Under 14s Football Team are County Cup Champions!Posted on: 24/04/2023
The under 14 football team put in a gutsy performance in the county cup final against St Helen and St Katharine in an end-to-end encounter.
DGS created a flurry of chances in the first half but was unable to find the back of the net and only managing to find the post which came after some great play from Lois down the right wing. SHSK also had a couple of chances on goal and looked threatening on the counter-attack, thankfully our ‘sweeper keeper’, Thea, scooped up any loose through-balls. SHSK's biggest chance came just before half time whereby Sophie S-S cleared the ball off the line from a goal mouth tussle and the sighs of relief could be heard around the ground before the ref blew to close the first half. DGS went into half time frustrated to not convert their chances. We made some tactical changes at half time as we needed to create more space by spreading play wide and give better service to our strike duo Honey and Tegen. We were also able to introduce team captain Aimee Foley to the game for short bursts. Aimee has made an incredible recovery from a broken ankle, and it was great to have her back out on the pitch and leading alongside our ever-reliant vice-captiain, Chloe. Sophie B was also moved to the right wing to try and capitalise on her pace and ability to take players on. With a clear game plan to try and break down SHSK defence, it was now a case of executing it whilst also be very aware of our defensive duties to cut out any of the opposition's attacks. With the game being played at such a high intensity we knew we had a big shift to put in at both ends of the pitch! The second half started with DGS having more possession, but big gaps started to appear between our defensive and attacking lines and this allowed SHSK to have too much time on the ball which we knew we couldn’t allow. We counteracted this by moving Chloe into centre midfield to join CDM Ruby and what a pairing they made. Chloe worked tirelessly from left to right to support Honey and Tegen in a high press, whilst Ruby gave much needed protection to the DGS defence made up of Maddie, Izzy, Sophie and Meghan creating what can only be described as a fortress. We also introduced Evv to the game, who is not only a talented goalkeeper but she’s pretty nifty on left wing too, and she instantly played some nice passes through to Honey. Right back Meghan really came to life in the second half, her ‘no nonsense’ defending not only kept SHSK well away from GK Thea but also allowed for us to set Sophie B through early.
We now looked like the brighter of the teams and 15 minutes into the second half we were able to break the deadlock with a deadly cross from Sophie which Honey was able to slide home, putting us one goal up to nil.
With our confidence up, fire in our bellies and the rowdy support of family and friends we found a sixth gear. Tegen's chance came soon after as she fired the ball into the back of the net, bringing us to 2-0.
SHSK responded immediately, winning themselves a corner and putting the ball right into the danger area which resulted in the ball being bundled in.
With the game now 2-1 and 9 minutes left, it was very much a case of holding our nerve whilst not sitting back and inviting pressure. We needed some fresh legs to get us over the line, so we introduced the ever-versatile Martha to the pitch to chase SHSK down and she executed this to perfection.
In the dying minutes of the game Sophie intercepted the ball on the halfway line, dribbled past 3 players before slotting the ball to Honey, who placed it into the far corner. Soon after the whistle blew, game over 3-1.
A superb display of true grit, perseverance and fantastic football from a talented squad of girls. Congratulations to you all!