23rd September, 2012
Leith Links, Edinburgh
My second match of the day following the top of the table clash between Spartans Reserves and Hearts, which finished goalless but was nevertheless, one of the most entertaining matches I have witnessed this season. Here I was taking in a match at the other end of the spectrum and if the truth be told, I was apprehensive with regard to the standard of football I was going to be presented with during this bottom of the table clash. The old cliché a game of two halves certainly covers this one!
Leith Links was enjoying lush conditions as the sun shone brightly above and many locals could be seen basking in the afternoon’s rays. Again we had near perfect conditions on a grass surface that would give the girls the opportunity to show off their skills.
The match kicked off on time but to be honest, there was little to cheer about during a mainly dull first half. In fact we had to wait 12 minutes before we witnessed the first shot on goal, which was the result of a long diagonal ball from Lucy Brown to Jane Layton but the midfielder’s effort was well off target as she shot from 22 yards, right of centre.
Nikita Crowther’s 19 yard drive was somewhat closer as Musselburgh began to dominate the match. The same player shot from a similar position, this time straight at keeper Kristina Watson.
The home side found their feet in this match and ventured forward breaking quickly via a Lauren Miller pass from the middle of the park to Ashleigh Wallace, who tried her luck as she entered the box but keeper Fay Logan had little trouble dealing with the attempt.
Anna Murdy’s powerful drive took a deflection resulting in a corner for Windsor. Murdy swung it in to the six yard area where it was met by the knee of Crowther but the ball finished up over the bar.
Murday was again the creator as she drove to the byline, delivering a perfect cross for Susan O’Sullivan, who was unmarked in the box. However she headed over the crossbar as the game remained goalless.
A Claire Ditchburn cross set up Murdy at the edge of the box but her shot was weak and failed to trouble Watson.
Half – Time: Leith 0 Musselburgh 0
If ever a game needed a goal, this was it. Plenty of chances but poor finishing meant we began the second half in a stalemate situation. Both sides putting in the effort but lacking a little bit of inspiration or peace of magic required to spark this match into life.
That piece of magic came in 52 minutes when Ditchburn crossed from the byline, delivering the ball to Lucy Brown, whose volley had goal written all over it. Watson did well to get a hand to the ten yards effort but only succeeded in pushing the ball into her right hand corner. A peach of a goal to give this match the lift it required.
Musselburgh should have been two up and would have been but for a superb goal line clearance. Ditchburn’s cross once more from the byline was met by Murdy, who with the goal at her mercy blasted low into the centre of the net. Or so she thought – The outstretched leg of Louise McLeod appeared from nowhere to send the ball away to safety. Fantastic defending by McLeod.
Brown showed some deft footwork as she feigned a shot with her right, dragged the ball to her left before firing in from 20 odd yards, which was inches off the stanchion.
The second goal came after 70 minutes. A low cross in to the box eluded O’Sullivan but Jane Layton was on hand to send the ball in beyond Watson to make it 2 – 0 for Windsor.
However Leith were not about to roll over and concede defeat. They pulled one back from a Kelly Bertram corner, which fell to Lynn Hooman at the back post; the substitute guiding the ball over the line from close range.
Almost immediately Musselburgh responded with a whizzing drive from a tight angle on the right. Ditchburn’s shot entering the net at the opposite bottom corner – her shot unstoppable as Burgh opened up the two goal lead again.
Three minutes later we witnessed the fifth goal of this incredible second half, which came from a delightful one – two between Emma Anderson and Lynn Hooman. The result was Anderson bearing down on keeper Logan as she calmly slotted the ball into the net.
With ten minutes left on the clock, we were assured of a frantic finish as Leith pushed for a third. The black and white stripes of Leith gave it their best shot but the defence of their adversaries held out till full time to lay claim to the three points.
Overall the second half afforded the spectator a match worth watching following a subdued first 45 minutes. Five goals and a that awesome goal line clearance sent me home with something to write about.
Many thanks to Leith Athletic for inviting us along to their hospitality for refreshments after the match. Appreciated!
Player of the Match: A tough decision but I opted for the hard working Lucy Brown who worked tirelessly on the left, racing up and down the wing, switching from defence to attack as her side required. A stunning volley to open the scoring and some delightful passing and ball control.
Leith: Watson, Garner, Miller, Hanson, McLeod, Allison, Bertram, Anderson, Wallace, Walsh, Meikle Subs: Duncan, Dickens, Pederson, Gordon, Hooman
Musselburgh: Logan, Stewart, Falconner, Gill, Layton, O’Sullivan, Ditchburn, Colbert, Crowther, Murdy, Brown Subs: McNee, Christison, McGlynn, Nimmo, Morrow