Game: BAWFC 5 v Cobham 0
Players' POTM: Lucy Gibson and Rebecca Poulton
Manager's POTM: Lucy Gibson
Author: Nav Johal
Line Up: Natasha Bajwa (GK), Preeti Johal (C), Nicole Cho-Yee, Emma Longman, Elsa Huertas Barros, Nav Johal (1), Sarah Atkin, Liz Foster (1), Kate Williamson, Rebecca Poulton (1), Gilly Thomson
Subs: Lisa Linsley (Williamson 70), Jayshree Badhan (Atkin 70), Lucy Gibson (2) (Huertas Barros 45)
Our first home game of the season, the sun is out, lots of supporters, and having just come back from speaking to their manager I'm thinking 'ohhh what a nice team...' It's going to be a lovely Sunday afternoon.
We went out to warm up in what looked like a 'Retro Day' kit. Thank you Concorde... A few last minute changes from Coach Carter and we were ready for action.
Serious talk from Coach Carter: concentrate on this game, we want the win, get in the zone, don't just want it, feel it, feel it from deep inside (yes he's still talking about football...) and no North London derby talk until after the game (and no talk of the game after they lose because Arsenal fans are sore losers.... I can still feel the dead arm, thank you Tiger).
Both teams with a 100% record in the league; this would be our first real test of the season. And the first half was just that. The game started pretty messy with lots of misplaced passes, perhaps we were making it difficult for ourselves.
Not using the space or the wings, Kate in acres of space on the right wing not being utilised, not challenging for the ball enough in all areas of the pitch, and giving our opposition too much respect. We weren't playing like a team who are top of the league.
With not many chances in the half the BA goal came from a 50/50 ball with the Cobham keeper who couldn't manage to gain control of the ball after Gilly 'Golden Boot' Jumper intercepted the ball and crossed it into the Cobham box. Becks took full advantage of the goal keeper's fumble and slotted the ball in the back of the net.
The game then turned messy with a angry Cobham feeling hard done by; lots of late challenges and even an elbow went in unpunished.
Cobham only real threat in the game saw them hit the cross bar from a corner in the 1st half, a finger-tip save by Tiger edging it just high enough.
The defence, having more to do in this game compared to the first 3 games put together, did a great job of protecting their keeper. Nic and Preeti clearing up most of what came into the centre of defence, and the wing backs Emma and Nav stopping most crosses from entering the BA box.
Our back four were without Captain Amy who missed the game with a horrendous looking bite to her leg. A prize for who can give me a better reason for being injured for a game. Emma 'Motormouth' Longman thought she would create a chance for the opposition by testing our Tiger was still awake...
Motormouth playing a pass into our goal, Tiger going in the opposite way, and the opposition began to celebrate prematurely as the Darkk Angell casually swept up the ball and cleared it half a yard before the goal line.
BA were down to 10 men for the last 5mins of the 1st half as a result of an 'ouchie' - on the plus side it gave the BA players 5mins rest from Moanymouth. Cobham couldn't utilise their extra player to create any chances.
The football wasn't pretty and BA who were used to playing attractive football were left very frustrated. The only positives of the half being the BA goal and our keeper not having much to do.
The 1st half ended 1 nil.
A well deserved bollocking from Coach Carter at half time gave us a kick up the back side. Exactly what we deserved, Becks even forgot about her half-time 3 course meal she had packed in her lunchbox. We were very fortunate with being 1 nil up as the opposition had much of the possession. No real chances, but we knew we could play a lot, lot better.
Contrasting half time talk from the opposition who were there to wind us up.... BA were there to play football. And that's exactly what we did in the second half.
The 2nd half we stepped it up a couple of gears, after that half time talk we had no option. Those on the sidelines were in for a goal-fest treat.
Juicy Lucy came on for Elsa, who had her first start of the season worked tirelessly up and down the left wing in the 1st half. Lucy on in her favoured right mid position (she's got a fight on her hands for that position with half the team desperate to show what they can do there), Kate switched to left mid.
An early goal in the second half by Lucy hit Cobham hard who quickly gave up any hope of a second half come-back. A great run by Sarah, who was making her 1st team debut. Fantastic cross by Sarah hit the bar and 3 BA players were lining up to pounce on the loose ball in the box. Juicy Lucy was the first to attack and slot it in from a yard out. Her first goal of the season, simple shot but her best was yet to come.
Lots of good work by the midfield in the second half controlled the game for BA; decent passing by Sarah, Liz, Becks, Lucy and Kate - all who were strong on the ball. With Gilly as usual hassling their defence at every opportunity attacking from the off. BA winning most balls in the air now and the back 4 of Nav, Preeti, Nic and Emma were looking very comfortable. The Cobham strikers were clearly frustrated at their lack of space, and they rarely threatened.
Some more great work down the right wing saw Becks latch on to a ball from Lucy. Great cross from Becks into the box and an equally great header from Liz - just to show the Coach we do use our heads! Unfortunately Liz couldn't convert the shot into goal this time but made no error with Beck's next cross into the box. Liz, in fine goal-scoring form, slided in and beat the keeper and defender to convert to get BA's next goal.
With the game now looking comfortable, the Coach had something to smile about. He brought on some fresh players with Jaysh and Lisa itching to get on the pitch.
Jaysh came on for Sarah who did a solid job in midfield. Jaysh went into left back and Nav switched into centre-mid alongside her new best mate Becks. Jaysh looked comfortable at the back, passing the ball out with ease and eager to attack.
Lisa came on for Kate, who saw much more of the ball in the second half and showed her strength on the ball. Lisa came on in right mid and Lucy shifted over to the left. Lisa getting into some great space out on the right and demanding as much of the ball as possible to utilise that space.
With about 15mins of the half left, Nav picked up the ball in the middle, passed it out to Lisa who took it down the right wing and passed to Gilly in the box. Gilly then cut it back out to Nav who was at the top of the box, striked it and made it 4 nil. Finally a smile on my face - as the ref pointed out...
Some more great work down the right wing saw another Becks cross go into the Cobham box. Gilly, having left her shooting boots at home, thought she would try with her head this time but was inches wide of the far post. Unlucky Gil.
Only 2 minutes of the game left but BA weren't done playing. Nav with the ball in the middle again, out to Lucy on the left who dribbled past one, went around another, into the box, her sight just on goal, a great finish and well deserved second goal after a great 2nd half performance.
A fantastic second half performance by the team. Top of the League and the Speed Birds are flying high!
Goldalming on Sunday will be a real test.
Having read the match report Preeti pointed out that I missed out her run. So...Preeti ran...