Southampton 2s (2) – (3) Ladies 1s

Scorers: Olingschlaeger 2 , Bishop

Romsey ladies 1st team started their 2014-15 league campaign against local rivals Southampton 2s.

In warm conditions, Romsey started brightly retaining the ball, and producing slick passing. The promising start continued, with several attacks up the right hand side. Youngster and 1st team debutant Jade Phillips was tireless with her efforts up the wing, troubling the home teams defence every time she got the ball.

Romsey’s defence were very strong in the first half, holding off Southampton’s swift attacks, and ensuring the best the home side could manage were a few off-target shots.

Romsey opened the scoring after pressuring the Southampton half. Phillips, wide on the right, released Emily Bradshaw to drive along the baseline into the D. Kate Olingschleager, ever ready, got infront of her defender and swept in from the cross.

Half time saw Romsey 1-0 up, feeling good, but knowing the game was far from over.

Southampton upped the pressure at the start of the second half and won a few short corners. Once again, Romsey’s defence worked hard to close down the shots, and keep the ball out. With Southampton unable to convert their short corners, they continued to probe at Romsey, and eventually the home side got their equaliser.

Romsey were not to be deterred, and with Rosie Bishop and Kate Moss quick to close down and force mistakes, Romsey soon got their attack going to take the lead again.

Jane Palmer coolly tidied up a loose ball, and sent a firm pass through the middle, dummied by the hard working Becky Hutchins. Bradshaw picked up the ball and drove towards the D, slipping to Bishop, who finished confidently low and hard past the goalie.

To their credit, the home side kept working hard and managed to get into the D and level the score again.

Romsey kept the faith and despite the fatigue, worked hard for each other, developing the play from the back. Emily Slade worked tirelessly at left back, keeping pace with Southampton’s fast attacks, and providing a continuous option out wide as Romsey moved forward.

Romsey regained the lead after pressuring Southampton high up the pitch. Moss broke up the play, and passed wide to the right. The ball was fed to Bishop on the base line who linked up perfectly with Olingschlaeger, who calmly swept in for the winning goal.

Romsey held firm for the final 10mins. With defenders timing their challenges well, and goal-keeper Laura Kemp making several impressive saves, diving strongly to cover as Southampton made their last efforts on goal.

Romsey worked hard for each other right to the end and the player of the match honour was shared between Phillips and Slade. Captain Erica Jenner was delighted, saying “I’m so proud of the fighting spirit we showed today. Great start to the season”.

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