TAFC U15 Girls v. Rushmoor Saints FC Diamonds
2 - 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