UEAWFC came from behind to seal a hard fought victory against Essex in the Derby Day 2pm kick-off. Despite conceding a deflected goal in the first half, the yellows bounced back to beat Essex for the second year running.
Photo: Whye Tchien Khor
The first half saw a shaky start with a number of shots cleared off the line. Lois Dunn anticipated the flight of the ball perfectly to head behind after ten minutes, keeping the score at 0-0.
Essex were beginning to look threatening but a UEA counter attack saw Aviyah Abrahams clear down the right hand flank, she played a delightful cross into the path of Amelia Glean who could not make the most of the opportunity with a header just wide.
Despite a five-minute spell of possession, the yellows could not come up with that vital goal. They were punished after 25 minutes when Essex attacked in numbers and were fortunate to squeeze the ball past Becky White with a cruel deflection. Nevertheless, the touchline support for UEA inspired the players to continue on through the hail and snow until the half time break.
The second period saw changes with Abbi Knell coming on at left midfield and Louise Chadwick moving upfront. It was a much-improved performance and UEA were beginning to control the tempo. Gabrielle Glover and Leanne Stubbings were commanding the middle of the pitch, finding both Knell and Sammy Algar in good positions out wide.
At long last, the team were rewarded for their patience after Glover found the net with an awesome long distance strike at 50 minutes. It was all to play for.
KC O’Shea and Amy Shaw looked comfortable at centre half, competently clearing the danger and Maria Fernandez was looking very assured at right back.
The goal had allowed UEA to grow in confidence and it looked as a winner was inevitable.
Finally it came with 15 minutes to go as Stubbings picked up the ball and dribbled her way past two Essex players. Seeing that the keeper was off her line, she chipped the ball over to make it 2-1 to the home side.
With little time remaining Essex came looking for a goal but, after slotting the ball into the back of the net, were flagged for offside. They were determined to equalise and very nearly did in the last few seconds when their forward had a free shot close to the UEA goal. However, a fantastic save from White kept them at bay, and when the final whistle blew, UEAWFC were victorious.