The u12 Whitehaven AFC U12 Blue Lionesses got their first point of the season in their second game this Sunday in a local derby against a very tough Allerdale Girls side, with the game finishing 3-3.
The Lionesses started off the brighter in the early stages as they pressed well and found pockets of space to exploit and created several goal-scoring opportunities, only to be stopped by the impressive Allerdale goalkeeper Beth Martin. On the 8th minute a back pass played by the Allerdale defender resulted in a in-direct free kick being awarded, the ball was played back to Kaitlin Walmsley who smashed it into the roof of the net to make it 1-0.
Allerdale composed themselves very well and started to build some pressure of their own, the Allerdale right back Sophie Clark who was given Player of the Game by the Lionesses Coaches continually started off attacks by either playing into good areas or taking on the winger. The good play by Allerdale caused some issues in defense for the Lionesses as they sat off a bit to deep and didn't engage quickly enough and around half way through the first half a move resulting in a through ball to Libby Green created a real goal threat, Libby Green used her strength to win the ball and slot it in to make it 1-1. The Lionesses continued to have the better chances in attack and tested the goalkeeper on another 3 big occasions, with Layla Rudd driving a powerful shot first, then Ella Beardsmore showing great trickery and grace to bear down on the keeper only for her shot to be saved and Destiny Campbell also going close.
Aarleah Robertson who has started the season like a freight train was causing all kinds of problems and much of the Amateurs good play came through her, by either her own shots or playing a team mate in. Allerdale still looked dangerous on the counter and once again the defense stood off and Allerdale were able to break through and score again, Libby Green bagging her second. Half time came with the score 2-1 to Allerdale.
Into the second half and the Lionesses really started to play some great football, the front 4 of Kaitlin Walmsley, Aarleah Robertson, Ella Beardsmore & Destiny Campbell really pressed high up the pitch as a team and continued to win the ball in good areas. Destiny Campbell was looking extremely dangerous on the right wing, playing in good early balls into dangerous areas and chances kept coming but Beth Martin in goal for Allerdale continued to have a great game stopping the goals. However shortly into the second half, Ella took on the Allerdale team through the center, shifting the ball quickly and as space opened up she rifled the ball into the bottom corner to equalize 2-2 in what was a Messi-esk goal.
The pressure continued from the Lionesses and Kaitlin Walmsley who has really upped her game in recent months leading up to the season bagged her second after some really good skill to make it 3-2 to Whitehaven, Kaitlin would go on to pick up Girl of the Game for the Lionesses.
As expected Allerdale started to throw the kitchen sink at the Lionesses, Sophia Conway & Evie Kerrush really stood up well and thwarted the Allerdale attacks. but Izzy Crane for Allerdale was really starting to impose herself and play some wonderful balls up to Libby Green. The dam eventually broke as the Lionesses tried to nick the 4th goal to kill the game and Libby Green netted a wonderful hat-trick for herself to make it 3-3.
There was a couple of chances late on for the Lionesses to maybe nick it but full time went and the spoils were shared in what was a very good game, enjoyed by everyone.
Coach Rob Campbell said 'Really enjoyable game today against a very good opponent, we know as a team it's going to be a difficult season for us this year, but we have a season plan to work towards and want to continue to have fun and enjoy playing this game. I'm really impressed with how the girls played and to get our first point on the board is wonderful for the lasses, big thank you to Allerdale for a great game and we look forward to seeing them later in the season.'