Newhaven Ladies 5 v 1 Ashford Ladies
Newhaven ladies returned to winning ways today against a very well organised Ashford team who had not lost in the league all season and are mounting a serious challenge for the title. The ladies had worked very hard in recent performances but the results had not gone our way and we were on the back of 5 defeats.
Having not played for nearly a month there was a real buzz around the team. We had worked a lot in training over the last few weeks on a few tactical changes and the ladies looked as though they were keen to get going and put it into practice.
We started the game very well and on the front foot, immediately taking the game to Ashford. It didn’t take long for the midfield to control the centre of the park and create early opportunities. Within 10 minutes we had threaded through several dangerous through balls that split the Ashford back line but were a little too firm for the Chloe and Georgia to run onto. Lucy and Ellie were now dictating play and bringing lauren and Chelsea and Rip into the game. It was Ellie who picked up the ball inside the box to smash home a half volley to make it 1 – 0, a quality finish and richly deserved for the home team.
There soon followed 2 more goals, with Chloe getting on the scoresheet much to her delight. After good work from Lucy in the centre of the park, Lauren, who was now dominating down the left, crossed a great delivery for Chloe to finish with real style across the keeper. The third arrived shortly afterwards with great work down the right. Steph released Chelsea whose ball to Georgia was inch perfect, Georgia then squared it to Chloe to finish bottom corner.
Defensively, we looked very solid with Steph, Jas and Bash commanding the back line and restricting the Ashford forwards to few opportunities, they worked very well as a unit. It was very pleasing to see Annie getting off her line when needed to be brave and commited on the few times the quick Ashford striker broke the line.
At 3 – 0, Ashford changed their formation to a slightly more defensive shape but the ladies continued to push forward, creating opportunities and looking after the football really well.
After the half time break we anticipated Ashford would come out with wind in their sails and they certainly did that. They started to win the first and second balls but we retained our shape and desire to work hard for one another. Where our offensive play was dominant in the first half, defensively we now showed our strengths. We made sure that Ashford could not get in behind and it was long shots that peppered Annie’s goal. The defence held firm and were supported tirelessly by Lauren and Chelsea.
We were still creating chances, Paige Rip was really working feverishly winning the ball back and feeding Lauren, Ellie and Lucy were having great games, with Georgia and Chloe making it hard for Ashford to settle on the ball. Chelsea continued to get up and down delivering good quality in the box and defending when called on.
We began to get a grip of the game again and it was Georgia who found a good ball through to release Chloe who powered through to beat the keeper for her hattrick, 4 – 0. Great to see Chloe back to her best. Ashford won a free kick on their right which was fizzed in and worked its way through some bodies to beat Annie.
We made a few changes with Lucy coming off for Kerri and Nat replacing Bash. The fifth goal came after some good work from Lauren to send Chloe through and as she went to shoot was fouled but the ball bobbled forward for the determined Georgia to arrive and earn herself a goal. As the game came to a finale we continued to defend very well, Jas, Steph and Nat giving nothing away, Ellie and Kerri winning headers. The final whistle was met with smiles all round.
Joint manager Alex Ladd had this to say afterwards
‘Today represented a really positive outcome for the ladies and Andy and I could not be more happy for them all. We have had some tough fixtures over the last few months and played well in them but haven’t quite found a way to win them. It all came together today and we played some quality football. It was particularly pleasing to see the desire and commitment to work not just with the ball but without it as well, the pressing reaped big rewards for us. The defence were superb all game, Lucy and Ellie I thought had really impressive games and going forward we were back to our old ways, playing with a freedom and enjoying ourselves. We scored some very good team goals. Well done ladies, a big result against a very good team. Thanks to Ashford for making the long journey down, we wish you all the best for the rest of your season.’
Team: Annie Hills, Steph Harrison, Jasmine Godden, Paige Bashford-Robertson (Natalie Ring), Chelsea Cook, Ellie Coade (c), Lucy Collinson (Kerri Forshaw), Georgia Ungoed, Lauren Smith, Paige Ripley, Chloe Winchester, Paige Fowler