Great performance by Swans despite losing to the League leaders
By Michael Lethbridge
Caversham Swans knew that they had a tough game on their hands this week ...... away at the League leaders AFT Diamonds. Great attitude from the girls early in the first half with Niamh setting the standard and giving the Diamonds centre forward no space or time at all ........ the start of a really commanding performance from Niamh. Abbey continued her excellent form at left back and Olivia was once again very solid and quick to the ball down the right. Caversham were also playing some lovely football in the midfield with Ruby and Grace passing the simple ball and releasing Lally ....... but unfortunately the balls were a bit too hard and carrying through to their keeper on the slippery surface. Having held the Diamonds at bay for the best part of 20 minutes and with them starting to worry, three very simple mistakes mixed with a moments hesitation at the back handed the Diamonds 3 quick fire goals. This undid a lot of the hard work and it was a real pity - the girls need to learn from this and increase their focus and reaction times when the ball is in our box. A lovely turn from Courtney on the left letting the ball run past the defender saw Swans press forward, but again hesitation to shoot allowed them to close down. The fourth Diamonds goal was an excellent move from them, controlled possession and accurate passing released one of their forwards who arrowed an accurate shot top left corner ...... 4 - 0 down and Serena did not have any chance at all to save any of them. Great to see Caversham still battling with Lally urging the girls to keep fighting. We got our reward shortly after this with Grace/Abby/Lianna's through ball releasing Lally who beat their defence once again and steered an excellent shot into the corner. A very well deserved goal. Unfortunately, more mistakes crept in which is understandable in the slippery conditions and a sloppy corner and again hesitation led to another 2 Diamonds goals before half time. 6 - 1 at half time and in truth, we had given them 4 or 5 very easy goals. The second half also started well and Caversham again had some great through balls with Lianna now doing well on the left and Grace, Ruby and Courtney passing well between them. Maud as always was getting stuck in ahead of the back four and kept chasing the ball which was as slippery as ice !!! Another slight lull in the Swans performance level saw Diamonds push forward and another very good goal following a one two on the edge of the box. Another couple of gifts - not marking from corners - saw Diamonds steal another couple of goals simply by being quickest to the ball in the area. It was great to see how the girls kept on battling right to the very end of the game and they should all be very proud indeed of the effort that they put in. We all need to reflect on the result and work hard in training to get quicker, sharper and more accurate with our passes. Swans left with their heads held high despite a disappointing result of 10 - 1.