League Season Finale as U15 Girls Secure 3rd Place

Teddington Athletic U15 Girls v. Woking Cougars

0 - 1

Teddington Athletic U15 Girls finished the season in fighting spirit at Udney Park Road today. Against a strong and capable Woking Cougars they were deprived of the win but finish the season in an excellent third place. And what a season it's been! Congratulations to Demetrios and all the girls.

On a bright and sunny morning both teams started the match with purpose and desire. Teddington deployed their midfield of steel, an iron curtain of Abi, Kate and Emma that Woking just couldn't break down. It set the tone for the first half, which was tight and edgy. Each team had five shots on target, none of them really being clear cut opportunities. Teddington had the best of the first quarter, Willow and Kitty seemed to be everywhere, desperately trying to force that first chance. Kitty's tireless running won several corners for her team and she was even able to trouble the Woking keeper after a very long kick out by Jess. Sophia's intelligent placement at corners and long throws gave her chances, including one that edged over the Woking bar.

On such a warm day Teddington's substitutes made an impact when they were thrust into the midfield melee. Catia's direct style almost cracked open the Woking defence with a number of high looping balls. Megan in contrast played sharp passing moves that sliced through the excellent Woking back four. Teddington's defence were equally proficient. Issy and Lydia were pinned back several times by the opposition's winger but they were always in the ascendency and never really troubled. All eyes were on Neave after her special mention at the TAFC awards yesterday and she lived up to her top billing by restricting Woking to speculative long range chances. Despite the ferocity of these shots Jess plucked them out of the air with aplomb. For the spectators the midfield battle was enthralling, first there was a flying tackle from Willow followed by a number of crunchers from Lauren. Then Teddington's two mistresses of destruction, Kate and Abi, laid waste to the centre ground. Sparks flew as they clashed bravely with their counterparts.

The sunshine took its toll in the second half. While the player's legs tired the match quickened in pace with snappy passing moves and skilful interchanges. Woking exploited the space that was starting to open up and their passing football pushed Teddington's defence to their absolute limits. Lydia's canny interceptions utilised every fibre of her body including a powerful shot that ricocheted off her stomach and winded her. Issy produced a breath taking goal-line clearance to deny Woking when they thought they had scored. It is no surprise Harriet won the 2019 TAFC Player's Player Award (alongside Jess) because she chases down every ball, helps out her teammates when all seems lost in defence. Once again she was a stand out performer, and if there was an award chosen by team reporters then she would certainly be near the top of this list.

Despite Woking having five times as many shots as their opponents in the second half Teddington weren't without their attacking intent. Kate dribbled out of defence on one of her amazing mazy runs, a neat pass gave Kitty the chance of a shot. Catia's punchy passes found Kitty and Sophia up front, while Willow's outstretched boot nearly nicked a goal. Teddington relied on Jess's bravery and skill a number of times in the final 15 minutes. First the Teddington goalie parried a wicked shot and was knocked to the ground for her troubles. Next she saved a dipping back pass with an outstretched paw, and finally threw herself at the feet of marauding attacker. There was little she could do about Woking's winner when their effervescent winger slotted home a goal with 5 minutes to go. Teddington gave it their all to bring the match level, Emma was impressive in the final throes, her skill and inventiveness always galvanises the team. Unfortunately it was a familiar theme for Teddington today and a clear opportunity at goal never came their way.

Congratulations to all the girls for a fabulous season. It has been a pleasure to write the match reports and capture your heroic exploits. Thank you to Demetrios for managing the team, to the referee, and to Chris and Daragh for being our linesmen today.

Our match photographer today was Martin, thank you for these fabulous photos. You can find a selection of action shots here https://www.flickr.com/gp/mbridge_uk/jLA6Se

TAFC Team: Catia, Emma, Harriet, Issy, Jess, Kate, Kitty, Lauren, Lydia, Abi, Megan, Neave, Sophia, Willow
Player of the match: Kate (Chosen by Isobel - Kitty's Aunt)
Shots total: TAFC 17 - 25 Woking
Shots on target: TAFC 8 - 16 Woking

TAFC Awards 2018/2019 Season
Coaches' of Player of the Year - Emma
Manager's Player of the Year - Kate
Players' Player of the Year - Harriet and Jess

Score Draw Double for U15 Girls against Caterham

Teddington Athletic U15 Girls v. Caterham Pumas

1 - 1

Today Teddington Athletic U15 Girls played a doubleheader against Caterham Pumas. After an entertaining 0-0 draw (match report here) in the first match they had to quickly turn around and start the second. Teddington are currently 3rd in the league while Caterham sit above them in 2nd, the pundits predicted a close match, and that's exactly what they got!

