game was also creating space on their right wing and it wasn't long before the bombardment of Teddington's goal started to pay off. First a bullet shot pierced the defences (1-3) and then a cut-back from the touchline set up a tap-in (1-4). Teddington feared the worse when Rushmoor were awarded an indirect free-kick in their penalty box but the defence stood firm.

Once again Teddington came back at Rushmoor. Kitty was tireless on the left, winning corners that Emma swung into the near post. Quick in defence Rushmoor snuffed out several of these corners before one fell nicely to Kitty. Turning between two opponents she jabbed a shot at the Rushmoor keeper who parried the ball into the air. Emily preyed upon the defence, decisively heading beyond the goalie's fingertips and scoring! (2-4). Rushmoor put pressure on Teddington in the final minutes, corners rained down on Kate, Lydia, Issy and Neave but they were resolute. Teddington never gave up, and finished the match with a flourish. Emma and Emily combined well to win a corner. It fell to the ever resourceful Catia who chipped it onto the head of Emily. This time the eagled eyed striker couldn't deliver the killer blow. Rushmoor's autumnal win leaves the top of the Division 1 table very congested, with four teams on 9 points including our very own Teddington Athletic U15 Girls.

The Player-of-the-Match this week was Kitty (chosen by Demetrios). Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, to the referee and finally to Darragh for being our limping (but excellent) linesman.

TAFC team - Kitty, Emily, Kate, Catia, Willow, Neave, Lydia, Emma, Issy, Jess, Abi
Goals - Emma (1), Emily (1)
Player of the Match - Kitty (Chosen by Demetrios)
Shots - Teddington 7 - 23 Rushmoor Saints
Shots on target - Teddington 4 - 17 Rushmoor Saints


U15 Girls sunk by Caterham Cannons

Caterham Pumas v. TAFC U15

- 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

- 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