A chance to put our current league woes behind us and see how we go again in the Northants County Cup. With two victories to get us to this point, we came into the game with hope that we could overturn higher league opposition, who we ran close in the FA Cup earlier in the season.
We started with a new formation today, 4-2-3-1, with Nat and Jenna sitting in front of the back 4 to try and soak up the attacks from Moulton.
It only took us 4 minutes to score the games opener. Good work from Stacey F on the right wing resulted in her crossing to the far post, Yaz was on hand to control the ball and squeeze it past their keeper, what an excellent start.
3 minutes later, we were still attacking and from a Tash corner from the left, a deep high ball found Stacey F, who expertly lobbed the ball towards goal. It found a slight deflection from a defender but made it over the keeper for an early 2 goal cushion. Possible an own goal, Stacey F adamant that it was hers though!
We were at last playing the football we are capable playing, passing the ball and looking confident.
Moulton had other ideas though and on 10 minutes one of their players made a jinking run into the box, and without a challenge of note placed the ball past Katie to reduce the deficit to one.
Just one minute later, Moulton were again attacking and their player made it into the box, there was minimal contact from our defender but the referee pointed straight to the penalty spot. The Moulton dugout and players seemed to be as baffled as we were to the decision, but of course were delighted! There player made no mistake from the spot to bring the match level at 2-2.
Moulton continued to get a strong foothold of the game but we were trying our best to get our passing game going, but in all honesty the loss of the 2 goal lead seemed to weigh heavily.
On 30 minutes there was a speculative shot from Moulton on the edge of the box, Katie was unable to gather cleanly and was only able to knock it into the pass of an onrushing Moulton player who easily turned it in to take the lead.
Half Time 2-3
Early pressure was needed from us again and on 49 minutes, a rather soft decision was made for a handball just inside the box and it was our turn to head for the penalty spot. The ultra reliable striker of the ball, Megan P, was instructed to take the kick and although she got an excellent strike in it hit the post but rebounded straight back to her, surely this was going in, but Megan P could not get a clean shot on the rebound and it went safely into the relieved keepers arms.
After both teams continued to make chances that couldn't be finished, it wasn't until 71 minutes when, you've guessed it, another penalty. This time it was to Moulton, with Lucy allegedly bringing down their striker but all around her claimed there was no contact. No messing for Moulton, penalty dispatched; 4-2 Moulton.
We then tried to shuffle our pack by bringing on some fresh legs and moving to a 4-4-2 formation to try and get back into the game. On 87 minutes, yes you've again guessed it, another soft penalty! Another one for us, surely this time and Captain Tash was not shy in demanding the ball and taking responsibility. And yet again a similar result for us, Tash was unable to catch the ball cleanly and the ball rolled meekly towards their keeper to more or less end the action for the day.
Full Time 2-4
This really was a much improved display with players hearing the management's plea to control and pass more.
They score two penalties, we miss two, the game was there to be won and may have been on another day.
A good game of football between two good teams, we now need to take the belief in our abilities into the next league game and start to build a good run of form.
Player of the match was Tash, who as usual was colossal at the back and her captaincy voice is growing week on week. Also credit to Yaz who had to carry the attack on her own for most of the match, not an easy job at all but she kept going.
Thank you to all those who turned out to support us today, it is really appreciated by the team.