England Beach Soccer ladies winning opening
English Beach Soccer Ladies National Team claim victory in their first ever fixture in The Wightlink Ladies Community Shield
28 Aug 2012
On Wednesday 22nd August history was made as the England Beach Soccer ladies team travelled to the Isle of Wight to mark their first ever competitive fixture against an Island select team being headed up by Mark Mitchell who has previously played for the men’s international side.
The 1st period started brightly for England with Gemma Hillier opening her account finishing from close range (1-0), she was soon proving very hard to deal with and quickly added another to put England in the driving seat with a great strike driven low and hard (2-0). It was then the turn of Kirsty McGee to add her name on the score sheet with a well-placed header following a corner taken by Jenna Fowlie (3-0). The period finished with Brighton & Hove Albion striker Kim Stenning cleverly gambling on an awkward bounce on the sand to see home England’s fourth goal of the game (4-0).
The Isle of Wight Side did start to find their feet in the second period and soon got their reward when Sarah Betch-Wright scored what was probably the goal of the game with a thunderous strike from the halfway line (4-1). Good link up play between Shelly Cox and Leeta Rutherford then allowed Hillier to grab her third goal in what was soon becoming a game to remember for the England number ten (5-1).
The third period again started well for England with Jenna Fowlie scoring from a tight angle having hit the crossbar only moments earlier (6-1). Hillier saved her best for last scoring again after mazing her way through two players then crashing home her shot to make it her fourth and England’s seventh of the game (7-1). Isle of Wight weren’t ready to give up without a fight and soon scored a much deserved second goal (7-2). In the final moments of the game Kirsty McGee scored again with impressive volley from inside her own half (8-2).
England Head Coach Perry Northeast was extremely pleased with his side in what was their first taste of a competitive game on sand commenting ‘We have only been together as a squad on three or four occasions but what the players have learnt and taken on board from this early stage has been excellent. I felt it was vital for us to get a game under our belts before the end of the year. I must give credit to Gemma Hillier as her performance did stand out, but what was even more pleasing to see was the team understanding and link up play leading up to the goals. Credit must also be given to the Isle of Wight team as they had their moments as well. There are two or three players who I would certainly like to see training with the England squad in the near future’.
Reflecting on the occasion Northeast also added ‘It was great to be given the opportunity to travel as a squad to the Isle of Wight and thanks must be given to the IWBSA and Wightlink as without their help and support the occasion wouldn’t have been possible. This is only the beginning for Ladies Beach Soccer in England and we already have a pool of players wanting to train and be part of the national side. Ladies Beach Soccer is growing at such a rapid speed so it seems a fitting time to introduce a side capable of competing at an International level. ‘We are very happy with the current standard of the squad but at the same time still have at least another ten players looking to break in’
Source: England Beach Soccer
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