Belper Ladies 5ths v Buxton Ladies 2nds
Player of the match: Gina Howarth
Buxton Ladies 2nds met a well-matched Belper 5ths team away at Belper for their first fully competitive match of the season. The first half saw the play move energetically from end to end of the pitch with Buxton defenders, Julie Shaw, Cate Desmond, Rebecca Perring and Emma Alexander, holding well against the youthful Belper attackers. They kept the opposition at bay with effective tackling in and around the D, channeling of players down the wings and solid keeping by Sarah Catlin, foiling each of Belper’s attempts on goal in the first half. Moving up the pitch, Buxton used the space well with solid forward passing by Molly Shaw, Kate Pogmore, Liz Fisher and Maddie Coke in the midfield, spreading the ball to Eleanor Shaw and Wendy Pearson towards the width and up to the front. Buxton made frequent attacks on the Belper D but were also unable to score before the half time whistle. With no goals scored before half time, the 0-0 score left Buxton feeling positive about the second half and hopeful of an opportunity to score.
The goalless first half made way for a more eventful second half with both teams raising their game as soon as play began. Before long the ladies 2nds found themselves 1-0 down as Belper managed to get the ball over the line in a messy goal that slipped past the Buxton defence. Undeterred the ladies kept their heads up and a goal quickly followed from Eleanor Shaw as Buxton 2s fought back to equalize. Belper scored again when a young player made a solid strike from the edge of the D which flew past the defence to make it 2–1. Buxton ladies soon came back again, moving the ball back up to the Belper D with solid passing and deft ball control from forwards Kate Higgins-Brown, Lauryn Higgins-Brown and Eleanor Shaw. A Belper foot in the D awarded Buxton 2nds a penalty corner and allowed Gina Howarth to score a goal from a deflection at the post, deftly assisted by Kate Pogmore. Play continued to move back and forth up and down the pitch but with Buxton gaining the majority of the ball, they kept their cool by continuing with accurate passing and by closing down the opposition when they took possession. Buxton scored a third goal as the Belper keeper went down for a save and Gina Howarth took the opportunity to get the ball past her into the net behind. With Buxton in possession again, Lauryn Higgins-Brown decisively scored a fourth goal from the top of the D to make it 2-4, a difficult score for Belper to come back from before the end of play. Buxton kept in control for the last minutes of the match, deflecting Belper’s attempts to get the ball down the length of the pitch back into the Buxton D, the score remaining at 2-4 when the final whistle blew.
Players: Sarah Catlin, Rebecca Perring, Julie Shaw, Cate Desmond, Emma Alexander, Molly Shaw, Kate Pogmore, Maddie Coke, Liz Fisher, Eleanor Shaw, Kate Higgins-Brown, Gina Howarth, Wendy Pearson, Lauryn Higgins-Brown
Goal scorers: Eleanor Shaw, Gina Howarth x2 and Eleanor Shaw
Girl of the game: Gina Howarth