Despite already playing 50 minutes of football earlier in the morning both teams started at a desperate gallop. Caterham let loose an early shot on target but Teddington were equal to the task and sprung forward in a series of counterattacks. They regularly pierced the Caterham midfield with a classic rapier and dagger offensive, Willow the nimble dagger, expert at the shorter passes while Sophia was the elegant rapier, charging forward with steely force, slicing apart anyone who got in her way. It was a see-saw half with Caterham throwing everything forward and they would have had the first goal if it wasn't for an athletic block from Issy, who must be one of the most improved players this season. At the other end Harriet cracked a volley just wide, she spent much of the game just in front of the Teddington defence, intercepting passes and taking the odd shot when given half the chance.

Teddington tried a new tactic to try and break the deadlock by lobbing the ball over the sturdy Caterham defence. It worked on a number of occasions with Emily and Kitty charging forward to connect with dangerously bouncing balls. Jess was busy, a powerful Caterham header couldn't beat the diving Teddington goalie. Matilda had been forced off the ball a number of times by Caterham in the first match of the morning but here she buzzed around the opposition unimpeded. Her delicate pass found Catia upfront but she couldn't beat Caterham's keeper. Kate was getting the odd kick in the shin and elbows in the ribs, this as you know only makes her more determined. She won a free kick on the edge of the Caterham area and Emma pumped it into the danger area. It found Matilda who is excellent in a crowded penalty box, she was quick and surefooted, threading a shot through a gaggle of defenders and into the goal (off the post). GOAL 1-0.

The second half was far more cagey, the teams were getting tired after a marathon of football. Lydia put body and soul on the line in a desperate attempt to keep Caterham away from Teddington's goal. In fact she was felled twice by a Caterham striker, both times she was left lying on the grass in some discomfort. Kitty the player best known for being knocked to the turf was very spritely up on her feet, chasing every forward ball and linking well with Emily who tried to add to her impressive 34 goal season haul. Megan has regained her creative prowess in recent games and she looked very much at home in central midfield. Between her, Kate and Emma Teddington have a triumvirate of talent that can both tackle hard and spur a team forward.

Teddington worked hard in the final throes, Catia on the wing crunched into tackles while Neave again proved her worth at left back. Caterham are particularly well endowed with quick skilful wingers and Neave kept them quiet while Lydia strong-armed any that dared to break through. Lauren kept up her good form for the day and gave Teddington those moments of release when Caterham weren't banging on the door for an equaliser. As Caterham threw everything at Teddington the atmosphere threatened to boil over on the touchline, the referee had to step in at one point and calm things down. Twice Caterham thought they had scored that elusive goal. First a goal was disallowed because the ball drifted out of play, then a wonder save from Jess denied Caterham once again. With the last embers of the match dying out Caterham at last found the equaliser and in truth it is what they deserved (1-1). Thank you to both teams today for giving their all and providing the spectators with two matches full of excitement.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, we are indebted to you for your generous spirit. Thank you to Jon for running the line once again and to the referee for keeping a cool head.

Today we had match photographer Daragh on duty, if you would like to view his photos then follow this LINK.

TAFC Team: Catia, Emily, Emma, Harriet, Issy, Jess, Kate, Kitty, Lauren, Lydia, Matilda, Megan, Neave, Sophia, Willow
Goal: Matilda

Player of the match: Jess (Chosen by Aly)

Shots total: TAFC 12 - 14 Caterham
Shots on target: TAFC 9 - 12 Caterham

U15 Girls Doubleheader Draw Curtails Caterham’s Championship Chances

Teddington Athletic U15 Girls v. Caterham Pumas

0 - 0

Due to several matches lost to bad weather Teddington Athletic U15 Girls and Caterham Pumas played out a doubleheader today at Udney Park Road. This really was a '6 Pointer' with two 50 minute matches played back to back. The two games were hotly contested with plenty of chances for both sides to take home the points. This is the match report for the 1st match.

Caterham entered this match as favourites, having beaten Teddington twice and drawing once over the season so far. They are an impressive team and were chasing all six points in an attempt to top the Division 1 table. Teddington had 15 girls available for both the matches and manager Demetrios rotated his players to keep the energy and intensity high. Despite Caterham's superior skill it was Teddington who had the best of the first half, they spent longer in their opposition's half and had more chances on goal. Teddington played with one striker (Kitty) and five midfielders (Willow, Kate, Megan, Emma, Matilda) during the opening quarter of the match. They were strong in the tackle and  picked up the awkward bouncing balls that jagged unpredictably on the uneven Udney Park ground. Emma and Megan were the playmakers in the midfield and both girls linked well with Kitty. Emma nearly lobbed the Caterham goalie after 10 minutes, and then two free-kicks from her just sailed over the Caterham bar.

