Whitstable and Medway share the spoils in tense encounter.
It was a beautiful winter’s morning when we found ourselves back at the magnificent Radfall Arena to once again take on the might of Medway. After a tough match the previous week against King’s Hill, there was a determined and business like focus from the girls as they were put through their paces in the pre match warm up.
As soon as the game kicked off, a pattern was established of strong Whitstable defending and frequent, lightning fast, breakaway attacks. In the absence of two regular defenders, Izzy and Ava slipped seamlessly into the defence with Ottoline to keep the Medway strikers at bay. It was an incredible rearguard action, breached only once by a lucky ricochet followed by a confident finish from the Medway player, giving Eve no chance in goal.
The match continued this familiar pattern but as half time was reached, there was no sign of Whitstable being able to find the elusive equaliser.
The second half kicked off and Whitstable continued to probe whilst continuing to play as a tight defensive unit. The midfield of Ruby, Bea, Sadie and Flora continued to push forward but maintained their shape and discipline at all times. There was a determination that Medway would not be allowed through again and Whitstable would not be losing the match.
Maggie and Olivia attacked at every opportunity but were thwarted at every turn by the well drilled Medway defence. It was beginning to look like there would be no reprieve for Whitstable until Sadie took matters into her own hands.
Picking up the ball in her own half, positioned on the wing, Sadie began an incredible run down the right, beating three players, before cutting inside to the penalty area. As she was closed down, she managed to play a delightful ball across the area that Ruby, capping a dominant midfield display, drilled home.
There was still time for late drama. As Medway pushed forward for a winner, a free kick was awarded on the right hand side. The Medway player lined up her shot but Eve was ready for anything. As the ball arrowed towards the top corner, Eve, at full stretch, managed to get a hand to it and deflect it round the post. Moments later, the full time whistle blew. A well deserved draw and an excellent performance in preparation for the big match against our local rivals next week.
Player of the match: Ruby.