REPORT: Wetherby Athletic Ladies 4 v 5 Thackley AFC Ladies
A Tale Of Two Halves For The Ladies Team!
Athletic were left to rue a dramatic change in form as a 3-0 lead in the first half turned into a 5-4 defeat by the final whistle.
Wetherby started the game in the best possible fashion as Holly Fowler collected a cross from Louise Ross on the left hand side of the area and slotted the ball past the advancing Thackley keeper to give the Tangerines the lead after just five minutes.
Thackley worked a flowing move down the right wing that nearly produced the equaliser, but the final volley at goal saw Jane Potter, deputising for the injured Katy Poulter, pull off a block to deflect the ball wide. From the resultant corner, a free header at the back post sailed just wide of the goal.
Athletic were pushing up the pitch and another through ball by Ross saw Amie Slinger attempt a shot from distance, but just as she got into position, a sliding tackle took the chance away.
The game was becoming quite heavy in midfield with the ball often being trapped between the two teams and Jade Holt was being kept busy breaking up moves, whilst Jemma Carmody was mopping up any Thackley passes that came her way.
It was an intervention by Holt that saw the ball sprayed out to Ross. Lifting her pass over the Thackley backline, Lucy Crann charged into the area, but her low shot was blocked by the leg of the keeper.
Another well worked attack down the flanks by the visitors needed a combination of both Georgia Beer and Holt to clear the danger as the ball came into the area.
Athletic struck on the break on the 21st minute to claim a 2-0 lead. Applying pressure of their own down the right wing, they forced a brace of corners which culminated in Rachel Carmichael’s inswinging set-piece curling into the goal unimpeded.
Thackley spurned two golden chances to reduce the deficit when they shot over and then wide of Potter’s goal and this was further compounded when some excellent play down the right wing saw a cross well controlled by the striker, but her shot was lacking power and Beer managed to deflect it behind for a corner.
Ross should have been celebrating in the 36th minute when Chloe Turpin set her free, but as she came into the area, Thackley’s custodian manged to get something on her shot and pushed it wide.
Both teams then produced good chances as Crann headed over her marker and collected her own pass, but could only shoot just wide, whilst Carmody and Beer had to block goal bound efforts from Thackley as play switched ends.
It was 3-0 and seemingly game over when Crann fired low from distance to beat the keeper in the 42nd minute. A superb through ball by Ross set the Athletic danger woman away and this time she made no mistake.
Evident buoyed by the half time break, Thackley started the second half by forcing Potter to race out of her goal and block a shot, following a quick break down the left.
The visitors pulled one back in the 52nd minute and it was a goal that was steeped in a bit of controversy from Athletic’s point of view. A deep corner was met just outside the six yard box and following a bit of pin ball was hit goalwards. Shouts went up from both sides as to the validity of the shot and despite a lengthy delay by the referee; he eventually raised his arm to signal a goal!
Spurred on by the goal, Thackley started to dominate and pulled another back three minutes later in almost similar circumstances to their first, but this time, the shot ripped into the net leaving no doubt about the outcome.
The Tangerines restored a two goal advantage in the 59th minute and it was another corner, following some good play by Fowler down the flank, that caused the damage. This time Turpin met Carmichael’s cross with a half volley and drilled the ball home through a mass of legs.
From becoming a midfield battle, this game had suddenly turned into an end to end affair and it was left to Potter to rescue Wetherby again when she produced another strong block at the back post to deny Thackely.
Wetherby were left cursing the woodwork when a superbly struck free kick by Holt smashed into the crossbar and bounced back into the area, despite Crann stretching for the ball, Thackley cleared long and worked their way into the host’s area. Potter tried to claim the final cross but couldn’t gather it cleanly and the striker managed to prod the ball home from close range to reduce the deficit to one goal again!
The game was stopped for several minutes after one of Thackley’s defenders took a nasty looking knock to the knee. Fortunately, the player in question was able to make it to the sidelines and the match restarted.
Karen Nixon’s persistence down the left won Athletic a series of throw-ins and from the final one, the ball was played to Crann, squaring her pass across the area, Thackley won the foot race and managed to clear with Fowler ready to pounce.
Wetherby’s inability to defend a corner lead to the equaliser in the 79th minute and it was one that they won’t be happy with at all. Again the ball was played into the far side of the six yard box and the unmarked player had the simple task of heading home.
Thackley were running the game now and in the 82nd minute they completed a stunning comeback when their striker latched onto a through ball, held off a challenge and curled her shot past the advancing Potter to spark celebrations from the travelling contingent.
Wetherby battled to try and get the equaliser and several passes by Carmichael nearly released Athletic’s front players, but each time the visitor’s managed to either block or clear at the crucial time and in the end, it was Wetherby who nearly conceded when a shot from just inside the area hit the post and bounced wide.
Well done to Thackley who produced a great comeback in the second half. Wetherby will be disappointed in the result, but will take away several pleasing aspects throughout the performance.
Report by Pete Arnett
Post-Match from the Assistant Manager Steven Carmody: “At half time we looked like we were in control of the game, we didn’t control all of the possessions, but we took most of our chances well and possible should have had five in total. The second half we had to keep the pressure on, but fitness levels seemed to drop off. From our point of view, as soon as we started to drop off we allowed them to push us and we didn’t deal with that well at all. We had a major Wetherby wobble and didn’t control the ball with at all. We need to learn from this match, three nil up at half time, we need to learn to control the match and see it out.”
The Red Lion Wetherby Woman of the Match: Holly Fowler gets the nod for this one. She provided a well taken goal to get Wetherby on the move, but was also full of running on the wing. Special mentions to Jade Holt, Jemma Carmody and Georgia Beer who all had decent games as well.
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