Teddington couldn't bully through the centre of the Caterham defence so both Matilda and Willow had to be inventive on the wings. In fact it was Willow who had the best chance of the first half, as the Caterham keeper spilt a high ball it was the waspish Willow whose shot slid wide by a whisker. Emily replaced Kitty up front and worked hard to push for an opening goal. Both sides were evenly matched so a single goal could make all the difference.

Teddington started the second half as they ended the first, they struck forward with purpose and guile. Lauren was the star performer in a free-flowing attacking unit that include a roaring Sophia, who constantly raced past the Caterham defenders. Lauren unlocked the Caterham defence with a wonderful cross that found Emily but the Caterham rearguard shut down Teddington's prolific scorer. Catia grew into her football throughout the morning, at first quiet and a little tentative, but toward the end we saw that familiar swagger. She played some joyful close passing football with Sophia and they worked well as a double act.

The match switched dramatically in Caterham's favour during the final 15-20 minutes of the game. Teddington were indebted to a defensive display of heroic proportions from the back four (Neave, Lydia, Harriet and Issy). They were ably supported by the leaping Kate, who again rallied the troops around her during a brutal assault from the skilful Caterham strikers. Caterham had 3 shots on target in the first half and 14 in the second, they besieged the Teddington penalty area, desperate for the win. The one person they couldn't beat was Jess in the Teddington goal. She produced a flawless exhibition of shot stopping, brave interventions and flying saves. The best of these was a Caterham free-kick that was destined for the top corner, Jess leapt to her left and tipped the ball onto the bar and away to safety. On more than one occasion the Caterham team (and supporters) stood in disbelief. In the dying seconds Teddington had a chance to steal all 3 points as Emma's long throw-in gave Megan a final shot at the Caterham goal. It would have been very unjust if Caterham had lost, they even looked a little deflated as the referee blew the final whistle on an entertaining draw.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing, Jon for being our linesman and to the referee who had an excellent match.

Today we had match photographer Daragh on duty, if you would like to view his photos then follow this LINK.

TAFC Team: Catia, Emily, Emma, Harriet, Issy, Jess, Kate, Kitty, Lauren, Lydia, Matilda, Megan, Neave, Sophia, Willow
Player of the match: Lauren (Chosen by Nikki)
Shots total: TAFC 12 - 25 Caterham
Shots on target: TAFC 5 - 17 Caterham

Rejuvenated U15 Girls Shine in Halliford Win

TAFC U15 Girls v. Halliford Colts Girls FC

2 - 0

With the season nearing its conclusion Teddington Athletic recorded another impressive win today in the Girls U15 Division 1 league. The positive result sees TAFC maintain their 3rd place and leaves them in good heart as they head into their final 3 games.

With both sides fielding nine players it was an open game that was played at a fast fluid pace in the spring Udney Park sunshine. In recent weeks Halliford have presented Teddington with a tough contest and today they came out fighting once again. Although Catia had an early chance in front of goal it was Halliford who had the clearest opportunity to score first. Their striker burst through Teddington's defence but the presence of the onrushing Jess unsettled her as she shot high. Teddington's goalkeeper was rarely on her line, and she spent much of the match scooping up forward passes just behind the impressive back three of Megan, Harriet and Lydia. It was a sprightly first half from Catia who swaggered forward on a series of attacking skirmishes but couldn't quite get the goal that would have invariably settled Teddington's nerves.

The pendulum swung from side to side, Halliford besieged Teddington's penalty box with 3 corners in a row before a free kick from Teddington hit the post at the other end. Slowly Teddington's midfield began to assert themselves, Emma had been absent from recent matches and she returned rejuvenated. She dazzled in midfield alongside Kate who played both the roles of beauty and the beast as she combined creativity and crunching tackles. Teddington's strikers, Emily and Kitty, have a high level of fitness and this helped them as the 9-a-side teams began to tire in the sunshine. A passing move that originated from Megan, linked to Catia and presented Kitty with a fabulous opportunity that was only denied a goal by a brilliant save from the Halliford keeper. The goalie couldn't do anything about the penalty that Emily won after she was bundled over in the Halliford area. Emma coolly slotted the spot kick past the keeper's right hand to give Teddington the lead at halftime.

Within minutes of the second half restarting Emma was reasserting Teddington's creative dominance in midfield. Her pass bisected the Halliford defence and found a marauding Emily in an uncompromising mood. The powerful striker shrugged off several strong tackles to score a magnificent goal and secure the points for her team. The rest of the match was entertaining but lacked the cut and thrust of the early exchanges. Lydia manoeuvred the white shirted Halliford attackers like a shepherd with a flock of sheep while Harriet's corners were a constant threat in attack.

