OLDLAND FALL TO TABLE TOPPERS DESPITE SPIRITED DISPLAY
By Steve Lavis
The 4-1 scoreline in favour of Wootton Bassett doesn't tell the full story as Oldland were in the game for much of the 90 minutes last Sunday.
Missing first choice keeper Jayde Holcombe with a dislocated toe and back up goalie Jess Phillips with a back injury meant that the Abbott's were forced to play young striker Romany Cochrane in goal against a team boosting a 100% record do cast this season. There were three debutants for the O's on Sunday as former UWE defender Becca Slevin and former Cardiff City players Sophie Gidley and Fran Dalton made their first competitive starts.
The game started at a frenetic pace with the confident home team moving the ball well. Oldland however were in a determined mood and their tenacious play in midfield was making things difficult for Wootton Bassett. The home team did take the lead on 21 minutes with a shot that found the back of the net via the underside of the bar and made it 2-0 just five minutes later.
Oldland were playing some good flowing football through midfield with good support play from wing backs Laura Garlick and Laura Elphick and Annie Hawkins-Hoare was linking the midfield and attack effectively and even with a two goal lead the home team were starting to get a little frustrated as the Abbots were making more of a fight of it than Wootton Bassett were obviously expecting. As half time approached,Oldland were given hope as striker Lydiya Myckalechko burst through the home defence only for the home keeper to tip her goalbound shot around the post. It was from the resulting corner that Hawkins-Hoare found the head of skipper Vicky Mundy who nodded home through a crowd of players.
The Abbott's started the second half in barnstorming fashion with Dalton pushed up from from midfield and the home team were caught of guard with the manner of Oldlands attacking threat.
Such is the O's luck at the moment that despite dominating the opening 13 minutes of the second period it was when Slevin, who was enjoying a fine debut, was off of the pitch receiving treatment for an injury that Wootton Bassett made it 3-1 while the Abbots were a player short.
Wootton Bassett started looking more of a threat although Oldland were determined to make the home team work for any more rewards they might get.The home team made 4-1 on 72 minutes but Oldland kept going until the final whistle with Dalton and Beth Dale going close for the Abbott's. It was heartening to see that even with the scoreline Oldland kept trying to play and the commitment and effort was the best seen so far this season. With a touch more luck and if performances keep improving then the first three points of the season can't be far away.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH--Sophie Gidley--Workaholic display in midfield despite making her comeback after two years out of the game. Classy on the ball and tenacious off of it.