Whitehaven AFC U10 Lionesses took part in the annual Thompson FC Festival on Sunday, and delighted fans with some great football and deservedly winning the event!!
The Lionesses started off with a derby game against local team Allerdale Girls. The girls started off well, as did Allerdale as they started to feel each other out. However as the game started getting towards the half way mark, Millie Clark & Angel Dockerty were becoming more dominate in the game, both pressing well and working together to combine for opportunities. This good work continued and Millie Clark scored a lovely goal to make it 1-0. Sophia Conway had done well to contain Allerdale’s attack along with Chelsea Callander, before Sophie McKee took over in defence along with Katie Henshaw coming into attack. Allerdale showed real togetherness and frustrated the Lionesses for much of the game after the first goal with their keeper doing very well in goal, but Whitehaven finally got a second a minute before the end when hard working Chelsea Callander slotted past the keeper.
Second up was another derby against friends Workington Diamonds. The Lionesses were finding their rhythm more now with both Ava Greeson & Katie Henshaw combining well in attack to create a number of chances which Diamonds did brilliantly to either block or their goalkeeper save. Half way through however and against the run of play a Diamonds player set off running at the heart of the Whitehaven defence, the girl did ever so well, forcing her way through 3 tacklers for the space to open up against the goalkeeper and she took a great shot to make it 1-0 to Diamonds. The game settled back into a similar fashion but the Lionesses couldn’t break down and determined Diamonds side and the game finished 1-0.
The Lionesses then took on probably their toughest game of the day verus Stanwix Hornets, the Hornets recently played in the Regional Futsal Finals so it was always going to be difficult. There were chances at both end, some powerful balls into the Whitehaven defence from Stanwix caused some issues and the Lionesses has to work hard and as a team to break out well. The game was a proper game and every player had to battle hard from both sides, it was one of them games you’re on the edge of your seat not knowing what might happen next. Sophia Conway was once again showing her versatility in defence and doing a sterling job alongside Chelsea Callander. In attack Millie Clark & Angel Dockerty were also combing well. Mid way through the game and the Lionesses won a corner, quick thinking caught the Stanwix defence off guard with a quick corner which was played to Angel Dockerty who rifled the goal of the day for the Lionesses from a tight angle into the roof of the net 1-0. The Lionesses continued to work well, Millie Clark running herself into the ground for the team. However when Whitehaven were put under pressure goalkeeper Lauren Glynn was equal to it, making brave decisions to stop goals and get the ball back out quickly, the Lionesses finished 1-0 Winners.
The 4th game saw the Lionesses play their younger team mates, the U9 Lionesses. It must be said that the U9s were a credit to themselves and their parents all day and never gave up and kept working hard for each other even though very difficult for them. The 10s now fully in their stride started playing some lovely football, Sophie Mckee controlling everything from the back and starting attacks off. Rising star Ava Greeson was working so hard and being extremely tricky on the Ball and got a deserved goal to make it 1-0. The combination of Angel Dockerty & Millie Clark had been split up for this game but Angel netted another stunning goal to add to her highlight reel, before subbed for her partner in crime Millie, who wouldn’t be out done and was breathing down the neck of the U9s at every chance until she managed to force her way through and net a goal for herself to show she can do the same. It must be said that Sophie McKee really deserved a goal, playing some wonderful attacking football she was denied by the post firstly before 3 great saves from different chances from the goalkeeper to deny her. Special mention in this game had to go to Katie Henshaw who played her best football in this and the next game, dribbling extremely well and creating chances.
Last up for the Lionesses were Allerdale Tigers, the Tigers had played some cracking football during the day and were possibly going to meet Whitehaven in the Final, the Whitehaven team had to make sure of the win however to save any complications. Chelsea Callander was everywhere, it was as if there was 3 of her, one minute attacking, the next defender and then setting off attacks, Sophie McKee once again didn’t put a foot wrong and was given responsibility to look after the entire defence by herself, which she did brilliantly. Half way in and Chelsea Callander netted the opening goal, Ava Greeson was doing fantastic and running herself ragged and was taken off with a minute or so before the end as she tired a little, Angel Dockerty came on and scored within seconds to make it 2-0.
The Final was against the same Tigers team who had also Won 4 lost 1 on the day. The Final set off great for Whitehaven with a goal from Chelsea Callander within a minute. However the Allerdale girls gathered themselves and played their way into the game, Lauren Glynn once again doing amazing in goal. It took the Lionesses until just past the half way stage before Angel Dockerty netted another blinding goal. With a couple of minutes to go, it was a case of either sticking with what the Lionesses had or go for a third, and so Ava Greeson was brought on for Millie Clark for last minute and a half, and within seconds Ava netted a beauty of a goal, 3-0. Allerdale would have the last word on the goal front though and showed they wouldn’t give up and netted a deserved goal for the game to finish 3-1.
This meant the U10 Lionesses lifted the Thompson FC Winners Trophy.
Coaches Rob Campbell & Paul Greeson said ‘The lasses did us so proud today, they played good football from start to finish which is what we were looking for. We really pleased with the depth in the squad as even though we had a number of big players missing, the girls playing today slotted in perfectly and did an amazing job and we are both extremely proud of each and every one of them and we so pleased they believed in themselves. We’d like to thank Allerdale for a great final and congratulate them on doing so well getting to the Final and playing in great spirit, and also to Thompson FC for having us, it’s a festival we always look forward to and will be back again next year’
Player of the Festival Angel Dockerty celebrating the win!!