ESFA Girls Under 14 PlayStation Inter County Trophy
Match report Round 1 Staffordshire v Worcestershire Monday 18th November
Venue: Stafford Town FC
The tie was hosted at Stafford Town FC in near perfect conditions. Staffordshire started very strongly and soon put the Worcestershire defence under pressure. The strong running Shania Hales was a constant threat. One of her raids down the left caused consternation in the Worcestershire defence and in the ensuing melee, Harriet Wellings stabbed the ball home from close range. This early fillip pushed Staffordshire forward and a combination of good fortune and solid defending kept the score to a single goal.
Staffordshire doubled their lead midway through the half when a free kick from Molly Bruton squirmed under the despairing dive of the Worcestershire custodian. Staffordshire continued to probe under the guidance of Sam Richards and Charlotte Friesner but stout defending from Worcestershire kept the score line 2-0 to the home side at half time.
Worcestershire started the second half brightly and applied some early pressure and, with the help of a stiff breeze, were able to put Staffordshire on the back foot for a while. As they began to re-establish control, Worcestershire broke quickly from a Staffordshire attack and for the first time the home defence was found wanting and a good goal brought Worcestershire within striking distance.
The Staffordshire girls quickly found a way to regain their dominance and an excellent cross shot from Shania Hales was headed home by a Worcestershire defender to make it 3-1. A rush of substitutions from both sides disrupted the play for a while but a good move involving Anna King, Harriet Wellings and Sam Richards freed Shania Hales and she raced clear to smash home Staffordshire’s fourth goal.
Final score: Staffordshire 4 Worcestershire 1
Both teams can take a great deal of credit from the game where the high technical levels from both teams were a joy to behold.
The victory give Staffordshire a home tie against Kent Schools FA in round 2 and a chance to readdress the balance after Kent denied them a place in the National final last season.
Photographs of the match were supplied by Chris Hampton.