Saturday 26th Oct 2013 (1105 Views)
On a damp, cold, wet morning, the U18 Reds welcomed Sheffield Wednesday for their first visit of the year to Westfield School. With Grace and Georgina injured and Tilly and Ellie unavailable, SUCL were under strength, but determined to seek their first win of the year.
United had all the early pressure, with Sam linking well with Olivia, but her shot was well saved by the Wednesday keeper. Rachel then had a great run down the left wing, before sending over a fantastic cross towards Katie, who at full-stretch, just couldn’t direct the shot on goal. After another shot from Sam had been saved, good play from Katie won a free kick 25 yards out. Up stepped Paige and there was only going to be one outcome as her direct shot screamed into the top corner – 1-0.
SUCL continued to pressure the Wednesday defence. Selena and Beth were battling well in midfield and both won challenges and flick-ons that set the forwards free. Olivia and Katie had shots that the Wednesday goalkeeper did well to save. When Wednesday did break forward, Becca’s good recovery prevented them putting the goal under threat. United looked strong down the right, where Elsa’s quick throws and through balls looked to send Katie forward at every opportunity. After 22 minutes, Katie crossed into the danger area and Selena battled to win the ball which broke to Sam who tucked the ball neatly into the net.
Rav, deputising for Grace in goal, looked assured as she collected a long Wednesday ball and passed to Elsa. When Paige collected the ball in midfield, she put Rachel through on goal, but she was denied a second by brave goalkeeping. Fantastic free-flowing football on 30 minutes saw passing from Beth to Rachel to Sam to Rachel to Sam... but her shot was saved by the keeper. However, a minute later, it was 3-0 as Olivia set-up Rachel to lob the goalkeeper.
This seemed to spur Wednesday on, as they shot wide, and then last ditch defending from Laura prevented a quick reply. Excellent covering from Bronte also saw Wednesday denied the chance to reduce the deficit, as she cut-out a good Wednesday break. Wednesday paid for their failure to capitalise, when Olivia pounced on indecisive defending. Her cross found Becca on the left wing, who beat her player before setting up Katie to finish.
HALF-TIME: SUCL Red 4 - Sheffield Wednesday 0
The second half saw strong United pressure with lots of good interplay and passing. Laura’s through ball to Olivia created a chance for Sam, but her shot went wide. Rachel, replacing Rav in goal, came out quickly to deny Wednesday’s forwards on a quick break. Rav and Beth combined well on the left, but the chance ended with an offside decision. When United were awarded a free kick, Paige’s long ball found Olivia who controlled the ball before shooting past the Wednesday keeper. Five minutes later, Olivia turned provider as she played in Katie on the right. She controlled the ball before shooting past the keeper at the near post.
United extended their lead on 70 minutes, when Selena won the ball in midfield. Her ball sent Sam through but the keeper came out to clear. The clearance fell to Beth, who did well to place her shot, curling it round the keeper and into the goal. Ten minutes later, Katie completed her hat-trick. Sam’s corner was cleared but only as far as Katie on the edge of the box. She controlled the ball, picked her shot and it sailed into the net.
As the match went into injury time, Rav won the ball and put Sam through. The defender clipped her ankle and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Paige’s emphatic penalty brought the game to a close.
FULL-TIME: SUCL Red 9 - Sheffield Wednesday 0
Playing against a young Wednesday team with an age group similar to theirs, the SUCL girls showed the skill, determination and appetite to return to winning ways. This should give them the confidence and self-belief to drive on and start climbing the table. Next stop – Dronfield!
SUCL U18 Red: Rav, Katie, Laura, Sam, Olivia, Becca, Rachel, Beth, Bronte, Selena, Elsa, Paige
Player of the Match: Elsa