Derby County Football Club Women

Under 16’s

Under 16 Match Report

Derby County Ladies u16, 4 v Solihull Sporting U16, 3

14 September 2019, Alvaston Park.

Both teams arrived to a repeat of last week’s weather, to find a lovely sunny day in Alvaston.

There was quite a bit of grass cutting on the pitch, but at least it was cut! The managers had almost a full squad to choose from , other than the unwell Demi. Both teams know each other well and we knew that Solihull are another tough team, play in a certain style and play till the end.

Derby started brightly, playing a passing game, which we struggled to do last week. In the third minute Lilly received the ball on the left just outside the opposition box and fired it past the keeper, one up. We continued to press well, with the whole team contributing. Derby got their second reward in the eighth minute, with the move again down the right, Lilly relieved the ball and fired it across the opposition box, for Iesha to fire it home. At this point we looked quicker than their back line and looked to have space to drive forward. Derby’s midfield were getting on top even in this early phase. However what we know about this league and Solihull in particular, is they have a style of play! Straight from the kick off, there was a ball over the top, into the middle and their forward responded quicker to bring them back into the game, 2-1.

The game evened out for a while against a battling side, who at this stage didn’t really threaten, other than their earlier reply, but we continued to look the most likely. In the twenty eighth minute the girls again got their reward. This time it was down the right, with Kelsey making space for a cross, which was met by Coley, who met it with her head. So we went into the break, looking the better side and in control. Most spectators thought the next goal would dictate the next half.

Derby always looked to spread the ball wide, which made sense against a rigid two in the Solihull middle and like the first half, we were quicker. We had a few crosses in both halves which we didn’t meet, but we were testing the opposition. Another move down the right on the hour mark, saw Coley cross for Liily to get her second of the game, who made no mistake at short range, 4-1 Then as repeat of the first half, Solihull from the  kick off, matched their first reply. Straight down the middle for their forward to outrun us and fire home a second. If we’d had had chance to breathe, at four, we looked like only one team was going onto win and comfortably.

We continued to make chances and should have put Solihull away, but we just seemed to lose our shooting boots, with the goalie keeping out several efforts. We also started  shooting from range a couple of times, but without any success. In the next period we looked the more likely and we contained, with whichever of the central defence of Malaeh, Josie and Helena stopping shots coming in and winning their individual duels. Around the seventieth minute though , Solihull repeated a passage, identical ball over, identical scorer.

This made things interesting, with the opposition now full of confidence, with a vocal backing. Like the previous minutes, we looked dangerous and should have made the result beyond doubt, but we couldn’t extend our lead.

What it made was an pulsating final twenty minutes, both teams could have scored, there were chances. Both teams had corners in the final two minutes. Derby’s girls rose to the challenge and competed to the end and on the balance of play deserved the win. Our girls stuck together today and helped each other out. Our goalkeepers Lucy and Chloe  looked solid. Malaeh seemed to enjoy it.

Connie and Lucy mopped up the middle so many times. Kelsey always looked dangerous. Lilly and Evie gave the opposition something to think about , with Iesha full of running. All the girls played their part, and worked well in effort, which you could not fault. Last week’s draw, may on reflection be ok, they beat last season’s runners up today, who are also next week’s opposition. C’mon you Rams!