LTHC Ladies 1st XI 8 at Loughborough Student Ladies 4th XI 2

MRHAWL – Midlands Feeder East

Saturday 5th October 2019

Following their strong start to the league campaign, Loughborough Town Ladies 1st XI faced Loughborough Students 4th XI – both sides looking to take bragging rights in the local derby.

It was the Students who started the better of the two sides – the pace of their new recruits giving centre-backs Ruby Barham and Alice Thompson plenty to think about in the opening exchanges. A crucial tackle from Ellie Sloper disrupted an early Students onslaught of the Town goal and allowed the ball to be cleared to safety.

Gradually Town found their feet and Students struggled to cope with the determination of forwards Emily Hill, Georgina Godfrey, Lucy Walden and Hannah McCleery to turn over the ball high in the opposition’s half. The persistence of Town’s forwards soon paid dividends as a turnover allowed Annie Piper a strike on goal from the top of the circle. The Students’ keeper looked dumbfounded as Piper’s shot found the bottom right corner of the goal, handing Town the 1-0 lead.

With the Students’ defence clearly rattled, Town maintained their high press and minutes later Emily Burgwin robbed the centre back of the ball and her strong slap was deflected into the net by Hannah McCleery. Town continued to play with confidence with midfielders Ashleigh Godfrey, Katherine Laws and Emma Chalmers stifling the Students of meaningful passages of play.

As half-time loomed, Georgina Godfrey thought she had scored but her strong strike ricocheted off the post – thankfully for Town, Emily Hill was alert and slammed home the rebound from close range for Town’s fourth of the afternoon. The first half goal rout was complete as Emily Burgwin weaved her way into the Students circle and hit the target to take the score to 5-0 at the half time break. 

Despite being 5-0 down, the home side came out for the second half strongly and caught Town off guard. Town’s defence, so well organised up to this point, began to crack as the young Students piled on pressure with some quick attacks. Despite this, Hannah McCleery’s well placed shot on the counterattack flew to the keeper’s right and added to Town’s lead. However, minutes later a momentary lapse in concentration found the Students with the ball at the top of the circle and onrushing keeper Harriet Galpin was unlucky to see the ball slotted beneath her into the goal. 

With the score now 6-1, Students began to put play after play together and were soon rewarded with a short corner. After a sloppy routine, a goal mouth scramble saw the ball once again put into Town’s goal. A comeback seemed to be afoot and a clearly rattled Town struggled to maintain their good form as Students pressed on for more goals.

The home side thought they had found a third as another goal mouth scramble ended with the ball in the back of the goal, only for it to be disallowed after the final touch came off a Student foot. This narrow escape served as a catalyst for Town to regain their rhythm and slow the pace of the game down, gradually regaining control with well worked attacks down the wings by Ellie Sloper, Daisy Perry-Mitchell and Helen Lowe.

Town breathed a sigh of relief as Ellie Sloper’s strong cross field pass was turned high into the net by Emily Hill for her brace, putting Town a comfortable 7-2 ahead. As the full time whistle approached, the determined Hannah McCleery yet again ran amok in the forward line, stealing the ball off a defender and nutmegging the flailing Students keeper to put the ball into the Students goal from 6 inches out – sealing her status as hat-trick hero and woman of the match. Town emerged at the final whistle as 8-2 winners despite the second half scare, meaning they have scored an impressive 16 goals in their first two league games and currently sit top of the league on goal difference.

Ladies 1st XI - 05/10/19 Vs Loughborough  Students 4th XI, Hannah McCleery by Andy Smith
Hannah McCleery ©Andy Smith
Categories: Match Reports