Natalie Murray reports from the grudge end of season encounter between BUWFC & St. Mary's.
Going into Wednesday’s game strong was vital as it was an important fixture for Brunel for several reasons. A win would see the girls match Sussex with 21 points to finish joint top of the league, but also a win over St Mary's is something us Brunel girls love to do!
We knew we had to start the game on top and dominate right from the first whistle, which is something we certainly achieved. Right from the start we were on the attack with our striker providing the quick start that we needed. An early goal from our left winger, Caz set the pace for the game ahead as she showed her incredible technique and precision putting us (1 – 0) up with a wonder strike straight from the corner flag. After that superb strike from Caz, there was no stopping us as an attack from Brunel’s midfield, Sophia sprinted onto Georgia’s long ball beating the defence and keeper hitting the ball into the bottom right corner. Brunel, 2 – 0 in the first 10 minutes showing great composure and confidence on the ball. (2 - 1) A free kick given to St Mary’s had seen the ball missing the wall of the defence and tapped in past the keeper by their striker. St Mary’s continued to pressure the Brunel defence. As their midfielder made a run through the middle of the park, it looked like the equaliser was on the cards. However, with the persistence of Cerys chasing the player down, she struck it well wide of the left post. Two more corners on the left side struck by Caz narrowly missed the goal, hitting the cross bar twice! One long ball bounced off the cross bar brushing Victoria’s head but she was unfortunately clattered in the six-yard box by a St Marys player.
HALF TIME 2 - 1 Brunel
We knew we had to start the second half as we finished the first as we only had the one goal cushion. Furthermore, we started the second half strong as straight away in the start of the second half. Pressing high, Leanne went on a run forward passing the ball through to Cerys to receive it on the inside of the 18-yard box. They split two defenders with the clever link up play, placing Leanne clear 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper calmly slotting the ball into the bottom right corner. Leanne’s goal came at such a crucial time for Brunel. Now 3 – 1 we were in full control of the game and despite this, we weren’t settling for 3 goals – We wanted more. (4 – 1) GOAL! Free kick for Brunel, Caz played a superb ball into the 18-yard box, Georgia connected and struck at goal with Sophia cheekily getting the finishing touch. An opportunity arose for St Mary’s as their striker ran onto a long ball from the midfielder, but desire took over Courtney as she charged out of goal to block the shot, sending the ball out wide for a throw in. Warner sent a long ball down the middle for Natalie who controlled the ball and ran past the central defender towards the goal, striking towards the left corner but the keeper making herself wide out of goal meant that this time Brunel were denied by the keeper. Last minute opportunity for Brunel – Substitute Shannon won a header in the box, which flicked it past the left back. Warner ran onto the ball on the left side and crossed it into the box. Shannon volleyed it first time but it went into the keeper’s hands. The game ended with two promising attacks for Brunel restoring confidence in the squad for when we take on St Mary’s 1st team at Varsity on 29th March.
Brunel 1st team missed out on winning the league by 5 goals, but finishing joint top. We are now motivated more so than ever to get the win that we deserve at Varsity. Overall the 2016/17 season has been a huge success for Brunel!
Message from Coach Kamran Ahmed (Nominated for Coach of the year at Team Brunel Ball 2017) “The transition play on Wednesday for our squad was of such quality – The best I’ve seen of any university football we’ve played all season! The team morale was so high and everyone was so encouraging and supportive of each other. The belief in one another was superb which led to us being so creative on the attack.”
Squad – Caroline (Caz) Hodgson, Victoria Pleavin, Natalie Murray, Leanne Dominican, Lauren Warner, Cerys Thomas, Kelly Poynton, Georgia Allen, Sophia Amanor, Connie Buttle, Courtney Smith, Shannon Reade, Megan Plane
Player of the Match – Leanne Dominican