Rushmoor Saints FC 3 - 4 TAFC U15 Girls
Teddington Athletic U15 Girls gave their manager and supporters an early Christmas present today at Rushmoor Saints FC in Aldershot (15/12/2018). Rushmoor were unbeaten in the league, only conceeding 6 goals in 8 games, and sitting on top of the Division 1 table before this game. Yet it was a dynamic Teddington who upset the form book, fighting back to win this match in thrilling style.
Rushmoor Saints haven't relied on divine intervention for their lofty league position, they've done so because they are a formidable, skilful and well-drilled outfit. Within the first two minutes of the match they had shown their class with a sweeping passing move that dissected the Teddington defence (1-0). They are the archetypal iron hand in a velvet glove, full of power in midfield and silky on the attack. Teddington tried to resist but Rushmoor dominated the first 20 minutes, Jess making a series of saves, and the defence stretched to its limits. Emily was getting a few half chances in attack, Kitty was brave as she threw herself at the Rushmoor defence. A heavy collision took her from the pitch and Willow came in as an able replacement. Issy and Neave were worked hard by the opposition wingers but both grew into their roles, often holding up the waves of Rushmoor attacks. Catia plugged many a gap in the midfield, her tireless running was emblematic of Teddington's desire and spirit.
The momentum of the first half switched in Teddington's favour as they started to string their passes together. A sweet triangulated move between Abi, Emma and Kate gave Emily a shot on goal. On the right, Issy and Willow supplied Catia with an opportunity for a cheeky lob. Yet it was from the scrappiest of chances that Teddington equalised, Emily pounced on the Rushmoor keeper and Willow squirted the ball into the net (1-1). Rushmoor fought back immediately and Jess stopped a piledriver from a free-kick. Although Lydia and Harriet were tidying up all the loose ball around the Teddington box it wasn't long before Rushmoor took the lead once again. A deft dipping shot from outside the area was unstoppable (2-1). Teddington's endeavour didn't waver, they played their creative football through the middle of the pitch where Emma in particular, supported by Willow and Sophia, linked in smart interplay. The clearest of chances come when defence switches to attack and it was Abi who was the master today. First she won the ball in midfield and then threaded a pass to Emily who buried the ball in the Rushmoor goal (2-2).
Rushmoor took the whip hand in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. They thrust forward, testing Jess with a number of full stretch saves. Desperate to steer the game back to winning ways they put Lydia, Harriet and Jess under immense pressure. Lady Luck also joined Teddington's back four as a Rushmoor shot bounced safely after hitting the crossbar. Kate had a slow start to the match but suddenly she was everywhere, and she was one of the defining players in the later stages. In midfield she was breaking apart Rushmoor's creative play while in attack she started to feed her hungry strikers. She won a corner that Harriet expertly pumped into Rushmoor's six yard box, Emily scored with a delightful headed glance at the foot of post (2-3).
Rushmoor fought back and Teddington responded with a mighty team effort. It was a joy to watch, to see Neave's full bloodied resistance, Catia and Issy tussling with their opposite numbers. Kitty who had recovered from her injury returned to the pitch and was knocked to the floor once again. Within seconds she was back on her feet, staunch and proud. In fact she sealed the win with a superb sweeping move that emanated from Abi's tenacity in midfield. Kitty's goal gave her team a two goal cushion as they entered the last 10 minutes (2-4). Rushmoor fought tooth and nail to preserve their unbeaten record but despite a headed goal from a corner (3-4) they couldn't dampen Teddington's yuletide cheer. Congratulations to the girls on an absolutely wonderful performance.
Thank you to the referee, to Martin for being our linesman and to Demetrios for being such a brilliant and supportive manager in 2018. Good luck to Rushmoor Saints in 2019.
TAFC Team: Emily, Kitty, Catia, Emma, Kate, Abi, Neave, Harriet, Lydia, Issy, Jess, Sophia, Willow
Goals: Emily (2), Willow (1), Kitty (1)
Player of the match: Abi (Chosen by Alban)
Shots: Rushmoor 33 - 18 TAFC
Shots on target: Rushmoor 24 - 12 TAFC