Our girls won a really entertaining match, full of good flowing football, goalmouth action and near misses. The 90 minutes absolutely flew by.
Middlesex started well and were 2 goals ahead within 15 minutes. In the 9th minute Ashley Cheatley ran through the visiting defence and hit the ball low into the corner of the net. The Ashford Town (Middlesex) striker was terrific throughout, leading our line with pace, excellent control and aggression.
Six minutes later Jo Wilson doubled our lead having fastened onto a great through ball from Jess Byrne.
There were no further goals in the first period but play moved rapidly up and down the field with both sides creating chances. Ashley Cheatley skilfully tricked a couple of defenders and broke from halfway. Her subsequent run was halted by Army keeper Terri Brown’s legs. Jo Wilson worked her way through the visiting defence to set up Ashley, whose shot was turned around the post by Terri. The Army produced a good four player move, which ended with Jennifer Keane shooting very narrowly wide.
Half time score: Middlesex 2 Army 0
The Army came at us with all guns blazing (sorry!), as we knew they would, after half time. Meg Vella fought her way through three defenders and hit our side netting. Then, in the 54th minute, Jennifer Keane was put through by Rachel Rigby and cleverly lobbed the ball over Lizzy Rose to reduce the deficit.
Almost immediately, Lizzy dived to prevent Rachel from equalising. Middlesex hit back and first Lauren Cox and then Ashley Cheatley were foiled by last ditch defending.
The tempo of the match increased further and both keepers saw lots of action. Lizzy Rose proved herself to be an excellent shot stopper while the Army’s Terri Brown was especially proficient when dealing with high balls under pressure.
Our visitors threw everything into attack as the minutes ticked away but our defence weathered the storm, with Ashley fighting a lone battle up front at times. Her efforts were invaluable in occupying the Army defenders and also easing the pressure on our rearguard.
The match was very well handled by referee Andy Batten and his Middlesex colleagues, Adam Hughes and Michael Green.
Final score: Middlesex 2 Army 1
After the match, Jo Torr, having that evening made her 8th appearance for Middlesex, was presented with her cap by John Taylor, the Middlesex FA Chairman.
Middlesex: Lizzy Rose (Denham United), Anya Kinnane (London Bees Development), Chelsea Orridge-Golding (Tottenham Hotspur), Jess Byrne (Old Actonians), Jo Torr (Denham United) (capt), Catherine Murphy (Old Actonians), Kasha Petit (QPR), Alissa Down (Denham United), Ashley Cheatley (Ashford Town (Middlesex)), Jo Wilson (QPR), Chontele Lawrence (Watford Development).
The following were used as repeat substitutes: Zemeka Clarke (QPR), Mariko Engels (QPR), Lauren Cox (Denham United), Kalani Peart (Middlesex Centre of Excellence).
Manager: Craig Nicholson Assistant Manager: George Wells Physio: Gary Strudwick
Army: Pte Terri Brown (AMS), LCpl Charlene Rooney (AGC (RMP)), Cpl Mandy Kidd (R Sigs), SSgt Juliette Brown (RLC), Cpl Lucy Foreman (AGC (RMP)), Sig Laura Murray (R Sigs), SSgt Kristina Wright (AGC (RMP)) (capt), Cpl Hayley Sloan (AMS), LCpl Meg Vella (R Sigs), Cpl Jody Baxter (RLC), LCpl Jennifer Keane (RLC).
Substitutes: Pte Rachel Rigby (RLC), Gnr Shannon Thompson (RA), LCpl Terri Trowbridge (AGC), Cpl Vanessa Watson (REME), Pte Catriona Christie (Mus).
Manager: WO2 Margaret McAteer Assistant Manager: Sig Susie Wells Goalkeeper Coach: WO2 Grigor-Ramsay
Report by Jim Taylor
Chris Benn's photos from the match are available on Flickr