Charley Turton reports as women’s sides look for first win
The sun shone optimistically last Wednesday as the Blues and the Furies stepped out onto Marston pitches to face Coventry University and Bishop Grosseteste University College respectively. Both teams were under enormous pressure, neither side having won a game so far this season. The Blues, having narrowly lost 2-1 to Coventry in their season debut, were hoping to claim victory second time around, whilst the Furies, still smarting from their disastrous 21-0 defeat against the University of Worcester, were only too aware of the pressure to succeed.
The Blues gave their best performance of the season so far, displaying improved movement and positioning, with the defence linking up well with the midfield and facilitating some spectacular runs up the wings. The action was halted briefly when a Coventry player went down injured inside the first five minutes, eventually being stretchered into an ambulance with a damaged ankle. When play resumed the Blues showed promise but were unable to capitalise on some good chances in the box. Although the defensive coverage was consistently solid, the Coventry strikers managed to sneak through gaps in the back line and get shots off from the top of the 18 yard box. Their flair for shooting eventually got the better of the Blues, who were 2-0 down by half-time.
In the second half the Blues persevered with excellent attacking play and were soon rewarded when a cross from Ariel Dempsey coincided with a well-timed run up the left wing from Farzana Dudhwala, who buried a goal in the Coventry net. With the score at 2-1 it seemed like a comeback was on the cards for the Blues, until the Coventry captain made a brilliant run, culminating in an unstoppable shot at Blues keeper, Alison Feder, making the final score 3-1.
With some more clinical finishing from the Blues the scoreline might have been very different, but it was Coventry’s greater agility, both physical and mental, that ultimately secured their victory.
Meanwhile, the Furies’ run of bad luck continued. Despite playing with vastly improved confidence and dynamism compared to previous games, they lacked finishing ability and Bishop’s took advantage of their hesitance, managing to bag a 9-1 victory; a score which offers a misleading impression of a match which, in reality, was very closely fought.
In college football, St John’s completed a 16-2 demolition of St Peter’s to go top of the women’s Second Division. Maddie Forman bagged five goals and Cressida O’Donoghue scored another four in another big win for John’s, who last month put eight past Exeter/St Hilda’s. St Peter’s will be sick of the sight of the imperious O’Donoghue, who also netted four times in the sides’ Cuppers match this season.