Brighton and Hove's women's 2s go into the mid-season break top of the Sussex League premier division after a breathless 4-3 victory over Burgess Hill 1s secured by a last-minute goal on Saturday.
"Our hardest fought victory yet and a sensational team performance," reports delighted captain Nivene Raafat. "Time to rest up, recover and prepare for the second half of the season." With 11 wins and 52 goals from 12 matches the 2s lead the table by two points from Hailsham 1s.
"After what felt like a week of bad luck (losing four players through injury and illness, and Pitchero telling everyone our game was an hour earlier than it was!), we thought we might be in with some long overdue good fortune as we faced off against Burgess Hill," says Nivene. "Our opponents attacked ferociously from the word go and we struggled to contain their feisty centre forward.
"After 15 minutes, we went 1-0 down when Burgess Hill broke down the centre and swarmed our D. Alice Heap evened things up with a well taken slap on a short corner, and then we seemed to hit our stride. Kelly Sharp picked up a poorly aimed clearance to slot home from close range and got a second barely two minutes later, hitting the backboard after being set up by player of the match, Mabel.
"We started the second half 3-1 up thinking more goals were on their way - and they were, just not for us! Burgess Hill were awarded a very questionable penalty flick, which they converted. Sensing the tide might be turning, they piled the pressure on and managed to break and score again to make it 3-3.
"We kept battling hard, fighting for every ball and making plenty of menacing D entries, and just as we thought we would have to settle for our first draw of the season, Irish managed to win the ball in front of goal, sending it goalward for Postie to pop over the line ... in the final minute!"
For the women's 1s there was little pre-Christmas cheer from their visit to Tulse Hill and Dulwich in the South Clubs League on Saturday, a 7-2 defeat leaving them bottom of the table.
Amanda Billington's report was short and sweet. "We were awful in first half, 5-0 down. Better in second half, 2-2. Now we are amazing in the third as making our way to the club via the pub. Happy Christmas everyone."
The 3s fared no better, going down 5-0 at Hailsham 1s in the Sussex League.
However, you can always rely on the 4s and Ellie H to cheer things up and there was plenty of that in a 2-0 win over Eastbourne 1a.
'Oh the weather outside was frightful
But the game was so delightful
And since we had no place to go
Let's score a goal, score a goal, wait two goals!'
"Yes that's right kids, the 4s jingled their way to Eastbourne for a clash against top of the league," writes Ellie. "Spirits were high with Christmas cheer and we started the game with a determination to keep a clean sheet against the notoriously rough Eastbourne.
"We played a safe game, focusing on possession rather than dangerous runs to their D. Soon Eastbourne's temperature was rising as we extinguished all their chances on goal and then, with Christmas cheer on our side, we converted our possession into a goal! Huzzah!
"Starting the second half we knew Eastbourne would kick back and sure they did but we weren't going to let them tinsel us after all our hard work! Enjoying this half running with the wind and rain and Wham! another goal from us!
Aching bodies from the running and falling but a well deserved victory for the 4s. Pass the egg nog and mince pies - we wish you all a ruddy merry Christmas!"
The 5s went down 2-0 at Honeybees 1s and considered themselves unlucky, according to Rachel Slaughter.
"No puns this week I'm afraid as I'm useless! The women's 5s were on a high from last week having gained a great result at South Downs, but were unfortunately beaten 2-0 by Honeybees on an always tough PACA pitch. Both goals were unstoppable and the 5s were unlucky not to get more out of this game, considering the amount of possession we had and some great performances.
"MoM went to Angry Feral Midge for a cracking game in the centre of defence, and Izzy, despite her excellent step up to midfield this week, won DoD for nicking a sausage roll from the kids' party next door and turning up in the wrong colour socks!
"We go into the break with four wins under our belt so far, which we're hoping to build on in the new year. Merry Christmas to all!"
While the 6s walloped Chichester Centurions 5-1 the 7s went crashing to defeat at Horsham 5s.
"We came, we fought, we lost .... 0-10 against the top of the league, rain storm hitting us sideways relentlessly. Nuff said! Best be forgotten. Onwards and upwards next week," was Betti Jordan's succint report.
Updated 21:16 - 20 Mar 2019 by Atul Patel