UEA Women’s football kicked off their 5 o’clock Derby Day duel under the white hue of purring floodlights surrounding the pitch.
The match opened tentatively as both teams sought to test the other’s capabilities. The teams appeared balanced and rallied back and forth with attacking play.
After 20 minutes of play, UEA dug their studs in and turned up the tempo on Essex. Pressure on the Essex box resulted in a dangerous direct free kick that swung past the goal and out of bounds near the left post. UEA’s pressure was rewarded as a sharp cross was sent into the Essex box from the bottom right corner of the pitch. Louise Chadwick exposed a weak Essex defence and met the ball unmarked at the left post. Her shot connected which proved too much for the Essex goalkeeper to handle as she got too little of a hand to the ball.
UEA’s initial goal spurred the women on further. Essex retaliated immediately with a shot on goal however this was calmly saved. UEA’s ball control proved scintillating and their link up play was very polished. Kate Silver enjoyed an impressive first half hassling Essex players on the ball and causing havoc with the Essex defence. The opposition did not roll over though as a series of Essex attacks resulted in strong shots on the UEA goal however they did not come to fruition.
Just before the end of the half, UEA’s superior pressure was rewarded once more from a close range effort by Delley McCrory that Essex’s keeper couldn’t sufficiently control.
Entering the second half at 2-0 up, UEA provided a showcase of intelligent football that utilised the whole team. Their tackling proved highly effective which rewarded the team with a high amount of possession. Rose Glendinning looked sharp on the field and galvanised the squad.
Essex threatened at times but they lacked a finish. UEA had a number of goal scoring chances and the eventual goal was worth the build-up. With 15 minutes left, UEA connected up the left wing and the ball found Chadwick in the left corner of the Essex box. She sent an unstoppable looping shot over the goalkeeper and into the bottom right of the goal.
With crimson streaks in the sky, the sun had set for Essex.