Megan was released from defensive duties and her elegant passing football worked in Catia's favour on the right side. There were goal scoring chances but a mixture of good Halliford goalkeeping and a threadbare Udney Park pitch meant there were no more goals. It wasn't all one-way traffic as Halliford's statuesque forward charged toward goal with only Jess in her way. Teddington's keeper threw herself forward and bravely plucked the ball from the striker's toes. Even though it was a bruising match for Kitty she kept running until the final whistle and it was with some satisfaction that Teddington celebrated as the referee signalled the end of the match.

Thank you to the referee for a well marshalled game, to Demetrios for managing the girls and to Daragh our linesman for the day.

TAFC Team: Kate, Harriet, Lydia, Jess, Emily, Kitty, Emma, Megan, Catia
Goals: Emma, Emily
Player of the match: Emma (Chosen by Alban)
Shots total: TAFC 33 - 11 Halliford
Shots on target: TAFC 20 - 8 Halliford

Lucky 13 for Teddington U15 Girls

TAFC U15 Girls v. Rushmoor Community FC

13 - 0

Teddington Athletic U15 Girls were at their most ruthless today against a spirited Rushmoor Community FC. The 13-0 scoreline only tells half the story as it was a bright match that both teams played in a competitive spirit. With 10 players on each side it was an entertaining game with slick passing football and plenty of goalmouth action.

Unlike last week Teddington started at a galloping pace, they swept forward in the opening minute threatening the Rushmoor goal. Lauren, Kitty and Emily combined with Willow who popped up in the six yard box, finishing off a fluid move with a deft tap-in (1-0). It was an eerie atmosphere at Udney Park as the people of Teddington had vacated town for the Easter school holidays. Those that had stuck around must have heard the loud cheer as Harriet buried a free kick in the top corner of the Rushmoor goal (2-0). Lauren was enjoying herself on the left hand side, this was a standout game for the likeable winger. She was at her creative best for the third goal as she linked up with Kitty. Teddington's impressive blonde sharpshooter was on top form, slotting the ball past the Rushmoor keeper (3-0). All of Teddington's shots were on target in the opening 10 minutes with none sliding wide of the mark. Lauren was the architect of another goal as her cross found Emily in the centre (4-0). It was a clinical display from Teddington that fused both strength and skill in a potent mix.

Rushmoor are a positive and improving side so it wasn't long before they took the match back to Teddington. Despite pressing forward they were undone by a wonderful solo goal from a rampaging Kitty (5-0). Rushmoor's keeper had an inspired match yet again but with Easter eggs on the mind Willow gave us a lesson in the goal poacher's art. She was deadly in the box, first connecting with an Emily cross (6-0) before completing her hat-trick with a tap-in just inches from the goal line (7-0). Kate enjoyed the first half too, winning her usual robust tackles but also dribbling through the Rushmoor defensive lines. Kitty and Emily finished off the second half by providing each other with goal scoring opportunities. First Kitty secured a well deserved hat-trick (8-0) and then Emily showed great composure in front of goal and bagged her brace (9-0).

The second half was a curious affair but just as enjoyable as the first. Jess graduated from an underutilised keeper to an overactive striker. Lydia and Neave were now the attacking wingers, Harriet a central midfielder, while Lauren and Emily joined Issy in defence. As the senior partner Issy became Teddington's defensive general, she marshalled her troops well despite coming under pressure from a rejuvenated Rushmoor. Kate who was now in goal had one save to make in the second half, and it was a magnificent one, denying Rushmoor what looked like a certain goal. The next 20 minutes wasn't a spectacle of beautiful football as Teddington tried to adjust to their new positions. One player who hadn't lost the scoring touch from the first half was Willow who gobbled up a rebound (10-0) after Rushmoor's keeper parried a shot from Emily onto the crossbar.

The final 15 minutes were a celebration of sororal togetherness. Sisterly love won the day as Willow's dazzling feet provided a perfectly weighted pass to Neave in the penalty area. Now Neave is established as Teddington's left-back of choice she doesn't get many chances to score. So she made sure of the goal by cleverly slotting the ball under the keeper (11-0). No one in the team works harder or runs more yards in a game than Lydia and it was fitting that she scored (12-0) after connecting with an excellent cross from Harriet. As the final minutes ticked away it looked unlikely that Jess was going to score her first ever TAFC goal but sometimes dreams do come true. Another fine Rushmoor save from a Willow shot rebounded to Teddington's keeper-cum-striker and Jess notched a thirteenth goal for the team.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, to Daragh, Richard and Simon for being our linesmen. Thank you to the referee.

