Phoenix Sports Ladies 1 v 3 Newhaven Ladies
Scorers: Chloe Winchester (9), Lauren Smith (47), Paige Ripley (88)
Newhaven Ladies returned to winning ways in the league with a hard fought victory at Phoenix Sports.
Chloe Winchester scored for the fifth game in a row when she opened the scoring inside the first ten minutes. A ball in from the left from Lauren Smith found Winchester who controlled the ball on the edge of the area and found the bottom corner (0-1).
Smith was again provider shortly after when a deep cross found Maddie Cannon at the far post but she couldn’t quite connect.
Newhaven dominated the opening exchanges like recent weeks and another Smith cross found Winchesters head but she couldn’t direct it under the crossbar.
A fine through ball by Chelsea Cook then sent Winchester through on goal and from a tight angle to the right she crashed a shot against the crossbar after a fingertip save by the keeper.
Phoenix Sports started to react and creep back in the game and Annie Hills had to be alert for a series of shots from outside the box and dangerous corners which tested the Dockers defence.
Hills had to be smartly off her line to stop the Phoenix attacker getting on the end of a ball over the top and preserve the lead at half time.
The Dockers started the second half very brightly and Paige Ripley released Smith down the left where she outpaced the home defender and cut in shooting inside the near post to double the lead with a fine finish.
Newhaven were moving the ball well switching play particularly in midfield where Lucy Collinson and Jade Palmer were having fine games. The Dockers defence was also strong and didn’t look like conceding until a scramble in the Dockers box resulted in a fine tackle from Cannon which the referee adjudged to be a foul and pointed to the spot.
However the spot kick was brilliantly saved by Hills who tipped it over the bar.
Shortly after, a foul on captain Lucy Collinson by the Phoenix captain was followed by foul and abusive language which resulted in the home captain being shown a red card and reducing the home side to ten players for the final fifteen minutes.
Newhaven now dominated possession and moved the ball but could not find the killer touch for the third goal. Phoenix continued to attack on the break when they could but the Dockers defence were equal to it until a poor clearance with five minutes to go fell to an unmarked Phoenix player on the edge of the box and the shot found its way into the bottom corner to set up a nervy finish.
However the Dockers responded positively and broke down the left where Smith crossed and Winchester set Ripley who poked the ball into the bottom left corner to secure the victory (1-3).
A fine performance a long way from home.
Joint Managers Andy Cook and Alex Ladd were pleased with the performance. Cook had this to say; ‘It was one of our best performances of the season so far and we were disciplined with our shape, with how we moved the ball, switched the play and took our chances. We could have scored a couple more but overall we were very satisfied with the display after a long journey there and missing a few very key players. But everyone stepped up and there wasn’t a weak performance from anyone. Must mention Annie’s penalty save though which was brilliant and very important at that stage of the game. It’s a hard place to come and Phoenix Sports are a decent side who play good football so it was a tough test. ’
Ladd agreed;’ Another visit to South London saw us come up against Phoenix Ladies on Sunday. Like us they had achieved success previously so this was going to be a tough game. With one or 2 changes to the team we played some fantastic football, working together as a team to stretch the play as well as create great chances in front of goal. Defensively we looked very solid again, as we had been against Worthing the previous week. The midfield pairing of Lucy and Jade was very good and the front 4 worked tirelessly, producing goals from 3 of them. Special mention to Annie for making a wonderful save from a penalty as well as some timely saves in the second half. In difficult circumstances we stayed calm and composed and made the most of the extra player. Overall a very good performance from all the ladies after another long journey. Well done everyone.’
Team: Annie Hills, Steph Harrison, Paige Fowler (Jade Harker), Jade Palmer, Chelsea Cook, Jas Godden, Maddie Cannon (Summer Small), Lucy Collinson, Chloe Winchester, Paige Ripley, Lauren Smith