Sunday 21st August 2005

Fleet hold Charlton to a draw

A much-improved Fleet Ladies performance saw them hold Charlton Ladies reserves team to a draw, in a preseason warm up game yesterday, in their continued preparation for the coming season, writes Stephen McCartney

The pre-season campaign has been a tough one, as planned by Fleet ladies manager Valter Antunes, to ensure the ladies side were more than prepared for the tough campaign ahead.

The team returned to training early this season and feel the tough physical and mental preparation will give them a better chance to do well in the London and South East Regional League they will entering.

After narrowly missing out on results in their other pre-season games, finally the teams hard work was rewarded yesterday with a fine performance and a satisfactory score line against higher placed opposition Charlton Ladies reserves, who play in the FA National Premier reserve league.

The game started as expected at a fast pace with both teams playing some competitive and fast flowing, passing football.

Charlton Ladies are a very organised side and play a quick passing game, using the whole of the pitch to stretch the game, but Fleet Ladies were more than up for the challenge.

Starting from the goalkeeper Tania Laws, who put in a fine performance in goal making a number of fantastic saves on the day and with a strong Fleet defence in front of her commanding the game, led superbly by captain Amanda Spry, the team dealt with the attempted attacks that Charlton put together during the first half.

Fleet ladies also caused their own problems and put together some great moves to attack the Charlton goal, although it was felt that the opportunity for a final shot was not taken, the chances were being created.

With the score drawn at 0-0 at half time, Fleet ladies gained a lot of confidence from this and felt they could go out and continue to take the game to them in the second half.

Again the second half started at a fast pace, with Charlton stepping up a gear to try to score their goal, probably feeling that they should have be comfortable winners in the game due to their league placing.

Again Fleet ladies coped admirably with this and without panic tried to play their game and caused their own problems to the opposition, Jade McDermott in particular was having a strong game running down the left wing, taking on and beating players to get the ball into the box, linking well with the newly formed strike partnership of Mel Bishop and Kim Carey, they created several more scoring opportunities in the second half.

It was Fleet's worry that as they tired Charlton would push on more, as they desperately tried to score their goal, but the Fleet ladies team were determined and authoritive on the day to prevent this and it was very disappointing in the end that Charlton opened their scoring with a lucky effort that came over from a well placed cross and hit the onrushing attacker in the body as she and a Fleet defender challenged for the ball deflecting it into the goal.

Showing good team spirit and strength Fleet ladies kept their discipline and worked just as hard after this goal, pushing themselves to get a goal back.

The teams hard work in and around the box, earnt them a penalty decision after Zoe Morrell was crudely taken down in the box. Striker Mel Bishop calmly stepped up to the spot and powerfully blasted the ball into the centre top of the net past the Charlton keeper, bringing the scoreline to 1-1.

With not long left on the clock their were a few frantic moments in defence after Charlton gave themselves a final push to score the winning goal, but Fleet ladies dug in kept them at bay to the final whistle.

The scoreline reflected the hard work that was put in by the whole squad on the day, and will hopefully set the ladies team up for a strong season, filling them with the confidence they need to take into the new league campaign, starting with an away match to Hendon Ladies FC on Sunday 4th September.

For further details on the team please use any of the following contact methods. Club website: www.intheteam.com/gravesendladiesfc - Club contact Tina ladies section secretary: 07732 148011 - Club Email: spryamanda@aol.com. 

Club sponsors this season are S.E.A Limited, Secure Electronics Applications Ltd who are a local company specialising in access control and warden call systems and Accord Lift Services who specialise in the installation, maintenance, restoration and repair of all types of lifts.


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