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