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
Player of the match: Jess (Chosen by Aly)
Shots total: TAFC 12 - 14 Caterham
Shots on target: TAFC 9 - 12 Caterham