UEAWFC could not halt the recent run of defeats after losing 6-1 at home to league leaders Bedfordshire. Although the first half saw a much-improved performance with a number of opportunities to take the lead inside the first five minutes, the game ended disappointingly for the home side.
Photo: Whye Tchien Khor
Leanne Stubbings took an early free-kick won by Louise Chadwick but unfortunately Maria Fernandez could not make the most of the opportunity, narrowly missing the target with a close range effort. This early period saw a good reaction to last week’s hard fought 2-1 loss against Lincoln, as the team were playing with positivity and determination. At the seven-minute mark the Yellows were rewarded with a goal when captain Gabrielle Glover neatly finished Stubbing’s cross to take the lead.
With new-found confidence UEA began to settle and the newly formed partnership of KC O’Shea and Kathryn Canavan at centre half looked solid, keeping Bedfordshire’s number 11 quiet for long periods. However, the home side failed to capitalise on this advantage and were unable to hold onto the lead when Bedfordshire’s number 9 finished from a cross to make it 1-1.
UEA now looked under pressure, although they were lucky to see a shot fire wide from close range shortly afterwards. It looked as though the home side might hold on until half time with outstanding performances from O’Shea and Canavan. Aviyah Abrahams also looked dangerous on the counter-attack, running onto a neat diagonal ball played by Sammy Algar that carved through the otherwise perfect defensive line of Bedfordshire. Unfortunately Abrahams could not make the most of the opportunity.
Five minutes from half time Bedfordshire began to get into the game and with a goal flagged up for offside they were eventually rewarded for their determination a minute later, taking the lead for the first time in the match. Bedfordshire were beginning to settle and dictate play and as a result, the number 11 pushed her way through UEA’s defensive line and placed her shot into the right hand corner of the net. In relatively quick succession, the away sides number 9 also fired her shot past Becky White. Disappointingly, UEA had let in two goals within four minutes of half time.
The second period started very poorly for the home side and consequently UEA conceded another two goals from close range to take the score to 6-1. With 10 minutes left to play the side pushed for a goal and threatened on a number of occasions after Lois Dunn was partnered upfront with Abrahams. The two worked well to create a number of openings but neither could convert to score that all-important goal. After the game, UEA were left to reflect on what might have been, having matched the league leaders for long periods of the first half.