John Kearle reports as the Under-14 girls kicked-off the new season. Here we go again with a new campaign kicking off with the South Wales Girls League Under 14s. Today, Port Talbot travelled to Cae Delyn Park in Cardiff to take on a new team to the league, Lisvane Panthers.
We travelled today with a bare eleven, with players away on holidays and one out injured. We were in good spirits and looking forward to the game, and although 7 of the girls were playing their first game in the under 14s league, they appeared to be showing no nerves at all.
(GK) Eleanor Longman, (Backs) Tyler Ward, Brooklyn Corrigan, Megan Kearle (capt), Tia Cole, (Midfield) Shorna Thomas, Sophie Williams, Carys Wilkinson, Mollie Jones, (Forwards) Lilli Furnace, Chantelle Jones.
Lisvane won the toss and elected to kick off playing with the breeze, and straight from the whistle Port Talbot were out of the blocks running and winning the midfield battle which was giving Port Talbot the platform to create the better chances. From one lovely through ball on the right and some good inter passing, Chantelle Jones put a cross into the area which the keeper could only parry and Mollie Jones pounced on the lose ball to open the scoring after five minutes. About three minutes later after another good passing move, Chantelle Jones picked up the ball just outside the box on the right and went on a weaving run into the box and finished off neatly at the near post making it 2-0 after eight minutes.
Port Talbot then started to dominate with our Keeper, Eleanor Longman, rarely brought into action but she was coping well with any through balls and crosses and our defence of Tia Cole, Megan Kearle, Brooklyn Corrigan and Tyler Ward also coping well with the Lisvane attack. From their dominance Port Talbot were creating chance after chance and it was only a matter of time before the next goal which came after thirteen minutes, again from good interplay with the midfield quartet of Mollie Jones, Carys Wilkinson, Sophie Williams and Shorna Thomas; after picking up the ball Mollie went on a great run into the box and slotted home to make it 3-0. Next on the score sheet was Carys Wilkinson who picked up a clearance just outside the box and ran the ball forward and seeing the keeper off the line, floated the ball over the keeper into the top of the net to make it 4-0 after twenty-two minutes. Our two forwards, Lilli Furnace and Chantelle Jones, were creating havoc up front and this was resulting in great chances with Mollie Jones completing her hat-trick three minutes before half-time with another lovely run and perfect finish to make it 5-0 at half-time. Well played girls, a great first half.
Port Talbot kicked off the second half and were on the attack straight away bringing great saves from the home side keeper but again it was only a matter of time and that came on the thirty-five minute mark with Shorna Thomas finishing from close range to open her account for the season and make it 6-0. All the pressure and chances were coming from Port Talbot and Carys scored her second of the game with good interplay in midfield and another great finish to make it 7-0. We then put Megan up front and moved Chantelle into defence and from a great through ball from Carys, Megan slotted the ball home passed the advancing keeper to make it 8-0.
Then came the save of the match from the Lisvane keeper as again after good interplay in midfield, Lilli Furnace picked up the ball just outside the box, looked up and picked her spot in the top corner and let fly but somehow the keeper got to it and pulled off an absolutely amazing save. Port Talbot continued to press and Carys completed her hat-trick with another lovely finish from some excellent interplay between the forwards and midfield to make it 9-0. Just before the end, Mollie made her tally four for the match, again with another great finish to make it 10-0, although it could have been a great deal more but for some great saves from the home keeper.
The ref blew the final whistle and our first game of the season was over with a convincing 10-0 victory. The girls and coaches all shook hands with the opposition and the referee who commented on how well Port Talbot had played and well deserved their win. Well done girls – a great performance and fantastic start to the season. All the training and friendlies look like they have paid off with a great team performance, great off the ball running, passing and support which was a pleasure to watch. Keep up the good work girls!
Well done from the coaches John, Darren & Mike