Updated: Sep 16, 2018
The sun shone for Southampton Women FC's newly-formed U12s in their first ever match, and so did the girls, as they played a stunning opening game vs Netley Royals in a pre-season friendly.
Chloe Sheffield started as she meant to go on, neatly finding the bottom left corner to score her first goal just one minute in. And with some skilful control and passing from Mo Delaney on the left wing and Pippa Sproul in midfield, Darcey Maxted found the back of the net with goals in the 4th and 14th minutes, giving the girls a comfortable early lead.
As the match progressed, Southampton continued to take control, with Esme Taylor, Sophie Moore and Victoria Orji pushing forward to field the ball towards Mo and Darcey on the wing, Pippa in midfield and Chloe upfront, all of whom had a few near misses.
On the few occasions the ball veered into Netley's end, strong defence came from Robyn Hagues, Victoria Orji and Sophie Moore, who each kicked the ball out of harm's way and skilfully regained control of the ball ready for a counter-attack.
Michelle Orji came on for Esme Taylor and made some great runs upfield with Brooke Suddaby coming on for Mo Delaney and having a shot at goal, which hit the post.
Southampton goalkeeper, Emma Stait had only one shot to deal with in the first half. And five minutes before the whistle blew, Chloe scored her second goal, giving Southampton a 4-0 lead at half-time.
But SWFC refused to rest on their laurels with Poppy Baxter coming on to take up the right hand position.
No sooner had the whistle blown for the second half and Pippa sped forward to score her first goal in the 32nd minute, followed by another just two minutes later. 6-0 up with most of the second half remaining.
Sophie came off with an ankle injury after a stirling performance in defence and was replaced by Darcey who, with Poppy, Pippa and Brooke ran up and down the line, consistently chasing the ball.
A flurry of goals followed as Southampton continued to dominate both upfront and with their solid defence. Within five minutes, Chloe found the back of the net in the 39th minute to score her hatrick, followed a couple of minutes later by another shot which came off a Netley player, creating a 41st minute own-goal by the Netley side. Within five minutes Chloe was rewarded for her powerful prowess in the 46th minute with her fourth goal of the match.
Goalkeeper Emma made a cracking save soon afterwards as Netley battled on, while Pippa passed to Brooke, who had a few near misses.
Victoria and Michelle Orji and Esme Taylor continued to feed the ball to midfield with Pippa consistently making terrific runs forward.
Netley continued to fight with some decent saves by their goalkeeper. But, with some solid passes by Pippa and Brooke, further reward for Southampton's drive came in the form of a great goal from Poppy Baxter in the 55th minute, with Darcey Maxted finishing the game with her cracking hatrick in the 57th minute and clean sheet by goalkeeper Emma Stait.
Credit to Managing Coach, Paul Judd, as this brand new U12 team looked like they'd been playing together for much longer than they have. An encouraging win and impressive opener for the U12s who take on Portsmouth ITC in their first match of the season on 15th September 2018.
Result: Southampton 11 Netley 0
Goals: Chloe 4, Darcey 3, Pippa 2, Poppy 1, Own Goal 1