The L3s’ arrival at Long Road on Saturday was heralded by a freezing downpour and blustery winds. As a result, the team spent as long as possible sheltering in the changing rooms, sorting subbing strategies and talking tactics. Thankfully, by the time we emerged from the changing rooms the rain had stopped and we began our warm up. There was a slight panic in the final moments before the start of the match when we realised that Tabby had not turned up. Members of the midfield line were understandably alarmed at the thought of not having a sub. Much to their relief, Tabby arrived before half-time ready to get running.
The beginning of the match looked positive for South and we appeared to have more possession. Unluckily, one of the Newmarket team managed to make a break early on in the match and score a goal in a one-on-one with the keeper. However, we kept our heads up and our excellent forward line managed to manufacture some brilliant opportunities in Newmarket’s D. We were unfortunately not able to convert these chances, despite excellent positioning from Lauren B and some brilliant runs from Jasmine. Our midfield worked hard setting up opportunities for the forwards, with some great distribution from Rhi and Louisa. We went into half-time with the score reading two-nil to Newmarket.
After an inspirational team talk, we went into the second half determined to pull back some goals. We came incredibly close at one point, with some sustained pressure in the Newmarket D. A melee of South and Newmarket players right on the goal line meant that it was hard to tell whether or not the ball actually crossed the line. South were rewarded with a penalty flick, which Charlotte stepped up to take, but which was ultimately saved by the keeper. There was some brilliant, tenacious defending from our backline, with Emma and Ani doing very well to keep up with some speedy Newmarket players! Maria was tackling strongly until she injured herself by accidently doing the splits, for which she was awarded LoM by the team. MoM was Charlotte for taking on and beating a number of Newmarket players during some powerful runs up the wing. Despite some excellent play, South weren’t quite able to convert chances into goals and the final score was three-nil to Newmarket.