Our Women’s team fell to a 2-1 loss against fellow title-chasers Sleaford Town Ladies in their first league defeat of the season yesterday.
The game started at a ferocious pace with both teams searching for an early goal and the Mariners went close when Alisha Dejonge saw a header cleared off the line. Forward Ellie Wilson then followed suit, going close but seeing her effort drift wide.
Despite being on top, Town conceded first just after the half-hour mark when a clearance from Sleaford split the defence. One of the visitors’ strikers went through on goal and lifted the ball over debutant goalkeeper Chloe Grey.
A big flash point came towards the end of the first half when a high tackle on Dejonge left the striker in pain. The referee, however, only issued a yellow card to a Sleaford defender.
Dejonge was unable to continue into the second half after failing to recover but her absence didn’t stop the Mariners maintaining an element of control on proceedings.
The visitors, though, hit another against the run of play. A clearance from Leah Wray fell to a Sleaford midfielder. Returning the ball into Town’s box, defender Liv Kershaw tried to shepherd the ball back to Grey in goal.
A coming together in the box, though, saw Sleaford awarded a penalty much to the surprise of those with Mariners allegiances. The visitors dispatched from twelve-yards out to double their lead.
With work to do, the Mariners continued to push forward looking to hit back and were able to half the deficit in the 80th minute. Mia Atherley floated a ball to the back post where a waiting Kim Brown managed to pull the ball back for Danielle Brighton to fire home.
Two minutes from the end, Town had two chances to level but neither Emily Blyth or Beth Wharton could find the net.
Town had a penalty appeal in the dying moments when Wilson ran onto an Eden Pedersen through ball and rounded the keeper. Despite looking to be brought down by Sleaford’s right back, the referee waved play on and the Mariners fell to a first league defeat of the season.
After the match, manager Hayley Cox said: “ It’s a really hard one to take today. We dominated the possession but if you don’t take your chances you don’t win games.
“We finish the day level on points with Sleaford now but with a game in hand. There is still a long way to go in the title race but we can’t afford any more slip ups.”
The Women’s next fixture is away to Worksop Women at St Joseph’s Rockward on Sunday 19th February, kicking off at 2pm.
Chloe Grey, Mia Atherley, Olivia Kershaw, Harriet Dalton, Leah Wray, Eden Pedersen, Evie Revell, Kim Brown, Ellie Wilson, Bethany Wharton, Alisha DeJonge
Danielle Brighton, Libbi Wright, Emily Blyth