Under 13 Falcons Match Reports

Posted by Mark Hickson on 21 January 2019

Saturday 12th January 2019

Flyers fight back in epic Portsmouth match

Last weekend’s long-postponed cup tie against Portsmouth in the Community turned into an epic match for Flyers – coming from behind three times to level the scores at 3-3 in normal time before the dreaded penalty shoot-out proved too much. Portsmouth won 6-4 at the final whistle.

After a longer than usual Christmas break, Flyers dispelled any worries about fitness with a hugely spirited display on their home ground – a transformation that demonstrated a massive team effort and great resilience in the face of a solid Portsmouth performance.

The first half saw early pressure from the visitors, with one long-range shot over the bar. Bella was effective at blunting attacks on the Flyers left and within 15 minutes, Flyers were starting to put together some solid attacks, with possession on the right eventually supplying Pippa via Skye with a ball that she expertly crossed only to find no-one in the box to finish it off. 

Lia stretched her legs and chased down several through balls to pose problems for the visitors. Esther and Freya also had major impacts – Esther tackling and holding the ball on the left, while Freya moved through the gears on the right.

But despite the solid effort, Portsmouth were first on the score sheet after half an hour, earning a second aerial goal from just outside the area soon after, despite a heroic Lucy save from a corner in between the two. The pressure was on and Flyers responded – Lia knocking in a Freya cross to make it 2-1 before nearly equalizing with a superb effort from the right just before the break.

The second half saw Flyers playing uphill but sustaining the pressure from the end of the first half. Lia saw a shot go over the bar before a series of corners taken by Pippa saw possibly the goal of the season – Pippa taking a corner and blasting a rebound from a tight angle high up into the Portsmouth net. An absolute screamer and Flyers were back level at 2-2.

The tension was mounting on the side-lines with Portsmouth still threatening to break in behind Flyers’ back four. Eventually, they got their just reward, stealing a third with just minutes left on the clock. But within seconds, Flyers had equalized once again and managed to hold on for the draw, sending the tie to penalties. Missing their first two spot kicks made it difficult for the Falcons to come back at this point, but there was the consolation of a first goal of the season for Skye. 

A fantastic effort – by far the best game I have seen this season and a great start to the new year. Well done girls!

Saturday 19th January 2019

New Year momentum sees Falcons ease past Gosport 6-0

Last weekend’s moral (if not technical) victory over Portsmouth gave Falcons the momentum to ease past bottom-placed Gosport 6-0 this morning in biting cold conditions at the Winchester home ground. It was no rollover by Gosport however and the visitors fought hard especially in the second half where Lucy was forced to work hard in periods to keep a well-deserved clean sheet, especially with Gosport’s late strike which she saved brilliantly.

Falcons set the tone with a first goal inside the first minute, Lia using the full width of the field to steal down the right and send a well-weighted cross to Pippa who tapped in. Falcons were able to attack at will and both Esther and Freya were able to get shots in early, with good deep midfield service from Skye and Natasha.

Gosport were restricted mostly to long and high balls which were well recovered by the back four, Jolie, Bella, Jess and Lola. The defence was composed and able to send the ball back up field with limited pressure in the first half. In general, the passing was a notch above the Portsmouth game, with Esther on the left and Freya on the right getting plenty of service. Esther, in particular, had a superb game, having to weave balls past a very physical marker, that later managed to take out Skye twice.

After scoring so early, Falcons’ second came some 20 minutes into the first half from Lia’s free-kick after a Gosport hand ball in the area. Skye was then fouled on the left with Lia and Freya taking what looked like a pre-rehearsed kick and switch before another hand ball produced a spot kick, which Freya converted for 3-0, the score at the half way mark.

The second half was more tightly contested, with Gosport getting out of their own half to test the Falcons defence, who were more than up to the challenge. With Natasha and Jolie pushing up into midfield positions, Skye dropped back into a full back position. Freya’s second goal came from a typically well-weighted Pippa corner. Freya then shot wide and Gosport’s defence seemed to step up a notch.

Jess was an absolute revelation as a right-hand sweeper in the second half, pushing up into the wing position and linking up well with Lara, who executed several pitch perfect crosses. Lia and Freya scored the final two – Freya’s hat-trick the icing on the cake. Lia got the visitors choice for player of the game. All in all, a very encouraging game with structure and passing a clear step above and Falcons gaining confidence as the game went on despite Gosport’s persistence and good spirit.

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