LTHC Ladies 1st XI 2 at Loughborough Students Ladies 3rd XI 1

MRHAWL – Midlands Feeder East

Saturday 27th October 2018

After winning their previous three games, Loughborough Town Ladies 1st XI faced tough opposition in Loughborough Students Ladies 3rd XI in their late afternoon pushback on Saturday. Over the past few seasons the clash has become something of a local derby and with the match being the first between the two sides since Students’ controversial promotion two seasons ago, Town took to the pitch seeking to take their revenge. 

Town settled quickly into the game, with player of the match Emily Burgwin distributing some fine balls. Within ten minutes, one such pass found the in-form Georgina Godfrey just outside of the Students’ circle. Weaving past several defenders, Godfrey calmly took the ball around the diving keeper and slammed the ball home to give Town the lead. Sensing the opportunity for more goals as Students struggled to find their rhythm, Town pressed on and were relentless in their attack.  A strong drive down the middle of the pitch from Shana Featonby set up Emily Hill with a one on one with the Students’ keeper. This time a fine set of saves from the keeper managed to thwart Hill and protect the Students’ goal. Students began to take enjoy long periods of possession and passed the ball around the pitch with relative ease. Town’s defence remained relatively untroubled with Izzie Limb and Claire Howard marshalling a disciplined press. However, Town were not to have it all their own way with a short corner awarded to Students in the dying minutes. A well-practiced deflection routine beat Town keeper Harriet Galpin and levelled the scores as 1-1. With just seconds to go, it looked as if Town would restore their lead when debutant Alex Hardy struck the ball on her reverse with power at the Students goal, only for it blaze inches wide. 

The second half started as the first ended but Town remained patient in their defence and pounced on any opportunity to counter-attack. In her first season for Town, forward Hannah McCleery impressed with her creative runs up the pitch, but the Students keeper did well to protect her goal. As is so often the case in this clash of the titans, the game became gritty as both sides pushed on for the win and the three points. Emily Burgwin was subject to a series of horrific stick tackles that saw the Students player given a green card and Town a penalty corner. Some smart defensive running from the Students saw them scramble the ball to safety before Town could take a strike. Moments later, some impressive 3D skills from Alex Hardy saw the Students centre-back fall over as Hardy raced towards the Students’ circle. Town were awarded another penalty corner after some last ditch defending from Students and knew this might be their best chance to strike. Ashleigh Godfrey’s powerful and pinpoint strike blazed past the keeper to give Town the slender and deserved lead. With just 10 minutes left on the clock, it was all hands on deck as Town defended wave after wave of Students’ attack. Town keeper Harriet Galpin took no chances and made sure every Student shot was parried harmlessly away. Students’ attempts at levelling the scores were further dampened as another player was sent off for an overly physical challenge. Finally after having so often previously conceded late on to the Students, Town were ecstatic to hear the final whistle and take the three points from a strong opposition side. The 2-1 win sees Town leapfrog Students and the University of Nottingham into third place in the league, but the biggest reward of the afternoon was the satisfaction of settling old scores. 

Georgina Godfrey scores

Georgina Godfrey scored in the first 5 minutes to give Town the 1-0 lead. © Andy Smith

271018  - Captain Shana Featonby celebrates the winner

Captain Shana Featonby celebrates as Ashleigh Godfrey scores the winner with just minutes remaining on the clock. © Andy Smith

Categories: Match Reports