Game of two halves for Stamford Bridge girls

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Stamford Bridge...................1

Wetherby.............................0

Stamford Bridge, sponsored by Jorvik Construction, were at home on Saturday for their last league game of the season against Wetherby.

The first meeting of the two teams earlier in October proved to be a close affair with Stamford winning by a single own goal. This return match was no exception with the winner and only goal of the game coming in the last minute from a penalty.

The first half was a pretty dire affair with the hard working hosts struggling to make any headway against the strong wind and a very resolute and packed Wetherby defence. Their first real effort on goal came in the 11th minute when striker Jess Wills was unlucky with her goalbound effort from a cross on the left. The only other action of the half came in the last ten minutes. In the 22nd minute, Stamford Bridge goalkeeper Georgia Stanton had to show a quick turn of pace to sprint back and clear the ball off the line after a mix up in defence.

In the last minute of the half, left back Olivia Cant saw her shot from distance well saved by the goalkeeper. The poor first half was highlighted in the fact that both teams only managed a single corner each.

Thankfully, the second half saw an improvement in the football with Stamford Bridge producing much more of their attractive expansive play. They forced a corner in the second minute of the resumption and, from the kick, Ellie Parkin saw her instinctive shot go inches over the bar. From another corner eight minutes later, the ball found its way to Alex Harvey on the edge of the penalty box who rifled the ball just wide of the left post. The home team came even closer two minutes later when left midfielder Emma Nelson saw her goal bound effort well saved by the goalkeeper.

The pressure was building from Stamford Bridge and they nearly broke the deadlock with a spectacular headed effort from captain Poppy Clancey from a corner on the left. Although having much of the play there was still a need to keep things tight at the back for Stamford Bridge and right back Alice Ella with her pace and excellent reading of the game was doing just that.

With one minute left of the match Wetherby eventually buckled under the home team’s constant pressure. From a dangerous corner on the right from Ellie Whytock, the ball broke to Kirsten Wright. Her goalbound effort was handled on the line. The resulting penalty was calmly put away by player of the match Ellie Fitzmaurice to take a deserved three points.

The win saw Stamford Bridge secure a very creditable third place in the league and continue the excellent progress from last season.