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