New pitch, new season, new opposition, new positions… Kirkby Stephen Ladies 1st literally had a fresh start to the season.
The home side were well prepared and out early with a high-tempo warm-up. Lancaster, being the most ‘local’ team in the league, ventured up north to Kirkby Stephen’s brand new AstroTurf.
The game began with a fast and intense 20 minutes, until KS scored gained a short corner, their first goal to gain a 1-0 lead. Anthea Bowman injected the ball to the top of the D, Julie Hope took a strike on goal, but it bounced off the goalies pads. Nevertheless, Heidi Maughan collected the rebound and aced it into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Shortly after, Lancaster equalised, but this did not stop the home team. Sophie Winder (goalkeeper) cleared another shot off the line from Lancaster, Lucy Ewbank picked the ball up and passed the ball to the left where Nicole Clegg sprinted to collect it and drove the ball down the line, slipping a square pass to Lucy Potter, and Potter bagged herself top left bins to bring the score to 2-1.
Before half time, Lancaster managed to bring the score back to a draw. This unsettled KS, however, it did not disturb their distribution across the field. Georgia Chapman intercepted a ball between Lancaster’s attack, knocking the ball into Anthea, who swept the ball onto the left side to Amy Potter. Amy Potter played the ball back to Anthea mid-run, who dinked the ball over the Lancaster’s defence and to Lucy in the D, who, with great composure, placed the ball around the keeper to the inside of the bottom right post.
The second half started at 3-2, but KS were determined to keep the lead on their side. Heidi picked up the ball on the left, defeating 4 defenders between the 23 yard line and into the D, to finally slip the ball into the back of the net.
In the last 20 minutes, KS managed to switch off at this point, and unfortunately Lancaster creeped up to them with a goal to bring them 1 goal behind, 4-3. After confirming, Julie Hope didn’t realise the humour of the umpire confirming we were drawing. Hope sprinted into the top left corner of the pitch, where Lucy found her and hit the ball across the pitch for Hope to confirm the win with a 5-3 finish.
The team voted Heidi Maughan and Anthea Bowman for Man of the Match.