TAFC Team: Kate, Harriet, Lydia, Issy, Jess, Emily, Kitty, Lauren, Willow, Neave
Goals: Willow (x4), Kitty (x3), Emily (x2), Neave (x1), Lydia (x1), Jess (x1)
Player of the match: Willow (Chosen by Simon)
Shots total: TAFC 45 - 7 Rushmoor
Shots on target: TAFC 27 - 2 Rushmoor



Demi’s Dames Defeat Halliford Colts

Halliford Colts FC v. Teddington Athletic U15 Girls

1 - 3

Teddington Athletic U15 Girls were back in the winning groove at Halliford today with a fighting performance that was all about teamwork and resilience. The team were down to just 11 players so everyone played their part in a welcome victory after a tough match on the road last week.

Teddington were put under immense pressure when they faced Halliford at the Matthew Arnold School fields just two weeks ago. The battle on that occasion was won and lost in midfield so TAFC manager Demetrios knew he had to make tactical changes to combat Halliford's robust style. It was a masterstroke, the defence was whittled down to Lydia, Issy and Harriet while the midfield grew to 5 strong (Megan, Kitty, Kate, Catia and Matilda). Teddington didn't match brawn with brawn but choose to pack midfield with skilful and nimble players. Despite playing in nearly every position on the pitch this season Megan is more than a utility player, today in central midfield she showed her class and was a worthy Player-of-the-Match recipient.

Teddington were sluggish in the opening 10 minutes of the match, with the clocks springing forward the lost hour in bed had affected them all. Halliford took advantage and pressed for an early goal, and they got one. A speculative cross/shot dipping just under the bar (1-0). Teddington's three girls defence didn't quite know how to contain Halliford's forthright football and Demetrios' plan looked a flawed one. But the Teddington girls are all bright sparks and they adapted quickly to the new system. It was a joy to see Sophia get a good run in the side and she carved out the first chance for Teddington with a cross that found Catia in the penalty. Her shot didn't bring Teddington level on this occasion but a few minutes later the midfield crackerjack smashed a dipping shot into the net (1-1).

Catia, Emily and Sophia had a scintillating first half, ably assisted by Kitty's tireless work winning both corners and free-kicks. Without Emma to take the long throws Teddington used Issy, Kate and Harriet as their attacking force. It was Kate who dissected the Halliford defence with one such throw. The ball finding Emily who threaded a powerful shot through a gaggle of defenders and scoring in style (1-2). Teddington had a calmness about then today, and in part this was because Emily had returned to the team. Matilda benefitted from having teammates in close attendance, including Emily, Kate and Kitty. Regularly she beat not one but two opponents with her skill but was then able to use this advantage by passing to the girls around her.

With Megan beside her Kate was unshackled from some of her defence duties in midfield and we saw a different side to Teddington's warrior princess. These two worked well in tandem during the second half, an early Kate shot was followed by a beautiful forward ball from Megan. It connected with Emily who was pushed far to the left by a Halliford defender. Dismiss Emily at your peril, she can turn an impossible position into a goal scoring chance and she did just that with a pinpoint shot sneaking between the keeper and the near post (1-3). Halliford were stung into action and what ensued was a masterclass from Harriet, Issy and Lydia. Issy ushered Halliford harmlessly to the touchline, Harriet cleared away the danger on numerous occasions but it was Lydia who stood out. Halliford possess players of speed as well as physical presence but none got the better of Lydia today. Jess was quick to the come off her line, and she in some part was the fourth player in defence. As Halliford threatened to come back into the match she produced a diving save to her right, pushing the ball to safety.

Congratulations to all the team today and to Demetrios for his tactical insight. It was a total team performance.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, to Daragh for being our linesman and to the referee. A special mention must got to Jon for his Mother's Day gifts and to the Mum's who forsook their lie-in (Nikki, Lori, Anne and Tracey).

TAFC Team: Sophia, Kate, Matilda, Megan, Harriet, Lydia, Issy, Jess, Emily, Kitty, Catia
Goals: Emily (x2), Catia (x1)
Player of the match: Megan (Chosen by Demetrios)
Shots total: Halliford 18 - 20 TAFC
Shots on target: Halliford 9 - 10 TAFC

Slim Pickings in Spring Sun for U15 Girls

Woking Cougars v. TAFC U15 Girls

2 - 0

A weakened but spirited Teddington U15 Girls couldn't repeat the heroics of last week and slid to a 2-0 defeat away to Woking Cougars today. The home side were the stronger team and Teddington found it hard going without several key players.

Teddington had the better of the opening exchanges in the first half, they held onto possession and had an array of forward excursions. Like eager pups they followed the bouncing ball, lolloping into tackles, chasing the game with carefree abandon in the spring sunshine. Despite the odd midfield clash (Kitty was on the floor within the first 30 seconds) there was plenty of space and time to play good creative football. Teddington's left side were thriving under these conditions, Lauren enjoyed the extra time to take a touch before connecting with Megan and Kate in centre midfield. Neave also blossomed in the warm conditions, she was at her best early on, Teddington's very own left bank was a hotbed of artistic creativity and flair. On several occasions Teddington swarmed into the Woking box but they lacked that killer instinct. Although Kitty, Megan and Matilda's nimble footwork dazzled and sparkled Teddington were restricted to one shot on target during the first half.

