YEOVIL Town Ladies and Tottenham Hotspur Ladies dished up a thrilling eight goal encounter at the Athletics Ground on Sunday, with the two teams earning a point a piece in a mouth-watering 4-4 draw. Laura Bray, Jade Radburn, Grace Rapp and Jodi Cornwall dished up the goals for the home side as the Glovers came back from 3-1 down to gain a deserved draw, keeping up with the chasing pack at the top of the Premier League in 5th place.
Yeovil Town Ladies: 4 Tottenham Hotspur Ladies: 4
“For the supporters of both sides, probably this was game the game that they had come to watch.” Joint manager Nigel Williams said after the game. “However, for us as a management team I am not sure if I can take this too often! This was a game that in the first instance we matched Spurs and played some good football. We were finding our feet and moving the ball around. Spurs were a good footballing side and showed great quality in the middle of the park.”
And in finding their feet, it was the Glovers who took first blood when on ten minutes the ball was played out to Stacey Pearson on the left. She used it well, and immediately delivered it sweetly to Laura Bray. The top scorer then set her eye on goal, beat the defender, and under a lot of pressure slotted the ball home.
Spurs revived themselves quickly, and started to control the game from the midfield of the park. The Glovers were getting their tackles in and winning the ball, but the pressure from the London side was not allowing them to play. Spurs had two very good wide players, who were causing problems for the Yeovil defence, and gradually they over the game.
“We had said at the start of the match not to give them the space to deliver a quality ball,” Williams said. “Unfortunately we allowed them that privilege and they punished us with a good delivery and a well-connected headed equalising goal.”
The game continued with Spurs in dominant mood. Yeovil were struggling to get their game together, and hold decent possession. Minutes after their goal, spurs broke again, and another good delivery saw them edge into the lead, following a well taken goal.
“Tottenham’s two centre midfielders were controlling the game at this point, and they picked us apart,” Williams said. “And before long they increased their lead. The ball was picked up on the half way line and a pass was struck into the feet of the advanced right winger. She cut inside and I think Moses arrived at that point and the parted our defence. Their player had good skill, but we let her in and our advancing ‘keeper saw an unfortunate bobble take the ball over her stretched out arms to give Spurs a 1-3 lead.
“We could see that frustration was setting in, so a goal for us just before half time with timely. And it was another ball played out wide to Stace (Stacey Pearson) that started the move. She delivered well into the box, and Jade Radburn headed in from close range to make it 2-3 at the break.”
Nigel continued. “Shall we say we had a discussion at half time and regrouped. We got points from the game over to the girls, not accepting that the first half team I had seen in the first half was the one that was going back out. Unfortunately early on Spurs delivered another ball from the left, and the player who received the ball showed really good strength, helping to make this fourth a tapped in by their centre forward.
“One thing you can be sure of at Yeovil Town Ladies is that we will not give up. We had been in situations like this last year where had to dig in, and if we wanted points out of this, we knew that we would have to do the same. We brought Shannon (Osman) onto the pitch, playing on the right, and she started to run at the defence. Her pace is an asset to us in the wide position, and she gave their back four problems, with us soon back in the game with a third goal when the ball was delivered into the box for Grace (Rapp) to get onto the score sheet again.
“Both our forwards are performing for us at the moment, and we have strength in depth in the front line both, which is of great benefit to us. We know that there are players waiting in the wings for a chance, and with this in mind Jodi Cornwall now replaced Grace Rapp, and within minutes she got on the end of a decent delivery from the right for one of the best headed goals I have seen. She just chucked everything at it and the ball rocketed into the back of the net to make it 4-4.
“I must say I thought this was now our game. Wave after wave of attacks came from us and we grew in confidence, and I am sure that their management team must have gone away thinking they had just lost three points. But I would say we won a point.
“We battled and fought for that point and deserved something from the game. With a late delivery again from the right from Shannon (Osman) we saw the ball fly across the box to space, and their ‘keeper just took it off Mitch’s (Keehan) head as she went in for the kill.
“Although it would have been a great three points, we secured a point in this league and we will continue to battle through this season. The beauty of this result for us is that it was by far one of our worst performances in the last few months, yet we still earned a point, and know we have to improve on what we did today. But good teams survive against everything thrown at them.”
Yeovil Town Ladies:Simkin, Brazell, Edwards, Williams, Trowbridge, Whitton (Osman – 55), Radburn, Wensley, Pearson (Keehan – 85), Rapp (Cornwall – 60), Bray
Goals:Laura Bray – 16, Jade Radburn – 44, Grace Rapp – 60, Jodi Cornwall – 76
Referee:Peter Mawhood (Somerset)
Next Match– Away at Queens Park Rangers Ladies, Sunday 16 September – Uxbridge FC, London
Report by Nigel Williams and Ali King