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October 5, 2020 by Stephen L Wright
So, let’s get the bad news out of the way first. It was a third loss for Blues.
The good news is much better. I ended my pre-match post with the statement that in Carla and the players we trust. Well, they did not betray that trust and, in spite of only having a third of the possession, they held a better team to just one goal, played a solid defence and made some encouraging moves.
The visitors actually put the ball in the back of Blues’ net twice, but the second was overruled due to Sam Kerr being offside. And in fact it could have been three times but for some close defending from Harriet Scott with just fourteen minutes to go. Ji So Yun fired in an on target shot from outside the area. Hannah Hampton fisted the ball away from outside the area only to see it fall towards Beth England. Scott was tight marking, got a boot to the ball and scooped it into the hands of her ‘keeper.
Seven minutes later, Scott was prominent again. Sarah Mayling hoisted a ball towards Claudia Walker, who was running into the eighteen yard box. Magdalena Eriksson headed away the ball and Mollie Green headed it to Scott, who took the it to the right edge of the area closely tracked by defender Jonna Andersson. Scott turned away and swung in a cross that Walker headed towards goal. It was a match ticket’s width away from going in. For me, these were the two best moments for Blues, and Scott had been at the centre of both. That’s why she gets my POTM vote.
Carla Ward was delighted, despite the loss: “I told the girls to take a lot of heart from that because if we defend that well and keep improving week on week then the points will come sooner or later. It is a work in progress at the minute. Each week we are getting tighter and more organised as a group, we are talking more and we are certainly fighting more which is all I ask.”
Can’t disagree with any of that. It’s still early days. There’s a long, long road yet to travel. And it’s another mid-week game for Blues as they travel to Blackburn for their first League Cup game in this year’s competition. Preview to follow. Until then…