Woking grew in confidence and it was only a concerted effort from Lydia, Harriet, Neave and Issy that kept the score to a single goal from the home team. Lydia covered so much ground you'd have thought she was in training for a marathon distance. However hard Teddington tried they just couldn't translate their skill and passion into clear chances on goal, the joie de vivre of the opening twenty minutes evaporated in the warming spring sun. That passion was clear to see as Tenpin Kitty raced through on goal, rattling the Woking keeper off her feet, reminiscent of a bowling ball thundering a strike.

Teddington started the second half brightly, Willow exchanged clever little passes with the girls around her. Catia also found her feet and was able to create tight passing moves in the centre. Matilda's footloose fancies were now the creative spark that sent Kitty further forward but it was Willow who tested the Woking keeper with a rasping shot from outside the box. Now manager Demetrios made a tactical change that made all the difference, Lydia moved into midfield which released Kate to push further forward. All of a sudden a positivity pulsed through Teddington, Kate is a born a leader, a totemic Joan of Arc that could inspire not only a football team but a nation given half the chance. Unfortunately heroes and heroines (like the singed Miss Arc) aren't always on the winning side.

Like a sword through the heart, a superb Woking cross sliced through the Teddington defence. The Woking striker pierced the swelling Teddington confidence and a goal killed off the game. Woking pressed relentlessly, their corner-count was well into double figures. Jess was as agile and brave as ever, a number of times she repelled Woking on their bullish onward march. A short range cracker was first parried and then smothered by Teddington's nimble keeper. Teddington kept fighting right until the last seconds, Catia tested the Woking goalie with a fierce shot but it just wasn't going to be their day.

Congratulations to Woking. Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, to Keith for being our linesman, and to the referee. It is hard to find the words to praise a defence that has lost a game but Teddington's back line of Issy, Lydia, Neave and Harriet (and Megan) put in a mammoth effort today. Thank you.

TAFC Team: Neave, Willow, Kate, Matilda, Megan, Harriet, Lydia, Issy, Jess, Lauren, Catia, Kitty
Player of the match: Neave (Chosen by Richard)
Shots total: Woking 21 - 9 TAFC
Shots on target: Halliford 13 - 3 TAFC

U15 Girls Fight Back with Thunderbolt Winner

Halliford Colts v. TAFC U15 Girls

2 - 3

It was a weekend of comebacks as the Six Nations rugby reached its conclusion and the FA Cup and Premiership football competitions threw up a number of see-saw matches. Not to be outdone Teddington Athletic Under 15 Girls battled to a memorable win after being behind in the match against Halliford not once but twice. Halliford Colts are a team of steel and Teddington needed both the strength of body and spirit to beat their opponents.

With the wind in their favour Halliford dominated the first half but it was also their physicality that regularly blew Teddington apart in the defence. Without their usual strike partnership Teddington looked tentative in the opening 15 minutes, they dithered when the balls bounced in midfield and were caught out a number of times in defence. It was a nervousness born from unfamiliarity not from a lack of skill or desire. It was rare for the ball to escape into the Halliford half but when it did Sophia was in determined mood. After hitting the bar with a savagely hit shot Halliford eventually made Teddington pay with a goal that weaved through 3 or 4 players before hitting the net (1-0). It could have been much worse as Halliford had several well taken corners that were scooped away by the defence.

Abi came off the subs bench and she was to play a pivotal role in this match. Teddington needed its very own enforcer in midfield, she was ruthless when needed and selfless with her passing if the team had attacking opportunities. This wasn't Teddington's only creative outlet, there was some delightful interplay between Matilda, Sophia, Megan and Willow. Despite Teddington gaining a foothold in the match it was Halliford that had 2 or 3 excellent chances to stretch ahead. Jess stood in their way. She pulled off a series of brave and athletic saves including one that bounced off an outstretched leg, rebounded against the crossbar and pinged out to safety. It revived Teddington, Emma moved into an attacking role and Kate started to play the ball out of defence. One such Kate foray found Willow on the wing, who whipped in a breathtaking cross, leaving Sophia to slot past the Halliford goalie (1-1). Willow was a golden performer today, nuggety in the tackle and glittering in attack. Her dazzling green boots blessed it seemed by the spirit of St Patrick.

