Report by Derek Brien, Team Manager
First match of the season for the Whites saw us meeting at a showery Tipperlinn for a late afternoon push-back against ESM Gold in the Development League. The rain that threatened during the warm-up on the lower astro (thanks to Ellie and Emily for leading the girls) thankfully failed to materialise to any great extent and with little or no wind to speak of conditions were pretty much perfect.
ESM played without a goalie, but obviously had eleven outfield players for us to contend with so it took our girls a bit of time to settle as they were being pulled back and forward and side to side across the pitch due to ESM’s on-field one ‘man’ advantage. Sixteen minutes in and we conceded a goal after a break from midfield saw their attacker pass the ball across goal and a shot went just inside Stephanie’s far post. The girls regrouped and we got to half-time still very much in the game.
The half-time team-talk by Coach Dave focused on marking and defending in numbers and we certainly started the second half much more purposefully. We had two or three chances on the break and only last ditch interceptions by their final defender kept us at bay. Eventually, however, some slick passing between Ellie Simpson and Emily Shade saw the latter strike the back-board of the goal for a hugely deserved equaliser. We defended well, Stephanie made a good few vitally important saves and we had another couple of chances to sneak a winner, but the full-time whistle sounded and a draw was probably a fair result.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable match to watch and they should all be very proud. Stephanie was voted unofficial player of the match by the girls at full-time, but there were any number of stand-out performances, in truth.
Thanks to Stephanie Campbell, Anna Simpson, Neve Barkai, Rachel MacKenzie, Kirsty Diamond, Lucy Topley, Imogen Forbes, Kirstin Anderson, Rebecca Miller, Emily Shade, Megan Dunlop, Anna Morrison, Ella Birrell and Ellie Simpson. Thanks also to Coach Dave, our umpires, assistant Anne Anderson and those who stayed to watch the game.