Junior weekend review - Hannah S scores twice against Eastbourne, Starlings make it 17 wins out of 17
Brighton and Hove's teams in the Sussex Girls Development League maintained their stranglehold on the competition on Saturday, with the Gulls securing their second place behind the Starlings with an excellent 4-0 win over their nearest challengers, Eastbourne Owlets.
With the Starlings beating Burgess Hill Ambers 2-0 to maintain their perfect winning record, the two Brighton sides go into the final five games of the campaign well ahead of the rest of the field.
"A tussle between the second and third in the table saw the Gulls as worthy winners," reports Sue Everton. "With our regular line up resumed this week, the Gulls played hard and fast from the outset.
"The defence - Meg E, Millie J, Rosa M, Ellie B - were composed and confident and efficiently dealt with numerous Eastbourne attacks. The midfield - captain Nina F, Olivia T, Rosa T and Leah O - controlled the game and facilitated endless attacking sweeps up the pitch. The passing between the forwards -Sophie E, Hannah S, Izzy P and Nia S - was quick and accurate and the first goal came just before half time when a reverse stick pass from Nia on the LW resulted in a tussle at the keeper’s feet with Izzy and Nia scrambling the ball across the line and so we went 1 -0 up and into half time.
"Thereafter the Gulls controlled the play. Eastbourne still threatened but the defence, led by Megan E, remained strong, composed and calm and Emily B was superb in goal saving a number of Eastbourne strikes. Her best match of the season.15 minutes into the second half Hannah scored our second goal following quick passing between Izzy and Nia.
"RM Nina linked up well with Sophie E on the wing who made some excellent runs with sweeping passes into the D and Leah’s fantastic strike in the 30th minute made it 3-0. In the last five minutes good saves from the Eastbourne keeper denied both Izzy and Sophie a goal, then Leah’s pass to Hannah resulted in her second goal of the match - a beautifully timed strike, moments before the final whistle.
"The girls were delighted with their performance against tough opposition today and this win safely secures them in second position in the league. The Gulls have returned to their winning form - strong, confident and determined to play well in the remaining five matches.
"We really appreciated the support from the women’s 5s today and many thanks too to our umpires Sarah R and Hannah L from the women’s 2s."
Amy MacMillan thought it was a tired looking Starlings that played away at Burgess Hill Ambers in the last match before the half term break.
"Late drops outs leaving us without a sub didn't help, but the girls rose to the challenge," she reports. "We started rather scrappy, but still managed to put some good attacking play together. A good passage of passing down the right, saw an excellent cross into the D and Amelia K touched in for 1-0.
"As the half progressed, whilst our goal wasn't once threatened, we struggled to maintain any consistently good passages of play and were frustrated in front of goal. It remained 1-0 at half time.
"After some words of wisdom from coaches Clare and Amy and the girls themselves showing a good awareness of what they needed to do to improve at half time, the second half was better. Our defence remained untroubled throughout with GK Tess W not touching the ball in the whole game. We were more industrious in midfield and attack, but still struggled to score.
"The Burgess Hill GK made a number of excellent saves, but eventually we did get a second, through Daisy L-S. After her initial shot and a first rebound attempt from Emily C were saved, Daisy squeezed home from the second rebound.
"Despite not being at their best, the girls kept up a good work rate and good attitude throughout, and we still won 2-0. The slight disappointment in performance reflecting the extremely high standard the girls have shown throughout this season.
"We go into the half term break with 17 wins out of 17 and firmly at the top of the Girls Under-16 Sussex Development League."
The two Brighton teams face each other in the final round of matches on March 23.
In the Sussex Boys League, the Flippers ran out convincing 5-0 winners against Crowborough Crows.
Updated 21:16 - 20 Mar 2019 by Atul Patel