A well deserved draw could prove vital in the battle to stay up
By Amy Cashmore
By Grace O'Brien
The fight for safety is well and truly underway, with the battle between Woking and Havant intensifying. Being the penultimate game of the season, it was vital that Woking had to get a result against Chiswick. A strong pre-match team talk from coach Campling gave the team a clear message of protecting the ball, holding our structure and starting the game with high energy and enthusiasm.
The match started with Chiswick gaining first push back, who pressurised Woking down the left hand-side of the pitch, causing the midfield and defence to be overloaded. Yet, Woking rose to the challenge and held the fort. Lucy Burton-Brown received the ball in the centre of the pitch on many occasions allowing her to make superb ball distributions to the front three who swiftly moved in on goal.
Fast ball pace and accurate passing from both teams caused gaps to appear, with Chiswick finding their way to the edge of the D, yet, couldn't move passed the resolute defence, allowing Woking's midfield to counter. With one pass, cutting through the pitch, Hayley Blythe was the one to receive. Blythe still had a lot to do, taking on defenders using skills that looked effortless and before she knew it, she was in on goal. 1v1 with Chiswick's goalie, Kylie Burnett, Hayley took one look and with a first time hit, the ball slammed into the backboard. 1-0 Woking inside 8 minutes.
Most of the first half saw Woking dominating play, having a presence in the opposition's half and D. Two penalty corners for Woking may not have resulted in goals but showed that Woking meant business. A debated incident saw Hayley Blythe bringing an opposing player to the floor, resulting in a green card, however, 10 man Woking held their nerve. Chiswick gained a dubious penalty corner which lead to a goal scored by Lauren Oliver. End of first half 1-1.
The half time team talk reinforced the objectives of the game, inspiring the players to believe that Woking can get a result! The second half was underway with the same intensity as the first. End to end play, well fought battles and goalmouth scrambles showed this was a match not to be missed. Woking won three short corners only to be hit on the goalies pads and deflections to be wacked away. Woking were becoming frustrated resulting in moments of loose structure, hot headedness and panicking attitudes, creating high pressured situations. These moments showed Chiswick's strength and they went into the lead with a strike from Rebecca Smith. 2-1 Chiswick.
Annoyed but still determined, Woking did not give up. With the clock ticking down, Woking threw everything they had at the opposition, winning multiples free hits and contesting every decision. A free hit was won on the edge of the D and was taken very quickly, as practiced at training, which resulted in Blythe through on goal again. Showing the same composure as earlier, Hayley slotted the ball away to rescue a vital point for Woking. On a warm spring morning, final whistle 2-2.
MOM - Hayley Blythe
LINE UP -
Vicky Derman, Abbi Howgate, Imogen Pepall, Mia Smith, Gemma Nannery, Hayley Blythe, Lucy Burton-Brown, Amy Cashmore, Heather Jolly, Paula Nicholas, Helen Stone, Lauren White, Grace O'Brien, Claire Brouner.