Yesterday’s game against Littleover Dazzlers was a game of chances – those that we missed and those that they didn’t.
We probably created twice as many chances as Dazzlers and when Chelsie opened the scoring from an excellent lofted shot from 25 yards on 12 mins it looked like we could go on to score more.
We certainly had more than enough chances to finish the game and secure the points but we could not convert them – a combination of over elaboration, poor decision making, and bad luck preventing us from adding to the score despite several efforts that went very close.
A typically powerful run by skipper Beth looked like it would finally extend our lead but one touch too many – to take the ball round the ‘keeper - allowed a defender in to clear. Dazzlers levelled the score after 24 mins and had a further couple of clear chances themselves before half time, which they failed to convert thanks to terrific saves by stand-in ‘keeper Tilly, to keep the scores level at half time.
The second half continued in much the same way, both teams creating chances but without finishing them off, until Dazzlers took the lead about midway through the half.
The girls showed in the previous two games that they are capable of coming back from a goal down, and certainly put Dazzlers’s defence under a period of concerted pressure in the final ¼ of the game – at times the Dazzlers goal area was like the Alamo as they desperately defended their lead.
As time ran out we became guilty of trying too hard to score at times – attempting shots that weren’t really on when there were easier, better options available – but if one of them had come off we’d now be saying it was brilliant.
There was certainly no lack of effort from the girls as they pulled out all the stops in search of an equaliser but in the end we were not quite able to find the finish required and Dazzlers were able to hold on for the win.
Despite this there were positives to take from the game - we created plenty of chances, and we will create more once we learn how to make the most of Tash's excellent set pieces, Carly continues to develop as a defender and her distribution is also improving, Jordele in only her second league game for us did well and Tilly had a good game in goal.
This was a really good game to watch between two well matched teams and we can expect more close games like this as the season unfolds. This could have just been one of those days when the ball would not go in for us, but we will need to make better decisions in front of goal and to convert a higher proportion of our chances if we are come out on top in these games – ideally starting next week when we play St Georges!
Final Score: Littleover Dazzlers 2 – 1 Pride Park Juniors