The Whitehaven AFC u12 Blues won the WCYL Futsal League Red Division today in a thrilling derby match versus Workington Diamonds 4-3.
The Whitehaven AFC Blues who are the current Cumberland FA County Futsal Champions came into the game with a perfect record against a Diamonds side who also boasted a perfect record. So both teams were set to wow spectators in a nail biting final between the two best Futsal Teams in the WCYL Futsal. Whitehaven started off well, good possession in the final third between Layla Rudd, Molly Blair and Katie Kegg, without testing the Diamonds keeper. It was Diamonds who took the lead though with their very first attack, a ball down the left side from defence was taken in the Diamonds striker stride brilliantly and she battled well with the Whitehaven defender before shooting into the corner really well to make it 1-0.
Whitehaven huffed and puffed to try and get their game going but were still being caught on their heels from kick ins and the passing game just wasn’t clicking a 100% and so it was Diamonds who continued to be on top in the early going with very strong direct balls into dangerous areas which the Whitehaven team struggled to contend with, and as much as the Whitehaven team tried hard to contain the Diamonds side, Diamonds went 2-0 up.
Substitutes were called upon and magicians Ella Beadsmoore& Aarleah Robertson entered the fray with Layla Rudd making a positional change.
This seemed to ignite some good play from the Whitehaven team and while not fully flowing, the intent began to show, with a few good moves resulting in good saves from the Diamonds keeper. Whitehaven still needed to be sharp in defence as they tried to wrestle the game in their favour as Diamonds were still threatening and a third goal would’ve been difficult to come back from. Millie Clark now though wasn’t just defending but with better movement in front of her she showed great confidence to link up with team mates going forward whilst still blocking dangerous balls.
15 minutes in and finally Whitehaven sprung into life, Ella Beadsmoore was showing great technical footwork and creating lots of space with her clever runs and linking up really well with her fellow magician Aarleah Robertson, and it was Ella who got the breakthrough to make it 2-1 with a lovely goal.
The Whitehaven team buoyed by this now stepped up the energy even further and another good move resulted in hot shot Layla Rudd picking up the ball mid wayinside the half and struck low and hard into the corner to equalise 2-2. The Whitehaven girls really found their groove now and continued to create chances and it wasn’t long before Layla Rudd scored again to make it 3-2 at Half Time.
Unfortunately the Whitehaven Girls started the second half slow again and were pegged back within a couple minutes to make the game 3-3. Lauren Glynn in goals had to then make a raft of saves to stop Diamonds regaining the lead. A change to formation saw the introduction of Erin Duffy and Evie Kerrush and both girls showed their class both in defending well and calmly and also creating an attacking threat. Then from a kick in deep in the Diamonds half delivered by Evie Kerrush to Ella Beadsmoore who calmly slotted away first time in the front post corner.
Erin Duffy and Millie Clark continued to both defend well as the game passed the half way point of the second half and clear cut chances become a premium as both sides worked extremely hard against each other, Whitehaven trying to get a 2 goal cushion and Diamonds trying to peg the Whitehaven girls back.
As the game turned into an arm wrestle for that goal both team craved, Captain Katie Kegg and the driving force of Molly Blair entered the pitch to try and win that battle, and both girls created chances right from the second they came on, Molly narrowly shooting wide on a couple of attempts and Katie Kegg hustling the Diamonds defence to win the ball high up to create chances.
As the clock drew closer to the final whistle, Aarleah re-joined and added much needed skill again to trick players and progress the team up the pitch, but Diamonds were also continuing to threaten and could’ve snatched an equaliser on a couple of occasions as the clock counted down.
However both teams were unable to find another goal in a tense last few minutes with the Whitehaven AFC Blues coming out on top in an absolute thriller. The coaches said ‘Hats off to Diamonds who played a really good game and it could’ve went either way, a real thriller of a game for everyone and it looked like all the players enjoyed a really good battle, even if the coaches and spectators maybe aged a few years watching it. We were really proud of the girls, had to dig deep to win that trophy in a very competitive league were you have to work hard for every result and its great to win the second Futsal Competition of the season’
Girl of the Game for Whitehaven AFC – Ella Beadmoore
Her extra little bit of magic was great to see in a tight game and she changed the tide for Whitehaven in the first half with her cleverness and skill.