Match: Christchurch Vs City

With a depleted team due to early season injuries and work commitments, City produced a battling display to score two late goals and rescue a point against a strong Christchurch Ladies team.

City, experimenting with a new attacking formation, took an early lead when Charlie Ashman’s pace was too much for the Christchurch defence and she produced a cool finish despite being under pressure. This goal seemed to motivate Christchurch and they produced wave after wave of attack on the City goal but the team as a whole defended well with nobody forgetting their defensive responsibility. Sarah Lewis was organising the defence well with Nicky Matthews and Laura MacLaughlan expertly marshalling their players. With wide midfielders Sara Gilbert and Hannah Barker providing defensive cover as well as an attacking threat, central midfielder Bex Cleary covering infront and behind the defence and the returning Emily Langstone providing a link between attack and defence, City were pressurising Christchurch all over the pitch. However, City did find themselves behind at the break after two quick goals – the first a deflected header that looped over Lee Thubron and the second on the breakaway with a shot that squirmed under the advancing Thubron.

The second half started badly for City when Christchurch scored a third within five minutes of the restart after City had failed to clear their lines. However, heads did not drop and with the threat of returning striker Holly Parton up front, City still beleived they could salvage something. City managed to contain Christchurch for the rest of the half with a combination of pressuring Christchurch into bad finishing and good defensive work and, as the half wore on, City started to create chances of their own. Matthews, on a rare occassion advancing out of defence, played a great ball to Barker whose cross caused enough panic in the Christchurch defence to allow Parton to expertly loop the ball over the advancing keeper. With only a couple of minutes left, City started another attack on the opposite side with MacLaughlan earning a free kick, Cleary playing it up to Ashman who played in Parton to again apply the finish over the keeper. The timing of the goals gave Christchurch no chance to respond and earned both teams their first points of the season.