Updated: Dec 3, 2019
It was a day of goals, celebrations, injuries and a few tears as our three women's teams realised their potential to end the final gameweek of 2019 with a victory and two draws.
Our 1st XI kicked off a chilly morning at The Ridings with a challenging fixture against 2nd placed Wotton Under Edge. Keen to show their promotion credentials, our ladies exploded out of the starting blocks, overwhelming the youthful opposition. Sustained pressure in the Wotton half was rewarded with two first half goals from Mim and Izzy. With pace to spare, Wotton were always dangerous on the counter attack and pulled a goal back to set up a tricky second period.
Both teams saw plenty of the ball in the second half with chances at both ends. Our BWJ 1s showed that they were more than up to the challenge with a hard fought and resilient 2nd half performance. The result was a 2-1 victory which keeps our first team within touching distance of the promotion places.
A difficult start to the season for our newly formed Women's 2nds has been characterised by improving performances but narrow defeats. A crucial fixture on Saturday saw them take on a BAC side lying one place above them at the base of Berkeley 1. Limited availability this week saw the introduction of several new faces for the 2s who were fully prepared for a battle at Abbeywood. An early goalkeeping injury could easily have been seen as yet another case of bad luck in a season of near misses, but the team showed strength of character to elect a stand-in before fighting to see out a rarely seen 0-0 draw. This first point will surely be one of many as the 2s look to continue their form into the second half of the season.
Our Bristol & West Jaspers 3s have been experiencing similar fortunes to the 2s this season, similarly seeking to get their points tally off the mark. With a captain fresh from a visit to A&E and an opponent sitting in 5th, the signs may have looked bleak but the 3s is a team with a blend of youth and experience which has seen vast improvements both individually and as a team throughout the season so far.
Cheered on by their captain from the sidelines, the 3s showed a spirited performance headed up by a seemingly impenetrable forward press, and backed up by a hard working back-line. The midfield pulled the strings, taking the game to an experienced Wick team. A cagey game found it's breakthrough late in the second half when a textbook driving baseline run and across-goal pass from Alana Goodwin was met by an on-rushing Nat Turner who swept the ball home. The goal was met by exuberant celebrations on the sideline from captains, supporters and coaches who sensed victory with 15 minutes remaining. Not an ounce of effort was left on the pitch, as the ladies gave everything right to the end. Ultimately, it was a little too far as Wick clawed a goal back in the final moments to share the points. But as with the 2s, this was a point to be cherished; a fact that was not lost on captain Hayley who was visibly bursting with pride at the final whistle.
All in all a fantastic day, as our women's contingent grow from strength to strength. If today's performances are an indication of our progress then we've got an exciting second half of the season ahead of us!
Bristol & West Jaspers 1s 2-1 Wooten Under Edge
Goal scorers: Mim Smith, Izzy Hancock
Player of the Match: Nicola Crabbe
Bristol & West Jaspers 2s 0-0 BAC 2s
Player of the Match: Charlene Hathway
Bristol & West Jaspers 3s 1-1 Wick 2s
Goal Scorers: Nat Turner
Players of the Match: Alana Goodwin & Niamh McManamon