Updated: Aug 16, 2019
With a fast pace and passionate play from the outset, Southampton Women’s FC under-12s started as they meant to go on in what was probably the most exciting game they’ve played so far.
Playing against a great team, AFC Bournemouth, Southampton knew they had to step it up, and they didn’t disappoint!
Strong passes from Victoria Orji and Pippa Sproul got the ball upfield to Esme Taylor and Mo Delaney early on, but this was an action-packed end-to-end game, so it wasn’t long before Bournemouth had made their first attempt at goal in the third minute, which landed safely in Goalkeeper Emma Stait’s hands.
Pippa had a great game from the start and constantly battled hard to keep the ball in the goal area leading to a great cross in by Darcey Maxted in the fifth minute.
Some great football up the wing followed soon after as Chloe Sheffield, Pippa and Darcey made some accurate passes in quick succession before the ball travelled back down the Bournemouth end for a neat cross in by the opposition.
Sophie was quick to kick the ball out of danger and back up field the play went, keeping everyone on their toes.
A rapid run by Darcey in the 10th minute preceded a pass in to Chloe who had a shot at goal, saved by the Bournemouth keeper.
Just one minute later and it was Bournemouth’s turn to have a goal attempt from the wing, swiftly followed by another Bournemouth run which led to a great save by Emma.
But, with pressure from Bournemouth with each break, Southampton’s relentless commitment and spirit saw the girls battle to win the ball time and time again.
That was the case just ten minutes in to the game and it continued right until the final whistle.
Robyn Hagues came on for Mo Delaney (get well soon Mo).
In the 12th minute, Chloe Sheffield seized her opportunity to make a break and sped towards the goal, dribbling the ball round the keeper who’d come out of the area, to score the first goal of the game. 1-0 Southampton.
A few minutes later Darcey won the ball and kept possession, despite some strong attempts by Bournemouth to win the ball back.
Each time they did, Southampton battled hard to intercept and pass with Esme getting the ball in to Robyn who had a goal attempt in the 16th minute.
Seconds later the ball was travelling back downfield leading to a Bournemouth attempt and a cracking save by goalkeeper, ‘safe-hands Stait.’
A Bournemouth corner followed, along with another goal attempt, keeping Emma busy in the goal area.
But the Southampton team continued to battle with outstanding football and teamwork and the pace remained incredibly fast.
Awesome play by Victoria who intercepted strongly on the line time and time again, some great defending in the box by Sophie Moore and Michelle Orji and brave goalkeeping by Emma Stait prevented a Bournemouth goal, despite another strike in the 18th minute.
Some fast passing from Southampton ensued, with Robyn, Esme and Pippa getting the ball up to Darcey for another great goal attempt.
Michelle won the ball back from the break and kicked it to safety.
Both teams were giving it their all and a run by Bournemouth led to another great save from Emma, before Southampton regained possession and Chloe passed swiftly to Pippa.
With a few minutes of the first half remaining, Pippa made a great run and had an attempt at goal, which went just wide.
The end-to-end play continued right up to the half time whistle.
Emma came out to collect the ball, Michelle kicked it out of danger and Darcey made a strong fast run up the wing for another goal attempt after some great battling to retain possession.
Bournemouth made a break but the ball was intercepted by a header from Victoria and the whistle blew. 1-0 to Southampton at half time.
No sooner had the whistle blown and the fast pace continued with Bournemouth pressure leading to a Southampton save by Emma.
Darcey and Chloe retaliated with pressure of their own, resulting in a flurry of goal attempts from the duo.
Bournemouth gained possession, but Victoria cleared the ball to safety. Minutes later, the intensity dial was turned back up to full volume as a strong Bournemouth goal attempt in the 34th minute hit the post.
A near miss for Southampton then followed minutes later as some great passing from Pippa and Esme gave Chloe the opportunity for a great strike, which went just over the keeper’s head to hit the crossbar.
Moments later and it was Darcey’s turn to battle hard. After winning a corner, she had a shot at goal which landed in the Bournemouth keeper’s hands.
Brooke Suddaby came on for Robyn and made a good run up the wing to get the ball in to Chloe for another goal attempt in the 38th minute.
Shortly afterwards, a corner led to both teams battling in the goal area to win the ball, with Brooke getting a touch before Darcey seized the opportunity to strike and score Southampton’s well-earned second goal. 2-0 to Southampton.
But Bournemouth didn’t give up and kept battling with more end-to-end play and brilliant quality football coming from both teams.
This was such an exciting match to watch. Sophie, Victoria and Michelle continued to stay strong in defence and a great pass in the 45th minute from Esme to Darcey led to another attempt at goal by Darcey who was named opposition’s girl of the game.
Some fast runs from Chloe and Pippa followed and, whenever possession was lost, Victoria was on hand to intercept with some absolutely tremendous tackling.
In the 52nd minute a cross in saw Brooke jumping up in the box, but she couldn’t quite get to the ball. A Bournemouth run led to another attempt which went wide and some more strong defending by Sophie, Michelle and Victoria.
Minutes later, Chloe battled once more and got round the keeper, but her attempt went just wide.
Poppy Baxter came on for Sophie Moore and a Southampton corner saw Darcey continue to battle hard for another goal attempt, with just minutes left to play.
A Bournemouth attempt followed the Southampton attempt and so the rapid pace and passionate game continued right up to the final whistle.
A free kick to Bournemouth in the closing minutes went straight into Emma’s hands and the ball was chased up field by Pippa but defended well.
Bournemouth made two final attempts at goal with one hitting the post and one being saved, resulting in a clean sheet for Southampton’s supersonic goalkeeper, Emma and an incredibly exciting and energetic game in which every single player from both teams can hold their heads high.
Full-time: Southampton Women’s FC 2 AFC Bournemouth 0