Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies 1

Islington Borough Ladies 2

Greater London Women's League Division One
Robert Parker Stadium
9th September 2012

The Ash Trees Ladies started their season on Sunday but were left to rue two first half errors as they fell to a 2-1 loss to a well organised Islington Borough.  Manager Kate Cook was without the services of midfield lynchpin Delphine Thenet, new signing Shelby Keppel, winger Kirtsy ‘Rusty’ Simmonds and was dealt a further blow by losing the influential Danni Levy for potentially the season.  Debuts were handed to newcomers Amy Fry and Hannah Smith as Nicola Archer started her first match for the team since April 2010.

Ashford started well with Nicola Archer sending a shot towards the top left corner early on but the away side’s keep showed good agility to reach and save comfortably.  Both sides were feeling each other out when on 17 minutes a mix up at the back led to the Borough striker running through to tap into an empty net.  Ashford worked hard to draw level but struggled to carve out any clear-cut chances.  Islington doubled their lead on 37 minutes when a defence splitting pass released the forward who one-on-one with Emma Wood in Town’s goal kept her cool to score into the bottom left corner.  Last year’s leading scorer, Lucy Easton, almost pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time when she flicked the ball past the fullback and raced thirty yards to the edge of the area where she hit a rasping effort just shy of the far post with the keeper well beaten.

The second half saw Town attack from the first whistle with Tash Lodder causing problems down the left flank.  Their positive play was rewarded on 54 minutes when Easton latched onto a through ball from strike partner Archer to slot home, 2-1.  The away side were doing enough to deny Town an equaliser but it almost arrived on 63 minutes when Lodder again raided down the left and squared to Easton but a great tackle blocked her first effort and the keeper stopped smartly on her second.  Two minutes later and the keeper pulled off the save of the match; Lodder’s throw to Easton saw the striker roll her marker and strike sweetly on the half-volley only for Borough’s no.1 to rush out and throw her body at the shot for a brave stop.  Town were unable to create any further chances of note with the away team defending well without really threatening. 

A disappointed Kate Cook said afterwards “I felt we deserved a draw and could have actually won the game if it wasn’t for their keeper who I thought was outstanding.  We shot ourselves in the foot with the mistake for their first goal and then switched off completely for their second, something I will be working on in training this week.  Thanks to everybody who came and supported the team, we hope to do better next time in what is a very competitive division”.

Team: Emma Wood, Amy Fry, Emma Dobell, Kate Davies (c), Emily Hogg, Terri Harper, Tash Lodder, Kee Kee Kobus, Hannah Smith (Kate Cook 85), Nicola Archer, Lucy Easton 1

Player of the Match: Tash Lodder      

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