TAFC U15 Girls v. Cobham Village U15 Girls
2 - 1
Last season the Teddington Athletic Under 15 Girls played two close matches against Cobham Village Girls. Each time Teddington stuck to their task and came away winners. Today was true to form and Teddington edged this early season encounter once again.
The size of the pitch has increased for the Under 15 girls and this match showed that there is more space and time for the girls to play their football. In the first half Cobham were dominant in the middle, with two of their most agile and statuesque players dictating the pace of the game. Despite this advantage they couldn't truly break the defensive line of Harriet (left), Lydia (centre), Emma (centre) and Megan (right). Cobham found it hard to create those clear chances and were reduced to 7 shots, 3 of which were on target. Teddington in contrast spent the first 15 minutes engineering a host of golden opportunities that they couldn't quite convert into a goal. They were also kept at bay by some inspired goalkeeping by the Cobham number 1. Kitty and Emily tested the keeper early on before a Sophia/Lauren combo drew a brave series of saves. A last ditch tackle denied Emily in the ensuing melee, and the offside flag stopped Neave in full flow. The Cobham midfielders varied their attack, spreading the ball wide to their wingers. These crosses pinged dangerously across the TAFC penalty box. The larger pitch is really bringing out the best in Lauren, and with the extra space she was linking well with Emily, who took the opportunity to test the keeper as often as possible.
As the half pushed beyond the midway point Kitty and Kate cracked the midfield conundrum. Kate started to win those 50/50 contests and Kitty profited with some searching forward runs alongside Sophia. Kitty, last week's Player of the Match had another excellent game. Teddington hadn't taken the chances they had created and this bolstered Cobham's resolve. To describe it as a stalemate would be to undersell the fiery battle that was flaring up in the middle of the pitch. Catia lit the blue touch paper with her sparky tackling while Matilda's skillful close control gave those ahead of her chances to push forward. With half time on the Udney Park horizon Emily produced one of those ranging attacks that took her half the length of the field. The defenders desperately shepherded her to the touchline but Emily tucked a skimming shot under the Cobham keeper from an acute angle. GOAL 1-0.
The second half started in the same vein with Emily immediately testing the Cobham Goalkeeper. Emma had moved into midfield and around her Catia and Willow hunted tirelessly. They worked as a pack, Emma was the lioness, she was sleek and stylish but with a ferocious bite when needed. Megan stalked the right wing and there were opportunities for Kitty, Catia and Willow who prowled dangerously around the Cobham box. It wasn't long before Emily was at it again, through strength and determination she fashioned another excellent solo GOAL! 2-0. Cobham knew they were in a scrap and as Teddington legs tired they stretched the defence before them with their good passing football. Jess and Megan combined to stop a marauding Cobham attack, and Harriet's big boot was called into action to clear the lines (she even managed to kick the ball out of the ground). Lydia was as dependable as ever and extinguished a clear Cobham chance with a speedy tackle. Cobham started to take long range shots but Jess dived left and right, catching high balls and blocking daisy cutters alike. Eventually a Cobham shot just dipped over Jess, her fingertips unable to deflect the ball, GOAL 2-1.
The final 10 minutes were a tense affair. Cobham had a series of very well directed corners that spread panic along the touchline. Kate was unflappable during this tense time, invariably she got her boot in, redirecting Cobham shots or unsettling their rejuvenated strikers (Jon awarded her the TAFC Player of the Match). With Harriet's big kicks Teddington were able to switch defence to attack in the blink of an eye. Both Kitty and Emily profited, and it was the former who hit the bar in the last minutes. There was time for one last chance from Cobham, a fierce shot bouncing on the dusty ground in front of Jess. She was not to be beaten and Teddington were not to be denied an excellent win against a strong Cobham side.
Thank you to Demetrios for managing the side, and to Chris for linesman duties. Thanks to the referee for a fair and enjoyable game. Good luck to Cobham in the season ahead.
TAFC team - Sophia, Emily, Lauren, Emma, Megan, Harriet, Kate, Lydia, Jess, Willow, Neave, Kitty, Catia, Matilda
Goals - Emily (2)
Player of the Match - Kate (Chosen by Jon)
Shots - Teddington 27 vs 21 Cobham
Shots on target - Teddington 13 - 13 Cobham