Caterham Pumas FC v. TAFC U15 Girls
6 - 3
Teddington Athletic Under 15 Girls ended their cup run in fighting style at Caterham Pumas today (30/09/2018). It was a bruising encounter that ended in defeat and an early exit from the cup but featured heroic performances from Teddington's nine players.
Even though this cup tie was dominated by Caterham it was a close and vibrant contest right until the final quarter of the match. Both teams started with 9 players on the pitch, 2 substitutes warmed the Caterham bench and Teddington had their very own cheerleader in the form of a poorly Sophia. The game was wide open with plenty of space for both teams to play expansive football. It was a difficult match for the 81 year old referee to keep up with, as his pacemaker worked overtime the passes flowed to every corner of the pitch. Caterham set the tone of the match with a shot that tested Jess in the first 60 seconds. Not to be outdone Emily intercepted a Caterham goal kick and fired off a shot in reply. Willow was at her creative best, her flashing green boots a blur as she linked defence and attack. Kitty perched on Emily's left shoulder, keeping close to one another they had a handful of chances in the first 15 minutes. Nothing epitomised Teddington's fighting spirit more than Willow who took a brutal butt to the eye after 20 minutes. It took her out of the game until well into the second half when she bravely took to the field again. Caterham took advantage of Teddington's reeling 8 girl team by laying siege to the TAFC goal. Ultimately it was a high ball that breeched the Teddington defences. (1-0)
Neither Emma nor Megan were cowed by the black eye inflicted on fellow player Willow and the team. They repeatedly broke free on the wing, darting dangerous balls across the Caterham penalty box. Both Harriet and Lydia were kept busy in defence, they never had a moments rest as Caterham slipped passes into the space between keeper and the back three. Again and again they were called upon to rescue Teddington, swooping in at the last moment. Caterham were skilful, and drew some smart diving saves from Jess. As the half neared its end Emma won the ball near the centre circle and sent Kitty loose on the left. Head down she gouged through Caterham like a raging bull. With the Caterham defence split in two Kitty found Emily who finished smartly. GOAL! (1-1).
Teddington looked tired in the first 10 minutes of the second half and their 8 players were starting to feel the pace. A speculative shot found its way past Jess (2-1). Moments later she responded with a brave double save that knocked a Caterham attacker from her feet. Neave was gritty in defence, nipping at ankles and winning a series of close combat skirmishes against her opposite number. It was a busy half for Harriet, she switched last gasp defence to attack, often giving Emily the opportunity to batter the enemies lines. Caterham started to stretch away, outnumbering Teddington with slick counterattacking moves. In quick succession Caterham scored four more times as their attackers showed great composure in front of the Teddington goal (6-1). Emma had another excellent half, as heads started to dip she tapped her deepest reserves of strength and stamina. One of her special long throws threaded its way through the Caterham box and burst through the keepers hands GOAL! (6-2). This galvanised Teddington and once again they took the fight to Caterham. With seconds left on the clock Emily's tenacity gave Kitty the chance to skin the last defender. Her cross was perfect for Megan who rocketed the ball into the roof of the net. GOAL! (6-3).
As the whistle blew Teddington sunk to their knees in exhaustion, they couldn't have given more. It was a deserved win for Caterham Pumas who were just that little bit more fluent and they progress onto the next round of the cup. Congratulations to Lydia who was awarded Player of the Match by Lori. Time after time she saved Teddington with her speed. Thank you to Demetrios for managing the girls, to Martin and Jon for running the line, and all the parents who negotiated the long journey to Caterham and back.
TAFC team - Emily, Emma, Megan, Harriet, Lydia, Jess, Willow, Neave, Kitty.
Goals - Emily (1), Emma (1), Megan (1).
Player of the Match - Lydia (Chosen by Lori)
Shots - Caterham 32 vs 17 Teddington
Shots on target - Caterham 20 - 9 Teddington