Newhaven Ladies 1 v 2 Phoenix Ladies
Scorer: Maddie Cannon
This Sunday saw us start our league campaign at home to Phoenix Ladies FC. Its our second season in the South East Counties Womens Football League Premier division. We had mixed results against Phoenix last season, beating them at their ground but falling to defeat at the Trafalgar Ground at the end of the season. Sadly the outcome was the same on Sunday as they narrowly won 2 – 1.
We started with a strong team and everyone seemed keen to get cracking. The first 10 minutes saw the visitors start the stronger, pressing high up the pitch as Newhaven took a little while to find their feet. Chelsea and Franks linked well to feed Duch as the ladies began to play some good football. Some nice interchanging passing from Duch and Lauren saw Georgia get her first chance but was unlucky with her finish.
The centre midfield pairing of Steph and Duch started to get control of the centre of the pitch and Lauren came alive on the left to register her first effort on goal which was saved well by the Phoenix keeper. Defensively we looked solid with Jas and Abs making good tackles and Chelsea and Bash halting the Phoenix wide players.
A high press from the ladies saw Phoenix play the ball back to the keeper which Lauren just missed out on intercepting. The press was impressive from the ladies and continued to create problems for the visiting team. 30 minutes in and Steph was on the end of a strong tackle which sadly saw her depart after impressing in the centre of the pitch, Taylor replaced her and immediately got to work showing excellent composure on the ball.
As the half continued Franks was becoming influential on the right delivering good quality balls into the box but it was Phoenix who finished the half stronger. Annie was called upon to make a couple of very good saves. Just before the half came to a close Taylor also suffered a recurrence of a knee injury which was sad to see, Maddie came on the replace her. A tight first half which in all fairness seemed a bit flat but 0 – 0 was a fair reflection.
After a slight delay in the away team coming out for the second half, we got the game underway. Newhaven seemed to have extra energy now, played a higher tempo and 10 yards further up the pitch. Impressive work from Paige Rip saw her link up well with Maddie and then Lauren who provided a great cross for Franks only for the keeper to make a great save. Then followed sustained pressure from the home team, Lauren and Georgia with good chances but the Phoenix keeper and centre back blocked or saved.
Abs suffered a head injury but thankfully got to her feet to continue. Shortly after Phoenix were through 1 on 1 with Annie who dealt with it superbly. Salls came on for Georgia, Newhaven then won a corner. Rip showed good feet on the edge of the box to roll the ball into Lauren, her shot was toughed over. the resulting corner saw Newhaven get the breakthrough. Maddie rose like a salmon to blast a header into the goal.
This seemed to spark the visitors into life, as Annie was forced into making a good save, Chelsea made a goal clearance, the home team looked a little shaken. Natalia replaced Franks on the right. A corner saw Phoenix level the score from a header. Another corner followed and they shot wide.
With Salls working hard up front and Natalia getting into the game, Rip played another wonderful ball through to Lauren again intercepted by the quality Phoenix centre back. It was Paige Rip who seemed determined to get a goal with 2 good efforts but the ball just wouldn’t find the net. With less than a minute to go Phoenix broke down the right and we conceded a poor free kick. From this the visitors sealed a late victory as they found the corner of the net from a good delivery.
Alex had this say after the game
‘ It was a strange first half with both teams seeming a little flat, we played some decent football but just couldn’t find the back of the net. I thought we looked solid at the back. We spoke at half time about raising the intensity and to be fair to the ladies for 15 minutes they did exactly that and we were unlucky not to score 2 or 3 goals. Great to see a goal from a set piece and delighted for Maddie. I felt we needed to push on at that point but instead Phoenix got a grip in the game and exerted some pressure. The result is tough to take as I think we deserved something out of it but credit to Phoenix. Disappointed to see Steph and Taylor go off with injuries and wish them both a speedy recovery. On the whole we played some good football so we concentrate on the positives and take them into the game on Sunday vs Hassocks ‘
Team: Annie Hills, Chelsea Cook, Paige Bashford-Robertson, Steph Harrison (Taylor Coade – Maddie Cannon), Abi Turner, Jas Godden, Katie Franks (Natalia Laszkiewicz) , Ellie Duchossoy, Georgia Collier (Emily Salusbury) , Paige Ripley, Lauren Smith