As half-time neared Teddington were unlucky to go behind once again, a Jess save was unfortunately returned by a well placed Halliford boot (1-2). Teddington had the best of the second half, they were now winning the 50/50 balls in midfield, and pressing for an equaliser. Matilda's dexterity unlocked the Halliford defence on numerous occasions and within minutes of the restart she had hit the Halliford crossbar. Despite being in the ascendancy Teddington couldn't convert possession into clear chances. All credit to Halliford who were dogged and determined. They created chances by trying to bulldoze through Teddington's central defence. This resulted in a quieter game for wing-backs Issy and Neave but never underestimate their influence on this team. Issy's long throw on the right found Megan, whose pinpoint cross fizzed into Emma in the centre and a second Teddington goal was never in doubt (2-2). Neave knew the dangers right after a goal, you could see her lunge into tackle after tackle, desperate to stop Halliford at all costs.

Harriet and Lydia had a much more comfortable second half, the jitters of the first 40 minutes forgotten. Lydia with her 'Speedy Gonzales' tackles and Harriet with those thunderous clearances. Teddington won the game in a moment of tenacity from Matilda and of divine mastery from Kate. First Matilda chased a lost ball, harrying her opposite number until she won the ball on the edge of the Halliford penalty box. Kate took advantage, lining up a shot and unleashing a thunderbolt that rocketed into the top corner of the Halliford goal (2-3). It was a goal worthy of winning a match and must rank as one of the best of the season.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, our able linesman Martin, and to the referee. A fantastic team performance from the girls. Thank you also to the supporters that came out today, it really does make a difference when you are so enthusiastic on the touchline.

TAFC Team: Neave, Sophia, Willow, Kate, Matilda, Megan, Harriet, Lydia, Emma, Issy, Jess, Abi
Goals: Sophia, Emma, Kate

Player of the match: Jess (Chosen by Anne)
Shots total: Halliford 18 - 21 TAFC
Shots on target: Halliford 12 - 11 TAFC

Unlucky U15 Girls blown away by Cobham

Cobham Village FC v. TAFC U15 Girls

2 - 0

A series of unfortunate events may well have inspired Lemony Snickets to the top of the book charts but for the Teddington U15 Girls it was their undoing today. Against a solid Cobham at the ACS International School any slip-up in form or fate was going to be punished by the home side. On a day when the wind was knocking over trees like dominoes it was Cobham who blew through Teddington with a 2-0 win.

Although the wind played a major factor in this match it didn't determine the winner. In the first half, with the wind behind them, Teddington had 11 shots on target but couldn't convert any into goals. In fact it was Cobham who scored against the run of play. While in the second half Cobham had 12 shots on target, converting one, while Teddington created 3 against the wind. Two injuries that worked against Teddington were most definitely unfortunate and very much affected the pattern of this game. The first was the finger injuries sustained by Jess the day before. This meant that Kate played the first half in goal, while Kitty took the second. Both did an excellent job but their presence was missed further forward. The second injury both poleaxed Emma and the Teddington team. A last ditch tackle during the first half curtailed a dangerous Cobham attack but also left Emma on the floor with a throbbing headache. She was sorely missed.

This game was a frustrating affair for the TAFC girls, not only did lady luck desert them but they had opportunities to draw and possibly win the game. Neave had a ferocious beginning to the match, she was nippy across the turf, strong in tackle, and on more than one occasion you could see her limping away from a clash. With Emma's early withdrawal there was a vacuum in the centre for Teddington. Lauren and Megan had difficulties in the high winds, the statuesque Cobham midfielders seem to get to the bouncing ball first. When they did get the ball on the floor they looked much more composed and decisive.

With her big kick and the wind behind her Harriet was able to turn defence into attack with a mere tap of her boot. In the first half she released both Kitty and Emily from the Cobham shackles, unfortunately the ball was swept wide by the wind or saved well by the keeper. Both Sophia and Willow played intelligent linking roles today, on several occasions they gave their strikers the chance to score, including Matilda who popped up on the right wing only for the ball to slip just wide. Take nothing away from Cobham, they played really well today, a number of corners pegged Teddington back toward the end of the first half. Kate made an excellent save from one, the rebound was chipped back in, the wind caught the ball and floated it just into the goal (1-0).

In the second half it was one-way traffic with Kitty's goalkeeping gloves stinging from 5 shots in the first 5 minutes. Matilda had an excellent second half, as the Cobham legs tired hers kept on running. With the wind in their faces the Teddington defence stood firm, the waves of Cobham attacks crashing against their bows. Nothing gets past Issy, what she doesn't kick away, she brushes away with her strong arm tactics. Lydia was scudding across the turf reducing Cobham to speculative shots from outside the box. Unfortunately it was one of these wind-assisted shots that doubled Cobham lead (2-0)

With the wind making life difficult Emily started her trademark solo runs from within her own half and they so nearly paid off. Teddington took the fight back to Cobham, we saw the first of Kung Fu Kate's flying interceptions. Although Teddington only had three clear chances in the second half, all of these could quite easily have provided the visitors with goals. First the Cobham keeper denied Emily what seemed like a certain goal, then Harriet hit the post directly from a corner, and finally Matilda's pass resulted in a sweetly hit shot from Emily that ricocheted off the crossbar. Each one of these could have easily gone in, it was just one of those games.

Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, to Rohan for being linesman and Orangeman. Thanks to the referee and good luck to Cobham in the rest of the season. Harriet seemed to be everywhere today and even managed a shot from the centre circle, she was awarded Player-of-the-Match by Daragh.

TAFC Team: Emily, Neave, Sophia, Willow, Lauren, Kate, Matilda, Megan, Kitty, Harriet, Lydia, Emma, Issy.
Player of the match: Harriet (Chosen by Daragh)
Shots total: Cobham 22 - 20 TAFC
Shots on target: Cobham 17 - 14 TAFC



U15 Girls On Cloud Nine

TAFC U15 Girls v. Rushmoor Community FC

9 - 0

Teddington Athletic U15 Girls got back to winning ways today against Rushmoor Community FC with a 9-0 victory at Udney Park Road. Recent performances had been of the battling variety rather been displays of champagne football but today Teddington put the fizz back into their game and came away worthy winners.

A day of dark clouds, chilling winds and driving rain could have diluted this encounter into a weak blend of up-and-under football but Teddington and Rushmoor produced an entertaining and bright game that was a credit to both teams. The wind was in Teddington's favour in the first half and they struggled to control the ball in the blowy conditions. Repeatedly the ball eluded Kitty and Emily up front, the mighty kicks from midfield zipping off the wet surface and going out for a Rushmoor goal kick. It was only when Teddington swapped ends did we see the delights of their passing game. The wind forced them to play the ball along the floor and we saw the best of some accurate passing from Matilda, Abi and Willow.

Teddington were under the guidance of manager Keith Middleton for this game and he employed a 3 girl defence. Kate was the lynchpin in the centre, strong in the tackle, and clever with her interceptions. Harriet on the left and Megan on the right were able to move into midfield when the inclination took them. All 3 had excellent games because Rushmoor Community have improved tremendously in their short history, they threatened the defence on a number of occasions although Jess wasn't really tested in goal.

There were 5 in midfield with Abi playing a pivotal role, she could be the inspiration for a new Marvel comic in the role of Iron Woman such is her strength. In the first half she was steely as a holding midfielder and switched to attack in the second half with some delightful creative play from the centre. Lauren stuck to her task well on the left, she enjoys these games where there is more room to take a touch and link up with teammates. Neave is more versatile than a swiss army knife. She is one of Teddington's most multifaceted players, mostly cleaning up those loose balls but also willing to chop in with a tackle or two. Matilda grew into the match, at first her tricks and flicks didn't quite pay off but soon she was dribbling around opponents and cutting dangerous crosses into the box from the wing. She scored Teddington's 8th goal after a jinking run that cut through the Rushmoor defence.

You could tell Willow was up for this game. In the opening minutes she executed a couple of tasty step-overs before testing the Rushmoor goalkeeper with a shot. A special mention must go to Rushmoor's keeper, she had an excellent game and the score could have well been in double figures by the end. Willow plugged away all match and got her just deserts in the final minutes when with a deft touch she scored a classy ninth goal for Teddington. Full of running as always Kitty was the ultimate team player. Today was no different and she also got on the scoresheet with a good solo run that ended with a strong shot that just dipped under the keeper's hands.

It was heartening to see Sophia get an extended run in the team today, she came off the bench in the first half and made an impact immediately. Her influence lasted throughout the match, her speed always a threat and she has a powerful shot that could slice a defence into pieces. It was the sheer force of her shot that burst through the Rushmoor keeper and up into the roof of the net.

It is easy to take Emily for granted even though she is a proven goal scorer who always delivers for Teddington. Today she most definitely deserves the plaudits, she produced a masterclass that was worthy of being Player of the Match. Her first goal settled Teddington down after a nervous start, the second was a penalty (won by the tenacious Kitty), the third was all about speed, she ran onto a long through ball from midfield and coolly finished. After starting in attack and playing in defence, she ended the game in midfield. It was from here that she scored her fourth and most impressive goal, a mazy run that ended with a shot from outside the box, and the inevitable rippling of the Rushmoor net.

Congratulations to all the girls on an excellent team performance. Thank you to Keith for managing, to Jon for running the line, and to the referee.

TAFC Team: Emily, Neave, Sophia, Jess, Willow, Lauren, Kate, Matilda, Megan, Kitty, Abi, Harriet
Goals: Emily (4), Sophia (1), Kitty (1), Matilda (1), Willow (1)
Player of the match: Emily (Chosen by Alban)
Shots total: TAFC 44 - 5 Rushmoor Community
Shots on target: TAFC 35 - 3 Rushmoor Community