Loughborough Get Off to a Flyer in the Rain
Loughborough Women’s 1sts take no time to settle into their BUCS campaign, beating Leeds 1sts 10-0. Harriet Eastham braved the rain to report for Label Sport.
On a soaked Brockington pitch, Loughborough got off to a dominant start that was set to continue throughout. The girls were unlucky not to capitalise early on after the countless chances that they created; and this was only made more challenging by a greasy pitch. However, it only took eleven minutes to break the deadlock, with a corner swung in by Sullivan from the left hand side which caught the Leeds defence off guard and found the back of the net.
Loughborough were unlucky not to grab a second after Anderson’s free kick sailed just high of the goal. Nevertheless, after patient build-up play, Bergin struck a right-footed rocket to make it 2-0. Leeds were still battling out on the pitch and found themselves with an opportunity to get one back, although this chance was wasted with the forward firing wide of the goal.
Again Loughborough continued to pressurise the Leeds goal; this time they were denied by the cross bar. Not long after, Anderson made it three, displaying some great close control, after some defensive errors, to guide the ball into the bottom left hand corner.
Throughout the match Loughborough consistently chased down every ball to ensure that they had the upper hand in this Northern Premier BUCS league tie. Before the half-time whistle there were chances to increase the score line, yet the Leeds keeper made a string of comfortable saves.
The second half brought much of the same by the Loughborough outfit. However, briefly into the opening minutes of the second half a searching ball was struck across goal by Leeds, but with no one in the box to slot it home Leeds failed to get off the mark.
After their slight scare Loughborough persisted in their attack with some neat play down the right side; this was rewarded by another goal scored by Ladd in the fifty third minute, with a thumping effort to fool the keeper with the sheer pace on the ball.
At times the girls struggled within the final third due to the Leeds goalkeeper pulling off some inspired saves. The score line could have been so much more had she not been so focused. However, the fine form had to falter at some point; a free-kick was sent in from just outside the penalty area, resulting in the keeper spilling the ball, allowing for debutant Hayes to tap in for the home side.
As the sun finally started to shine over the drenched players, Hayes struck again to make it six. After an unusual period of silence on the pitch, the girls found their voices once more, allowing for some great communication for Loughborough to pick up the ball on the edge of the area and produce a deft finish to chip the keeper – who was unlucky to not get more of the ball with her outstretched fingertips.
Soon enough, Anderson’s name was on the score sheet again as she displayed some smart skill to wrong foot the defender, allowing her space to place the ball into the top left hand corner. Loughborough weren’t finished yet, and had another opportunity for a final flurry of goals. This time a one-on-one with the keeper provided the goods, as Anderson sealed her hat-trick to calmly slot the ball past the keeper at the second time of asking. To see the game out, Hayes made it 10-0 after a rebounded effort from range was parried to the feet of the attacker who tapped it into the back of the net.
As the final whistle sounded on a thorough display by the 1sts, Label Sport grabbed a few words with Loughborough Captain Hayley Ladd.
“Seeing as we won the league last year we wanted to start this year off well, we want to send a message out to the other teams that we mean business again.
“We have a couple of new faces in the squad, which brings competition for places. You don’t know if you’re going to play every week, it makes everyone work harder.
“We’ve got really good team spirit and we all play really well together so we’re looking forward to any challenges”.
Loughborough’s toughest challenge will take place next week in a BUCS clash away to Durham University.