AFC LadiesMatch Report
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Sunday, April 1st, 2012 | Attendance
AFC Ladies 2 - 3 Great Shelford Ladies
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In the final match of the league campaign AFC welcomed the already crowned league champions Great Shelford to Delphi. Shelford looked to finish the season with a win to cap a fantastic season, whilst AFC looked to gain a point to clinch 3rd place.
AFC made a disastrous start to the game when they fell behind in the fourth minute. A failure to defend a simple ball in the box sufficiently saw Shelford handed a chance in front of goal that was taken with no hesitation. Things went from bad to worse for Sudbury when they fell further behind on 8 minutes. Once again the cause of the goal was poor defending that resulted in a needless corner from which AFC failed to challenge the header that rocketed into the net.
Against a team that scored many and conceded few, AFC could be forgiven for dropping their heads, however AFC came back with a fighting response and forged their way slowly back into the game. On 17th minutes Sudbury pulled a goal back when Mia Bambury’s long ball caused confusion amongst keeper and defender, the two Shelford players colliding allowing Emma Squirrell to capitalise by tapping the ball in from close range. AFC produced a brilliant counter attack move shortly before the half time whistle, Natalie Golding released the ball into the path of right back Jess Shepherdson who took the ball 30 yards before sending a stinging shot goal wards, only for the keeper to produce an excellent save to maintain the visitors lead into half time.
Half time score: AFC Sudbury 1 – 2 Great Shelford.
A half time shuffle was required for AFC as Natalie Curtin took over in goal and Chloe Mills returned out on pitch. Mills made an impact on the game in the midfield area troubling the Shelford defence with her strength on the ball. Although AFC looked promising in the middle of the field, they failed to have the same impact in the final third and found themselves on the defensive when Shelford hit on the counter attack. Shelford missed a series of easy chances within a 5 minute period to keep AFC firmly in the game. However a lapse in concentration was to finally restore Shelford’s two goal cushion with a throw in going straight through into the 6 yard box, where it was skilfully smashed home on the turn. AFC upped their attacking game and Mills found Golding in the box who produced a series of turns to create space to test the keeper for the first time in the half. AFC chances were starting to come thick and fast with a Jodie Sharp shot sending the keeper scrambling to stop the ball on the goal line. Sudbury’s prolonged attacking had the Shelford defence on edge and AFC benefited from a defensive clearance deflecting off Squirrell to put Jodie Sharp through to send a scorcher of a shot into the back of the net. With the deficit down to 1 and the momentum with AFC an upset looked on the cards, however despite a valiant effort Sudbury were unable to get a deserved equaliser.
Full time score: AFC Sudbury 2 – 3 Great Shelford.
The result sees Shelford finish the season with a 100% win record in their quest to take the title. For AFC a solid 4th place in the league following their first season in a higher league following promotion. The ladies have progressed well over the course of the season, as this latest result proves, and they can be proud of their achievements this season. Hopefully with a number of returning faces and some new, the ladies will be able to build on this season over the summer and will look to challenge for the title next season.