Lowestoft Ladies 3 Haverhill Rovers 0
Lowestoft Ladies dig in to get all three points in a 3-0 win over a plucky Haverhill side.
It wasn't a vintage display by the Lowestoft Ladies but they did dig in to get all three points in a 3-0 win over a plucky Haverhill side.
After suffering their first league loss in 18 months a couple of weeks ago in a 4-0 defeat to today's team, the Lowestoft Ladies took to a sunny Crown Meadow pitch looking to reverse that scoreline.
With regular Lowestoft keeper Nikki Wigg missing through illness, the gloves were handed to defender Sue-Lyn, who had been asked to fill in between the sticks for today's game.
The match got underway with Natasha Thomas up front on her own but with Charlotte Eastwood playing in the hole behind and the midfield needing to support when on the offensive.
It was a pretty open start to the game by both sides but Lowestoft had the first chance of the match with Natasha Thomas closing down the defender and showing brilliant footwork to work her way into the area and create an opening on goal, only to drag her shot past the far post.
Haverhill were getting forward themselves but the ever reliable Flo Cage was at the back for Lowestoft and was yet again showing how well she reads the game, using her strength and pace to clear any danger up that came her and Lowestoft's way.
Lowestoft were getting some good balls into the Haverhill area but with the Lowestoft midfield sitting too deep, there was nobody in the area to attack them, with Natasha Thomas casting a lone figure up top.
Jody Wells did hit one from distance which drifted wide of the goal but overall Haverhill were winning the midfield battles; even though as of yet the Lowestoft defence were stopping them from creating any clear cut chances on goal.
In the 24th minute another great cross was sent into the Haverhill box from the right and yet again there was no Lowestoft player there too finish it off. However, luckily for Lowestoft the defender got a glancing header on the cross and sent it past her own keeper and inside the post for an own goal and to send Lowestoft 1-0 up (24 mins).
Broghan Scully, who was having a quiet day in midfield did hit a free-kick from 25 yards, forcing the keeper to get down and get a hand to it but so far it wasn't a flowing Lowestoft performance.
The Lowestoft midfield were still looking second best and were still sitting too deep and not pressing enough, while Haverhill were being frustrated by either the lack of a quality final ball in their play or the superb sweeping up at the back by Lowestoft defender Flo Cage.
With the half coming to a close Lowestoft were happy to be in front but certainly needed to push higher up the field and show better movement, to support the lone figure of Natasha Thomas in the second period.
The Lowestoft midfield did appear to be sitting higher up the pitch at the start of the second half and Lowestoft came very close to extending their lead, with Natasha Thomas being released by a great pass from midfield and with her shot heading towards goal, it was cleared by the Haverhill defender before crossing the line.
Haverhill were however showing more effort in their play and with the number 14 whipping a great ball across the Lowestoft goalmouth, it was Marcie Prettyman who had to see the ball behind for a corner.
The game was turning into a pretty good tussle now and you felt that the next goal would be very important for either side. Haverhill were certainly making a game of it, pushing the Lowestoft defence back and creating chances of their own.
With the number 15 getting in behind the defence, Sue-Lyn came off her line well to smother the ball and with Haverhill pressing again Jody Wells had to make a last ditch tackle to stop a shot on goal.
Lowestoft needed the second goal to somewhat stifle the bit of steam that Haverhill had got up and in the 67th minute that second goal came. The ever dangerous Natasha Thomas stole the ball off the Haverhill defence again and after squaring the ball across goal, Sian Knights had the simplest of finishes for 2-0 (67 mins). It was an important goal for Lowestoft and a goal which could have so easily broken the spirit of Haverhill but that wasn't the case, as Haverhill kept plucking away and kept ensuring that the Lowestoft defence could not switch off.
Haverhill were really trying hard but they were being frustrated by Jody Wells who had adapted well at the back today and Flo Cage who was reading the game so well. Along with this, stand-in keeper Sue-Lyn was marshalling the defence in front of her and also keeping alert and coming off her line when required.
Lowestoft nearly put the game to bed with Charlotte Eastwood feeding in Natasha Thomas but her decent shot was well held by the away keeper. While at the other end Haverhill continued to press and with the number 14 clear in on goal, Sue-Lyn came off her line really well to make herself big and block the shot with her shins.
Haverhill had to be given credit for their efforts and not giving up at all, but with the 90th minute entered Lowestoft put the game firmly to bed, with a great run down the left by Natasha Thomas and a fantastic cross to the far post, finding Lauren Bullard to make it 3-0 (90 mins).
The goal was shortly followed by the final whistle and even though Lowestoft have played better than this, it was a good win against a tough Haverhill side.
The Lowestoft Ladies team have had better days and have played better but sometimes you just have to dig out a result, which is what was required today. The midfield did find itself wanting at times and allowed itself to get too deep but the team worked hard.
Natasha Thomas was a lone figure at times but did her best to pull the Haverhill defence around, occasionally going into the channels and as a result setting all three goals up with her quality deliveries into the box from out wide.
The Lowestoft defence held up well against a 'never give up' Haverhill side and I thought Jody Wells adapted well at the back. Sue-Lyn commanded here area well, stepping in for the ill Nikki Wigg and showed good judgement when coming off her line to stifle the danger.
However, the Lady of the Match was a simple choice really and has to go to Flo Cage in defence. Yet again she showed how well she reads the game and has the strength and pace to make her a formidable force at the back; a great defensive display.
Good hard fought result ladies!!