WELLINGTON WILDCATS U14s 3 - 2 ALLER PARK U14s
This was a victory waiting to happen after the improvement the Wildcats have shown over the past few months. The fact that it was fully deserved against a team lying in third place and moved us off the bottom of the league made it all the more enjoyable.
Without a doubt it was achieved through the commitment and determination of the whole team, who chased and tackled and never allowed the opposition time or space. Leading from the front, the engine room produced superb hard-working performances. Kaycie Harwood, Jess Gould and Charlotte Holder, and, until she was substituted, Sophie Davey, were magnificent. They hustled and harried and won 50-50 tackles all over the pitch and then found the time and energy to support the forwards effectively.
Aller Park had opened the scoring in the tenth minute but for the rest of the half the Wildcats dominated. From a Holder corner, Harwood`s shot was blocked but rebounded to Davey who hit a fine shot which gave the keeper no chance. Then top scorer Ashleigh Grabham challenged well for a Harwood through ball and took the chance she`d created herself to give the home side the lead.
As the Wildcats continued to press, with Shannon Nutkins driving forward from midfield, the closing minutes of the half brought two more excellent chances but they were both squandered and half time arrived with the score 2 - 1.
In the second half it was the Wildcats turn to be pegged back as Aller Park refused to accept defeat. Ashleigh Hollick had many opportunities to shine in goal and her handling was very steady throughout. She had plenty of help with Olivia Salter, Imogen Currie and Abbi Powell producing fine defensive performances.
Midway through the half, Holder, surging once again into the opposition`s penalty area, was brought down and the referee pointed to the spot. India Cordy, who had, like the rest of the team, competed well throughout the match confidently accepted the responsibility to take the kick and despatched a fine effort low down to the keeper`s left.
The visitors kept up the pressure but the Wildcats refused to surrender and it wasn`t until the last kick of the game that some defensive hesitation brought a consolation goal. Victory at last, and fully deserved too, the Wildcats left the field very satisfied and looking forward to the rest of the season with confidence.
Well done girls ! This was a fantastic performance against a side who knocked out Yeovil 5 - 0 in the previous round.
WELLINGTON WILDCATS 0 - 2 ASHTON GIRLS
The Wildcats can take tremendous pride from this gritty performance in the Somerset County Cup Quarter Final. Taking on a very useful team from Bristol, the Wellington side showed the same energy, commitment and competitiveness that has been evident in the past couple of matches. They were still camped in their own penalty area for most of the game but they never lost the spirit and resolve to compete positively.
Jess Gould in the centre of the defence was brilliant, battling for the ball, covering for teammates and always where the action was. Ashleigh Hollick, in goal, produced a fine display especially when taking control of her area. A couple of saves when she came out to dive at the feet of onrushing forwards were particularly brave. Other defenders, Ruth Jennings, Imogen Currie, Olivia Salter, Abbi Powell and Emily Summers were committed and unafraid, prepared to challenge for everything and managing to restrict the Bristol side to relatively few actual shots.
In midfield Charlotte Holder was her usual competitive self and for much of the time looked the best player on the pitch. She was well backed up by Kaycie Harwood who brought a pleasing determination to keep the visitors out. Alisha Roncaglia, India Cordy and Charley Coleman all worked hard, but couldn`t get much service up to Ashleigh Grabham, who found things tough against an uncompromising defence.
Abbi Powell, Shannon Nutkins and Kasia Bate also found things difficult but backed up their teammates well.
For all Ashton`s constant pressure they only managed to beat Hollick twice. The goals came in the last five minutes of each half. The first was a terrific twenty-five yard free kick and the second more of a scramble in a crowded area.
The improvement over the past few weeks has been great to see especially as the effort has involved the whole team. The spirit, enthusiasm and dogged commitment is testament to all the players and promises that better results will come.
WILDCATS 1 - 2 CHEDDAR VALLEY
Another eally good performance, girls, well done ! You really are beginning to meet the ball and compete with the opposition all over the pitch.
This was another very pleasing performance by the Wildcats and they were unlucky not to come away with a draw. The team`s commitment, competitiveness and determination have improved immensely in the last couple of weeks and they matched Cheddar in every area of the pitch.
Cheddar had the better of the early exchanges, but with Ruth Jennings and Emily Summers supporting the ever reliable Jess Gould and Imogen Currie, it took an excellent long range effort to beat Ashleigh Hollick in the Wildcats` goal. This came after 15 minutes and 5 minutes later Gould hit a fine through ball for Ashleigh Grabham to run on to and to equalise with her usual aplomb.
For the rest of the half Wildcats played some great football with Charlotte Holder, Alisha Roncaglia and Olivia Salter to the fore. Grabham just failed to score with a half chance.
A rather sluggish start to the second half from the home side gave the visitors the opportunity to regain the lead, but with Holder, now in goal, pumping long clearances up to the forwards, the Wildcats had more and more of the play. India Cordy and Kaycie Harwood pushed forward with Grabham and with Sophie Davey and Hollick busy in midfield, Cheddar were under much pressure.
Abbi Powell was doing well against their dangerous left winger and this allowed Gould to start moving out of the back line with great effect. The way the Wildcats finished the game showed that their overall stamina is also improving and the final whistle went with the visitors hanging on to their lead.
This was a brilliant way to come back from last week`s disappointment. Well Done !
CHEDDAR VALLEY 4 - 1 WILDCATS
Wildcats response to last week`s heavy defeat was terrific. After a lively and positive midweek training session, the girls approached this game with fresh determination and commitment and only succumbed to two goals in the last ten minutes when they were pressing for an equaliser.
Kaycie Harwood and Alisha Roncaglia brought real energy and competitiveness to the midfield and with Imogen Currie and Jess Gould back to their best in the centre of defence the first half was pretty even. Charlotte Holder, volunteering to keep goal, bossed her area with confidence and some bravery, and with Olivia Salter steady at right back the home side had to work hard for their opening goal.
With Ashleigh Grabham working hard up front, the Wildcats created a few chances, but it was Cheddar who went further in front after 25 minutes. Sophie Davey, showing just how much she has to offer, made two storming runs into the opposing area as the half drew to a close, but she was kept out by good defending.
In the second half the Wildcats had even more of the play and their commitment was a pleasure to see. After a quarter of an hour Holder`s route one clearance put Grabham in with a chance and she duly converted confidently. The Wildcats then proceeded to play some of the best football they have all season and were in with a real chance especially when Gould started raiding down the left. Their final throw of the dice saw Holder come out of goal and add her considerable drive to the search for the equaliser. The fact that it didn`t come had more to do with Cheddar`s competent defence than any lack on the Wildcats part.
Unfortunately the back four were left a little exposed as those in front pushed forward and two late goals saw Cheddar slightly flattered by the 4-1 scoreline.
The attitude shown by the girls promises much in terms of future progress and they can be well-pleased by this performance.