Updated: Sep 16, 2018
Hedge End Ranger Cougars took possession early with Southampton Women's goalkeeper, Emma Stait, making a great save just three minutes into the game, followed by a flurry of corners which saw some strong defending by Victoria Orji and Robyn Hagues. But, within six minutes a good run by Chloe Sheffield gave Southampton some chances and a corner.
Before long Esme Taylor and Michelle Orji were battling hard to defend and Emma had two more saves to make, which she did with confidence.
But Hedge End continued to put the pressure on and, in the 11th minute, the boys were rewarded with a goal into the bottom left of the net, which went beyond Emma's reach, despite her stirling effort to save it.
With a minute left of the first quarter, Robyn cleared another ball to safety and Southampton were 1-0 down in a busy first-quarter for Emma.
In the second quarter, Mo Delaney came on for Brooke Suddaby and Sophie Moore came on for Esme Taylor. Some immediate attempts at goal were made by Chloe Sheffield and Darcey Maxted with Sophie Moore, Michelle Orji and Pippa Sproul working together to field the ball in from midfield.
A cracking pass by Mo Delaney created an opportunity for Darcey Maxted to make a good run and battle with Hedge End defenders before passing back to Mo on the wing.
As the ball travelled back into Hedge End's half, Sophie put the ball out of danger and Mo travelled back down the wing to defend an offside attempt by Hedge End in the 21st minute. Darcey won the ball and made a bold run up field, which was swiftly followed by an attempt by Chloe in the 24th minute, proving that the girls were back in the game.
With their confidence clearly growing with every passing minute of the second quarter, Mo and Sophie put pressure on the boys and Esme Taylor came on for Pippa Sproul. Just two minutes before the half time whistle, Chloe made another attempt at goal, which went wide.
Whenever the ball travelled towards the danger zone it was soon cleared to safety by some great defensive runs from Robyn and Esme. Perhaps one of the best goal attempts for Southampton Women's came when Chloe's ball in came off the keeper and Darcey seized the opportunity to make a second ball goal attempt, which went over.
More great clearances by Sophie and Esme followed and the whistle blew for half time with the girls looking much stronger, having had 80% possession in the second quarter.
Brooke, Pippa and Robyn were brought back for the third quarter, with Victoria and Brooke both kicking the ball to safety soon after.
The 36th minute saw a fantastic attempt at goal by Mo as more and more chances were made by Pippa's accurate passing, giving the Hedge End goalkeeper a lot of action.
In the 39th minute both goalkeepers were kept busy as Emma boldly came out of the box to secure the ball for Southampton, with a strong ball back up field, resulting in some good defending by the Hedge End boys.
Soon, after battling hard and dominating the second and third quarters, Southampton got the reward they so readily deserved with a great assist by Esme leading to a well-earned far-post goal for Darcey Maxted in the 41st minute.
Brooke then played a great ball down the line and more attempts and corners for Southampton soon followed. What with some strong accurate passing, strong throws from Michelle and Sophie consistently winning the ball, much of the play in the second and third quarters took place in the Southampton end, culminating in plenty of shots before the whistle was blown for the third quarter with the score 1-1.
The final quarter saw Victoria and Chloe subbed for Robyn and Pippa, who both, along with Darcy and Mo put a good deal of pressure on the Hedge End boys.
The 48th minute saw another great save by Emma before Esme passed a strong ball up the line to Pippa and a corner followed.
Hedge End made a breaking run but Brooke intercepted and Emma came out to collect the threat. But, just one minute later, a tangle in the box resulted in a 52nd minute penalty, which Hedge End sneaked in to the net. 2-1 to Hedge End.
Minutes later Mo made a run for it and had a good attempt at goal, soon followed by an incredible save by Emma who isn't afraid to come out of the box to claim the ball. A strong clearance by Brooke soon followed.
But, before long Hedge End had made another break and managed to score their third goal in the 56th minute.
As the sky darkened and the game came to close, the girls kept on fighting hard, with Pippa and Sophie battling hard to win the ball in the closing minutes.
An encouraging second match against a strong team who'd been playing together for many years, with the girls dominating much of the game. Southampton Women's U12 did themselves proud in their second friendly.
Result: Southampton 1 Hedge End 3
Goals: Darcey, 1.