Over the Bridge

 

CLP SOCIAL MEDIA SEP2023 302

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”  Mark Twain

 

Knaresborough Town Women travelled the short distance to neighbours Boroughbridge AFC Ladies on Sunday to play their first West Riding County Women’s Football League Division Two game of the season.

With injuries, holidays, and work commitments, the team travelled with only 11 players, which immediately made the task of playing a very accomplished Boroughbridge team more difficult.

The game started positively for both teams, with Bridge being on the attack from kick-off, however, Town were getting some success at retrieving possession and driving down field.

It didn’t take long for the first opportunity to present itself, and it was one of the new recruits, Holly Mitchell, who was first to the ball and hit the back of the net with a finely hit shot to give the visitors the lead, and settle any first day nerves the team were feeling, 0-1.

Boro’ were settling into the game better and certain training ground routines were being replicated on the pitch to good effect.

In the early exchanges, Town were irresistible…creating chances and half chances from each foray forward. So, it wasn’t a surprise when Knaresborough doubled their lead from a corner, with a header by Holly, 0-2.

It wasn’t all one-way traffic as the home team were playing some good passing football, trying to break forward quickly and test Ella Ritchie in the Knaresborough Town goal. An attack on their right angled into the Boro’ penalty box and a shot was adjudged to have hit a defender’s hand with the referee instantly pointing to the spot.

The penalty was taken, the forward striking the ball to her left with Ella Ritchie guessing correctly and diving the same way…but the ball was just off target and fizzed past the outside of the post – a let off for Town!

Relieved to still have their two-goal advantage, Boro’ pushed forward to try and increase the lead…but it took until just before half time for another goal to be scored.

A brilliant diagonal ball by Cass Lane was controlled first time by Eva Jenkins, who went around the last defender and calmly slotted the ball past the advancing keeper, 0-3.

Half time and Knaresborough Town Women were good for their 3-0 lead, but it must be said that Boroughbridge probably considered themselves unlucky not to have hit the back of the net at least once in the first 45.

 

The second half got underway and it was clear that next goal was vital.

Town picked up where they had finished off in the first half, and it only took around five minutes for them to increase their lead further.

Rachel Carmichael’s superb visionary pass from midfield to Addison Troup on Town’s right, set the pacy winger in on goal and she wasn’t going to miss! Our second new signing getting on the scoresheet in her first competitive game for Knaresborough, 0-4.

Last year’s League Four’s golden boot, Lorna Wilkinson simply wasn’t going to be left off the scoresheet! The forward had been working hard all game, making space for the other players to get forward, having a few shots from half chances…but in all honesty, hadn’t really had a clear sight of goal up to this point, but that was about to change.

She collected a ball on the edge of the penalty box, jinked one way and then the other, turning onto her favoured foot and unleashed an unstoppable shot to increase Town’s lead, 0-5.

With five minutes to go, Boro’ won a throw-in on their left, level with the edge of Bridge’s penalty box, Grace Adams collected the ball, turned one way, then turned back inside and looked up to see Cassidy Lane on Town’s right; a keyhole pass and one burst of explosive speed and Cass slipped the ball past the advancing keeper and Knaresborough had six, 0-6.

The final whistle went, and Town had recorded a victory in their first game in Division Two, earning three points in what was a very tricky game.

On another day, Boroughbridge Ladies could have scored several goals, and the nature of the game would have been distinctly different. Town took their chances when they presented themselves and created quite a few more. Not bad for a squad of just 11!

We look forward to playing the reverse fixture later on in the season and in the meantime, wish Boroughbridge AFC Ladies all the best.

The fixtures don’t get any easier, and next week Boro’ welcome early pace setters and league leaders Athletico to Manse Lane…we’re really looking forward to those 90 minutes!

 

Goals: Eva Jenkins 1; Cassidy Lane 1; Holly Mitchell 2; Addison Troup 1; Lorna Wilkinson 1.

Player of the Match: Holly Mitchell; Goal of the match: Holly Mitchell.

Referee: Alexander Charlesworth