LTHC Ladies 1st XI 5 at Market Harborough Ladies 1st XI 0

MRHAWL – Midlands Feeder East

Saturday 24th November 2018

After a dramatic final-minute winner last Saturday, Loughborough Town Ladies 1st XI made the journey to Market Harborough for their final league game of 2018 in the search of another 3 points. With the opposition bottom of the league table with just 1 point to show for their efforts, on paper the fixture looked a straightforward task for Town. Market Harborough did well to protect the ball for the opening minutes, but Town soon found their rhythm and enjoyed the lion’s share of the possession in the first half. Midfielders Ashleigh Godfrey, Emily Burgwin, Annie Piper and Lucy Walden worked tirelessly to supply balls to the energetic forwards who were running rings around the defence. Harborough’s keeper was in top form and largely kept her team in the fixture, saving shot after shot to preserve the score-line at 0-0. Town’s breakthrough came mid-way through the first half; struggling with their usual short corner routines on such a slow pitch, a botched effort paid dividends as Emily Burgwin’s powerful strike at the top of the circle was deflected over the keeper’s head by Emily Hill for her first of the morning. With the score1-0 in Town’s favour, their assault on the Harborough circle showed no sign of stopping. However, minutes later Town survived a scare of their own as Harborough’s forward made her way into Harriet Galpin’s circle at speed. Emma Weir, playing out of position in defence, was perfectly positioned and scrambled the ball away off the goal line to preserve Town’s lead. As half time approached, Emily Burgwin was denied by a smart save low to the Haborough keeper’s left and Alex Hardy also saw her strike turned away from goal.

Determined to press on and extend their slender lead, Town came out aggressively after the half time break. Straight from the pushback, Emily Hill’s blazing 40 yard run down field drew a desperate challenge from a defender and gave Town a free hit. Seeing an opportunity, Annie Piper took the free hit quickly as Harborough scrambled to set up, finding Hill in the circle with a pinpoint pass. Hill made no mistake as she smashed the ball past the keeper to double Town’s lead and her own personal tally just 40 seconds into the second half. As Town’s confidence soared, Harborough struggled to contain the onslaught. Minutes later, Piper again took on the role as provider as Town bagged their third of the match; Georgina Godfrey deflecting Piper’s powerful cross effortlessly through the keeper’s legs. Unfortunately for Market Harborough, Town’s incredible scoring spree was not yet complete. Picking up the ball at the half way line, Emma Calvert drove down field and found Alex Hardy, who then picked out Grace Thompson on the far post. Thompson made no mistake as she fired the ball into the goal from close range, taking the score to 4-0 just 5 minutes into the second half.

At risk of letting their frustration get the better of them, Market Harborough did well to group together and resist the ongoing onslaught of their circle. Their attempts to get near the Town circle were futile; new call up to the squad Gabrielle Morgan impressed in the centre back role and alongside Shana Featonby any advances by the home side were quickly stunted. Katherine Laws produced another solid performance at half-back with the thankless task of marking Harborough’s best player out of the game, ensuring Harriet Galpin remained nothing more than a spectator in the Town goal. For Harborough, the final whistle could not come soon enough, their frustrations and tiredness becoming ever more evident as two players saw green cards for poor tackles. The home team’s misery was complete as Town grabbed their fifth goal of the morning; a pass from Emily Hill setting up Georgina Godfrey for her second of the morning and confirming her player of the match performance. The 5-0 win sealed the three points for Town, who will go into the winter break third in the league by goal difference and on equal points with first and second place. The ladies’ hopes for a second promotion in as many years are well and truly alive.

Emily Hill (L)  and player of the match Georgina Godfrey (R) both grabbed braces in Loughborough  Town’s 5-0 win over Market Harborough © Andy Smith

Emily Hill (L) and player of the match Georgina Godfrey (R) both grabbed braces in Loughborough Town’s 5-0 win over Market Harborough © Andy Smith

Categories: Match Reports