Staveley were looking forward to return to action following last weeks tough trip to Repton but we were faced with further high performing opposition in Matlock 2s riding high in 2nd place in the league. Conditions were also tough; blustery winds and intermittent showers but that’s enough about the weather; come on girls let’s ‘ave it!!
Strong start and 2 short corners in the first few minutes for Staveley testing the Matlock defence from the off, great 1-2 between Linz & Ruth then freed Loz who went to play in Shaz for a tap in only for the Matlock keeper to save expertly.
Matlock began to get into the game and were showing pace on the break with Nuella returning to face her former club mates for the first time but Holly was meeting the threat head on and defending expertly.
Breakthrough, Ella was set free down the right and persevered with her cross to set up Ruth for the opening goal with a calm finish.
Buoyed from taking the lead Staveley gained the upper hand; first Daisy freeing Shaz forcing another save and both Ruth & Linz going close from successive short corners; this was followed by Loz and the keeper again doing her job. Meanwhile in defence Anna was calm & assured with Holly and Izzy denying every Matlock threat and when they did manage a shot on target Hoppy stood strong. Now Staveley countered Loz with a lung busting run and the ball flying across the D without a final touch before Matlock launched more counters with the Kelly & Holly double act unbeatable. H-T 1-0 and a great game so far Staveley edging on clear cut chances.
10 mins into 2nd half and Matlock were exerting all the pressure; only last gasp defending from Izzy stopping a certain equaliser.
Staveleys turn to threaten on the counter with Daisy feeding Linz who forced a good save and with Ruth & Andrea digging in strong in midfield again feeding Linz for another save from Matlocks outstanding keeper. Loz broke through and this time Linz made no mistake with a great finish to the far corner, 2-0 Staveley
The girls won the ball back quickly and great work from a pumped Linz fed Daisy who forced another save before Matlock again asserted themselves Hoppy making a double save to deny and then another from a short corner
As the weather worsened the pressure was eased as Staveley worked the ball into the Matlock D and Linz slammed an unstoppable shot through the crowded D into the top corner for 3-0.
For the first time Matlock looked beaten but they refused to lie down & despite Hoppys best efforts slotted a consolation at the near post. Lifted by this 5 mins of pressure followed before Andrea, Ruth & Shaz again dig deep in midfield and Anna exerted calming influence at the back. Final score 3-1 great game, 2 good teams playing in great spirit and Staveley now replacing Matlock in 2nd place in the table – well done girls and final mention for Andrea playing through with a broken finger from last weeks bruising encounter.
MOM from Staveley was Holly and on behalf of Matlock, Izzy; both well deserved as a reflection on the defensive strength but don’t forget the quality going forward.
Goal scorers: Linz (2), Ruth (1)
Thanks again to Darren Kenney for the awesome report as always!