Round 1 of the Gill Taylor Middlesex FA Under 18 Girls’ Cup took place on Saturday last, 3rd February. 3 games were played in round 1, to decide which teams progressed to join the 5 other teams drawn into the Quarter Finals. Your Roving Team decided to take in the game between Actonians Girls and Chesham United LFC at Shamrock Sports & Social Club in Acton.
The Under 18 Girls’ Cup was introduced in 2021 to replace the existing multi-county Capital Girls’ Cup, following the expansion of girls’ football, resulting from The FA’s Gameplan for Growth. After an uncertain beginning, the entry has risen to 11 clubs this season.
We chose well and were rewarded with a very entertaining and skilful match, played in a competitive but sporting way. Chesham United had the better of the exchanges in the first half and built up a three-goal interval lead. However, Actonians hit back at the start of an evenly contested second half and scored twice. As the game progressed, Chesham regained their three-goal advantage but the events of the second half probably surprised all of those present. Actonians must be commended on their spirited fight back.
Chesham United attacked from the start. Lucy Bevan made a run up the right and cut in but Fatima Soltani pushed her shot away for the first of many saves. However, Eva Brown put the visitors ahead from close range in the 6th minute.
Eva Brown (8) puts Chesham ahead
Chesham continued to make scoring chances. Fatima saved Sophia Davies’ cross shot. Lucy Bevan shot wide following another run up the wing.
Fatima made a double save. She stopped Sophia’s shot and then saved from Daisy Ormsby, after the ball had run loose.
Daisy then burst through the middle but Fatima saved low down. Fatima then took an awkwardly bouncing shot from Chesham skipper, Lucy Riddick. Next, Daisy was thwarted by the keeper’s legs.
Daisy set up Eva Brown, whose shot across the goal passed just wide of the far post.
The visitors’ second goal arrived in the 27th minute, when Daisy beat a defender and the keeper to the ball, to net from just inside the box.
Daisy Ormsby (7) hits Chesham's second goal
Fatima sustained a neck injury in the 39th minute and had to be replaced in the Actonians goal by Megan Coffey. Fatima was able to return in the second half.
Daisy Ormsby ran clear up the middle but shot straight at the replacement keeper. Daisy was then thwarted by a timely interception by Roxy Poore.
Sophia Davies worked through the middle and slipped home Chesham’s third goal, 5 minutes before the interval.
Sophia Davies (16) adds Chesham's third goal
Half time score: Actonians Girls 0 Chesham United LFC 3
Sophia took the ball from her own half into the home penalty area and evaded a defender’s challenge but her shot was saved by Megan Coffey with her feet.
Actonians pulled a goal back 6 minutes after the interval, through Holly Morgan, who finished a good passing move with a low cross shot.
Holly Morgan (10) nets Actonian's first goal
They further reduced the deficit 5 minutes later, when Holly set up Maya Lall to shoot through keeper Aliya Power’s hands from close range.
... and the ball goes through the 'keeper's hands for Actonian's second goal
Actonians keeper, Fatima Soltani was able to return to the action on the hour and was kept very busy for the remainder of the game. Fatima’s capable stand-in, Megan Coffey, soon re-appeared to make an impact as an outfield player.
A long-range effort by Maya Lall passed just outside the Chesham upright.
The visitors fought their way back into the match, inspired by their outstanding player and captain, Lucy Riddick.
Eva Brown made a solo run but was eventually foiled by a defender.
Chesham scored their 4th goal in the 64th minute, through Daisy Ormsby, who fought off the keepers’ challenge to shoot high into the net from an acute angle.
Daisy Ormsby (7) fights off the 'keeper's challenge before shooting home Chesham's fourth goal
Lucy Bevan restored her sides’ 3 goal advantage 7 minutes later, finishing an incisive move, which also involved Rosie Williams and Lilly Bircham.
Lucy Bevan (9) completes the scoring for Chesham
A good interception by Catherine Nodaros prevented a further Chesham score and then Fatima made a brave save at Rosie’s feet.
Fatima saves at Rosie Williams' feet
Eva Brown, released up the middle by Emma Nieboer, placed her shot just wide.
Actonians hit back. Maya Lall’s free kick from the left passed over the angle of the goal. Then Maya’s good run and shot produced a corner. Amelie Keogh-Geen got her head to Maya’s corner kick but couldn’t steer the ball home.
As the final whistle approached, the courageous Fatima saved at Rosie Williams’ feet and made diving saves from both Lucy Bevan and Rosie.
Rosie Williams (10) shoots...
Final Score: Actonians Girls 2 Chesham United LFC 5
So, a very enjoyable morning’s football concluded. Our thanks are due to the Actonians management for their warm welcome, to both teams for the quality of their play.
Referee Patrycjusz Klosinski deserves a mention for the faultless manner in which he handled the proceedings.
Actonians Girls: Fatima Soltani, Annie Bambury, Tess O’Neil. Roxy Poore, Flo Bent, Amelie Keogh-Geen (capt), Sophie Harrington, Biba Thomas, Maya Lall, Oona Deeman and Siena Tracey.
Rolling substitutes: Holly Morgan, Megan Coffey, Eira Griffiths and Catherine Nodaros.
Manager: Ken Harrington
Chesham United LFC: Aliya Power, Lilly Bircham, Lucy Riddick (capt), Olivia Cole, Yahvi Tailor, Jennett Charyyeva, Rosie Williams, Lucy Bevan, Eva Brown, Daisy Ormsby and Sophia Davies.
Rolling substitutes: Maybelle Bryant, Sienna Martin, Ella Flood and Emma Nieboer.
Manager: Kevin Martin Assistant Manager: Ian Brown
Referee: Patrycjusz Klosinski
Report: Jim Taylor
Photography: Chris Benn