Herne Bay Ladies 3 v 0 Newhaven Ladies / League Cup Round 2
Newhaven Ladies fell to defeat in the second round of the league cup after a long journey away at Herne Bay.
With just 11 players available and missing key players the ladies put up a valiant effort but the home side were just too strong on the day and took their chances in a clinical first half.
Herne Bay started the stronger of the two teams kicking down the slope on the big Herne Bay pitch and took just seven minutes to open the scoring.
The Dockers came back quickly and created some good openings down the left wing with Lauren Smith sending in dangerous crosses which Paige Fowler and Maddie Cannon couldn’t quite connect with.
Controversially Herne Bay scored their second on twenty minutes when the Newhaven defence cleared the ball which struck the arm of the Herne Bay player on the edge of the box and as the ball sat up nicely it was sent crashing into the top corner of the net leaving Hannah Paul, making her first appearance since last season, with no chance. Despite lots of protesting from the Dockers for handball the referees decision was ball to hand and allowed the goal to stand (2-0).
Kicking up the slope and on a heavy pitch the Dockers were finding it difficult to get out of their half. However a good break from Lucy Collinson found Smith who cut in and shot which was saved by the keeper.
The home side continued to press down the slope and played some clever through balls allowing the forwards to get inside the Dockers defence and a couple of fantastic saves from Hannah Paul kept the score at two but the third soon followed when the Herne Bay wide player cut in from the left and evaded three or four challenges before guiding the ball into the far corner to make it 3-0 going into the break.
With just a bare 11 the Dockers were unable to make any changes however now kicking down the slope in the second half it gave them renewed optimism and they started the half strongly pegging the home side back into their half. The Dockers started to control the game and switching the play well from midfield with Smith and Cannon well in the game. Smith sent in a fine cross from the left which Cannon narrowly missed at the far post and then Smith had a chance which just went over.
At the other end Paul made one fine stop to keep the score the same.
The away side started to press players further up the pitch and switched Fowler and Smith to get Smith playing down the middle in an effort to get back in the game and this nearly paid dividends when Smith was played in by Fowler but the home defence blocked the shot. Paige Ripley then had a similar shot blocked as the home defence continued to stop everything thrown forward.
With minutes to play a Smith corner created panic in the Herne Bay box but was cleared to safety and moments later the final whistle went.
It was a gallant effort by the ladies a long way from home and a spirited second half display should have been rewarded with a goal or two.
The joint managers reflected after the game, Alex Ladd said; ’We travelled a long way today to face Herne Bay, a team who have only lost one game this season. We knew it was going to be a tough test, especially with only 11 players available on a very big pitch. The ladies played some quality football in large sections of the game. The work that we have been putting in in training showed as we passed the ball superbly at times, switching the play and playing the system in a very organised manner. We could not quite find the ball to penetrate a very well organised back four but the commitment shown by the ladies could not be faulted. Credit to Herne Bay who took their chances very well and it was clear why they have doing so well this season. There were loads of positives to be taken from the game and if we continue to develop as we have been I am really excited to see how we push on. Well done to everyone, especially good to see Hannah performing so well after time off from the game.’
Andy Cook added; ’It wasn’t to be today unfortunately. We faced an uphill battle (quite literally) from kick off with only having 11 and missing some key players. However those who were present can be proud of their efforts. Although Herne Bay controlled the first half I really think the second goal was a killer. It was clearly handball, which the referee acknowledged at the time and at the half time interval, but to be adjudged as ball to hand and then they score from it is very harsh on us and obviously the handball gave them a clear advantage as it sat up perfectly to be smashed into the back of the net. I think we huffed and puffed and gave everything we could but didn’t quite have that cutting edge up top. We played some decent football in the lead up but couldn’t break down the well organised and stubborn home defence. Full credit to Herne Bay though I thought they were a decent side and played some good football so no complaints from me.’
Team: Hannah Paul, Steph Harrison, Paige Bashford-Robertson, Ellie Coade (c), Chelsea Cook, Jas Godden, Maddie Cannon, Lucy Collinson, Paige Fowler, Paige Ripley, Lauren Smith