The Whitehaven AFC Lionesses started their pre-season preperation in terms of games versus a high quality Seaton Ladies side away from home tonight!!
The ladies have been back at training around a month and even though players missing as away at Uni, the Ladies numbers had been really good and their understanding of what was being asked of them was starting to materialise. So it was extremely pleasing the first 15-20mins of the game against a strong Seaton side to see some of the work bearing fruits.
Defensively the team looked very good, working well as a unit and covering each other to restrict Seaton to shots from distance. Going forward the Lionesses pressed really well and were winning the ball high up the pitch with Morgan McGrady, Kelsey Hunter & Megan Batey linking up really well and it was Star Striker Megan Batey who opened the scoring and the Ladies 2019 campaign with a wonderful strike to make it 1-0.
At the back Emily Sharpe and Samantha Bennett showed the signs of a good defensive partnership and in particular Samantha cleaned everything up, and looked composed on the ball when she had it making good passes out and running out with it at times also. However it was in particular her pressure and thirst to win the ball that was the most notable, even when second faviourite she somehow won the ball back, earning her ’Girl of the Match’.
Seaton were starting to find some flow to their play now but it was a communication mistake between goalkeeper and defender as a ball was played through and both missed it and didn’t get full contact which lead to Seaton Striker netting to make it 1-1. The Lionesses were undeterred however and got back to the good play they were doing, Morgan McGrady a real threat down the right and Kelsey Hunter down the left, however it was Defensive Midfielder Georgia Irving who hit a left footed shot from around 20-25 yards out that looped over the Seaton goalkeeper to regain the lead 2-1.
Seaton made some changes and the strength in subs coming on really started to push the Lionesses back after a good 20mins, and Seaton equalised once more from a corner that snook into the goal from the corner. Another mix up when a pass was played too short caused more confusion shortly later and led to another Seaton goal to make it 3-2 to Seaton.
The Lionesses managed to regain their composure and go in at Half Time 3-2.
Into the second half and the Lionesses started once again really strong, Shona Lee showed real strength in the middle of defence and good awareness of what was around her and made a solid start to her season. Sophie Francis out on the left continued to defend well and feed balls up the pitch as well with great calmness, and Ellie Glaister on the right started to calm down and make good tackles and support the attack on several occasions.
Going forward Megan Batey continued to make the defence work hard and she was a constant threat throughout the game, and she was unlucky not to add to her goals with either shots going just wide or good goalkeeping.
It was an evenly matched game now and the next goal was going to be crucial and Seaton scored a deserved 4th to make it 4-2. Abbie Wright made a number of good saves to deny Seaton getting a 5th including several 1v1s where she put her body and head on the line to prevent another goal.
Seaton though had their tails up now and as the Lionesses started to tire space opened up and the concentration was lost and a 9min spell from 65mins saw Seaton scored 4 goals to take the game away from Whitehaven, one goal a lovely passing move that beat the defence eventually with a through ball and nice finish 8-2.
Kayleigh Moore who’d been in the thick of the action and had a few knocks came on as a defensive midfielder, a position she’d never played but she helped stop the goal rush of Seaton and the Lionesses near the end were unlucky not to get a goal or two back but good defending from Seaton prevented that.
Coaches Rob Campbell & Gary Wright said ‘We enjoyed the run out for the Ladies tonight, we’ve only had the lasses back a few weeks after a Winter Break and the scorline looks lob sided but for good periods of the game the defence worked well and going forward we showed a we had a threat at times. We are really proud of the lasses and how we are seeing some signs of what we working on coming out against a real high quality side and hopefully that improvement continues in coming weeks. We’d like to thank Seaton‘s coaches and players for the game and look forward to catching up again and wish them good luck for the upcoming CFA Womans Summer League’
Seaton 8-2 Whitehaven AFC Lionesses
Girls of the Game Whitehaven AFC