Despite missing an incredible 11 players,Oldland produced a performance full of heart and work rate as they lost 2-1 against Swindon Town Development in a game that could have easily produced more goals.
Oldland lined up in a now familiar 3-5-2 formation with Jayde Holcombe in goal behind a back three of Georgina Bragg,Sam Morgan and Becca Slevin. Laura Elphick and the recalled Laura Garlick started in the wing back roles, Fran Dalton was moved back to midfield from her usual position of striker along with Vicky Mundy and Jade Scammell.
The striking positions were filled by Romany Cochrane and Amy Street.
The match started in a frenetic fashion as both teams traded attacks with Cochrane shooting narrowly wide for Oldland but it was the hosts that took the lead in a slightly fortunate manner after 9 minutes. Holcombe made a fantastic save in tipping a long range effort onto the post but the ball spun just over the line from the rebound to give Swindon an early lead. The home team were enjoying plenty of possession but the Abbots work rate was preventing Holcombe from having any real saves to make. At the other end the home keeper was being kept busy from attempts by Cochrane once more as well as Scammell and Dalton.
With the home team looking quicker to the ball as the first half came to a close it was apparent that the O's would need to be tighter and more alert in the second half which they duly were and they got their deserved reward on 52 minutes when Dalton sent Scammell through the home defence with a perfect throughball and Scammell easily beat the keeper with an angled drive into the far corner.With the later stages of the second half approaching Swindon forced a flurry of corners which were either dealt with by Holcombe and her defenders or blazed over the bar.
Ironically it was from a mis hit corner that have Swindon the lead on 72 minutes as a low corner found Scammell but her attempted clearance span onto Holcombe's thigh and into the back of the net. Swindon then had a could of decent chances to increase their lead but poor finishing let them down and it nearly cost them as with 5 minutes to go Dalton once again found Scammel's incisive run through the home defence but she could only shoot wide.
All in all, an encouraging performance once again from Oldland who went close to upsetting one of the better teams in the division.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH----Becca Slevin---Once again,a performance full of quality and composure. Showed pace, tenacity and great technical ability.
5 sports clubs amongst winners in the Jewson Building Better Communities competition.