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Ladies 1s Vs. Southampton 1s - Saturday 26th February 2022

Banbury Ladies find it difficult against the league’s top side

BHC Ladies 1s - 1, Southampton Ladies 1s - 8

After the last game being a well earned Banbury win, hopes were high for our away game to

Southampton this morning, particularly with a strong team filled with both experience and youth.

Southampton only had 11 players due to Low availability within their club, so would our extra legs count??

Within a minute of the start, Banbury were down the pitch and pressing the Southampton D. This

looked good, but it wasn’t long before we saw why Southampton sit at the top of the league as they broke at pace and the ball flew across the Banbury goal, but no one was able to steer it in. This was a warning shot to Banbury if ever there was one. Banbury continued to press, but each time Southampton got the ball, their passes were quick and accurate and on 8 minutes, they flew up the pitch, earned a short corner and scored from it. One Nil Southampton.

Banbury had a lot of the ball and were working it around the midfield looking for a way past the well-drilled Southampton players, but it was the home team who were being more accurate, and after Banbury lost the ball on the right not far outside their own D, Southampton made the most if it and passed the ball into the middle, and into the net. Two - Nil Southampton. The home team were making the most of each and every chance they got.

However, heads didn’t go down, and after some more pressure from Banbury, the ball was worked into the D and fired into the net by Rosie Gowing. Two One. This was just what Banbury needed and within a few minutes, the youth of Clemmie Morrison and Flora McCullough combined well and the resultant shot just went wide. However, Southampton were always very dangerous with the ball and on 23 minutes, they earned a short, which Banbury defended well. A few minutes later whilst Banbury was defending another Southampton attack, the Banbury ladies had a very hotly contested penalty flick awarded against them. The Banbury team weren’t happy with the decision, but it stood and Southampton tucked it away nicely despite Sammy’s good attempt at a save. Three One - Southampton. For the last few minutes of the half Banbury played well with most of the ball, but it was Southampton who threatened, earning a short corner with the very last play of the half. This was fortunately well defended and the teams went in for their well-earned halftime break.

The 2nd half started well with Banbury earning a short within 1 min of the start. This was well taken and Pagey dragged it beautifully towards goal, but the Southampton goalie palmed it away. I think this may have galvanised Southampton, because within a few minutes they broke upfield, scything through the Banbury defence earning a short of their own. From this, despite an initial save by Sammy, the ball wasn’t cleared, and Southampton fired home – Four - One. Soon afterward, another Southampton break into the Banbury D saw the ball beat Sammy, come off the post and put into the net by the waiting Southampton attacker. It seemed, everything that Southampton tried, came off for them. They were being very efficient and clinical with their finishing. Five - One.

Initially, we were hoping that Southampton would tire with only 11 players, but their tails were up, and they were being economical with their movement, as each pass went straight to one of their own and there was not any wasted effort whatsoever. Perhaps, our marking could have been better to cut some of these off, but nonetheless, Southampton were being very accurate.

Southampton were piling it on now, and Banbury started to look like a tired team and within a

minute, another Southampton short wasn’t cleared and they rocketed the ball into the net. Six - one.

Banbury did still kept trying, but were struggling against a very good team; Southampton were not hitting Banbury on the break anymore, but were controlling play in the middle and building up clinically and efficiently from there. However, despite everything and Southampton being on the ascendency, Banbury showed resolve and did not give up, and after 58 mins and having soaked up a whole lot of Southampton pressure, Rosie Gowing won a short corner for Banbury. This was well worked with Pagey again dragging it goal-bound, but as before, the goalie swiped it away. 2 mins later, Banbury had another, with this one, unfortunately, flying over the top.

Not content with their five-goal lead, Southampton broke upfield on 63 mins, and with the Banbury players stretched, they found the back of the net for yet another goal, and to cap a very good all-round performance, Southampton still came forward in numbers and 4 mins from the end, they clinically fired the ball into the net for their 8th, and final, goal.

Final score – Eight - one Southampton.

As with the game against this opposition at home, Banbury played well in patches, but Southampton were well drilled, very efficient, and technically very skilled. Banbury could have scored more than their one, but Southampton were good for their win and we need to regroup for next week when the ladies have 2 games in 2 days. We do need to take some points from those.

MVP – Jecca Tetley was voted overwhelmingly as the MVP this week.

Bryce Wilkinson

Ladies 1s Manager 26/02/22

Photo: MVP Jecca Tetley

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