Parkwood Rangers Ladies 4 v 2 Newhaven Ladies
Lauren Smith (1) , Natalia Laszkiewicz (1)
Newhaven Ladies returned from Bexley Park empty handed despite a gallant effort with only ten players. Parkwood Rangers grabbed the three points but were made to work very hard for the victory.
The Dockers started the game strongly and were well organised from the off playing high up the pitch and counter attacking on the break. With Lauren Smith posing a danger every time she got the ball the away side had an outlet despite having a player less than their opponents. It was Smith who had the first meaningful chance when she was played in by Emily Salusbury but she was pushed wide by the home defender and her final shot was wide.
Another break from Smith down the left resulted in a deep cross to the back post where Katie Franks was unable to turn it towards goal as the away side continued to pose a threat.
Parkwood then came into the game with some good work down the right finishing with a shot to the bottom left corner which Annie Hills did well to get down to and tip round the post. From the corner the Dockers had to dig deep to clear the ball as it fell dangerously in the area but was eventually cleared by Tasha Scorza.
The deadlock was then broken as again the Dockers played on the break. Skipper Jas Godden played out to Salusbury who curled a fantastic pass from deep into Smith’s path as she run in behind the home defence . As the keeper rushed out Smith got their first and placed the shot under the keeper and into the net from 25 yards out (0-1).
Parkwood needed a response and a couple of long range shots were well held by Hills as the lead was preserved.
Another break by Smith from a Duchossoy pass ended with a cross to the far post where Natalia Laszkiewicz arrived late and put back into the box where Franks shot was blocked.
Another chance for Franks followed soon after when Chelsea Cook played a loose ball over the home defence for Franks to run onto but this time the keeper was smartly off her line to gather.
With ten minutes to the break Parkwood now started to apply some pressure and a series of dangerous corners tested the Dockers defence who stood strong with Paige Bashford-Robertson getting an important clearance in and Scorza with a timely header.
However with a minute to go before half time a switch to the Parkwood left allowed the winger to have time to cut in and send a cross to the far post where it looped into the far corner of the net for the equaliser (1-1 HT).
The second half saw Newhaven kick into the wind and facing a low sun which proved difficult to defend against. Parkwood got the upper hand from the start of the half and pushed the Dockers back. There were early chances for the home side as Hills made a series of saves without being fully tested. However a quick throw in which was clearly a foul throw but missed by the referee made its way past the Newhaven defence and the Parkwood striker was smartest to the loose ball and shot into the bottom corner giving Hills no chance and the home side the lead (2-1).
A third soon followed in controversial circumstances as a cross from the Parkwood right drifted harmlessly across the box and out of play to the far post as Laszkiewicz and the home winger ran in. As the home winger fell the referee pointed to the spot despite there being very little contact between the two players. The spot kick was dispatched and the home side now had a two goal lead (3-1).
Parkwood now clearly had the upper hand and controlled the midfield as Newhaven tired being a player short and Parkwood having five substitutes to freshen it up.
However a change in positions saw Laszkiewicz push up front with Franks dropping back and within five minutes a break down the right fro Franks found Scorza who looped the ball into the box where Laszkiewicz found space to guide the ball past the keeper and pull a goal back with fifteen minutes left (3-2).
It gave the visitors renewed hope but it was soon crushed when Parkwood added a fourth with a well taken goal from the edge of the penalty area (4-2).
However this wasn’t the last action as Newhaven continued to press and in the closing minutes Smith was played in twice down the left and narrowly shot wide of the far post on each occasion to keep the home side on their toes and work hard to gain the victory.
Joint Manager Alex Ladd was disappointed with the result after the game but full of praise for the team; ’ Andy and I were really proud of the ladies today. Sadly with the injury list increasing we could only take 10 players up to Parkwood. Those 10 players played some fantastic football though. Right from the first whistle to the last they competed and at times dominated the game, the first half in particular. Credit to Parkwood they came out strong in the second half. I cannot fault my players though, each of them showed class and determination. Really pleased for Natalia to score on her birthday week. Well done ladies.’
Andy Cook (joint manager) also added ‘it was a really top performance by everyone. To battle with ten players and have the upper hand for large periods of the game was an excellent effort. Unfortunately we were on the wrong end of a couple of bad decisions which ultimately cost us at least a point. We deserved a draw and I don’t think anyone can argue with that. We were well organised and everyone stuck to their task and playing on the break we carried a real threat going forward. For the second week running Lauren and Emily linked up well with Duch and Franks giving support going forward. The defence with Tasha in front got in important challenges and defended strongly and Annie made some very important saves. Great to see Natalia get her first competitive goal for the team and she deserved that. Overall really pleased with the performance but obviously very disappointed to come away with nothing. ‘
The ladies now have a break until the New Year where it is hoped they can then rest up and get some of the injured players back on to the pitch.
The next fixture is in the New Year on January 5th away at Lewes FS.
Team: Annie Hills, Natalia Laszkiewicz, Emily Salusbury, Chelsea Cook, Jas Godden (c), Paige Bashford-Robertson, Katie Franks, Tasha Scorza, Lauren Smith, Elle Duchossoy