With only five matches left in the season the ladies 4s were looking for another win to take them a step closer to the promotion. With a comfortable 8-0 win over Southgate last time they met, the ladies 4s were hoping for a similar result, however it was a much closer and tougher match than anticipated.
The game started a little to and fro with several turnovers early on, although it wasn’t long until a drive up the wing and into the D found a defenders foot and Chiswick were awarded a penalty corner. It wasn’t converted, but the girls in blue knew it wouldn’t be too long until they got points on the scoreboard. With Emma Milton working at 100% in the midline, the ball was turned over and passed up the right wing to Fay Pullin. Fay set up a brilliant cross to Laura Bryant, who was waiting near the P spot, with her usual composure Laura Bryant slotted the ball to the left off the keeper and put Chiswick 1-0 up. Unfortunately for Chiswick, Southgate were quick to equalise, with a break away play that found the defence in a scramble and the ball dribbling over the line. At the restart Chiswick tried to keep composure, but the girls in blue were just not their usual selves. Some sloppy passes and lacklustre play resulted in several turnovers and the defence being put under pressure. Up at the other end of the pitch, the attack were finding it difficult to convert, several shots went narrowly wide or were saved by their keeper. Finally the girls managed to make a bit of headway, with Laura Bryant following up a penalty corner to work the ball quickly past the keeper and keep her name of ‘two goals a game’ Laura. Laura’s goal took Chiswick to 2-1 up at half time.
The half time message was clear; stay positive, play with conviction and use the ‘switch’ and ‘pivot’ to retain as much possession as possible. Chiswick didn’t get the start they were hoping for however, with the opposition coming out firing and scoring early on to level the game at 2-2. The ladies 4s aren’t a team that gives up though. The girls fought back and with stellar performances by Sophie Green and Nicole Shipperley working well down the left the ball was moved up the pitch to Chiswick’s advantage. With the ball travelling into the D from the left, it was now Fay Pullin’s turn to score. Fay received the ball, dragged it across the keeper and tapped it into the goal with ease. Chiswick were now back in the lead. It was hardly smooth sailing for the girls, but they had several more attacking opportunities and finally were awarded another penalty corner for their efforts. Sinead McGeever stepped up from defence to take the straight strike. With all of her family supporting on the sidelines, Sinead struck the ball with an almighty thwack, and scored in the bottom right hand corner, her first goal for Chiswick taking them to 4-2. With 6 minutes to play, Chiswick found themselves in the uncomfortable position of a defending penalty corner, while the first shot was saved, and the second saved with a dive from goalkeeper Alice Taylor-Bennett, Southgate managed to scoop the ball up in the scramble and score taking it to 4-3. With only moments left to play, Chiswick fought as hard as they could to keep possession and maintain their lead. It was nail bitingly close, but the girls in blue just managed to hold on right until the final whistle.
With the 4-3 win the ladies 4s are still Top of the Table with a seven point lead and only four games to play.
Goal Scorers: Laura Bryant (2), Fay Pullin, Sinead McGeever
Man of Match: Emma Milton
Dick of the Day: Alex Joss