With Guildford needing 3 points from their final 2 games to secure promotion and win the league in 1st place, the stage was set for another epic battle over the new challenges, Surbiton in 2nd place, with a game in hand and a chance to top the league if Guildford faltered...
In our previous meeting, Surbiton took a 2-0 lead before Guildford fought back to win 3-2, this time Guildford was not going to make the same mistake, and so a strong defensive line up began the first half with the objective of getting control of the game and dominating from the start.
The first half produced the desired result with Guildford controlling the game and moving the ball beautifully, setting up so many chances and shots at goal it looked like a meteor shower had descended on the Surbiton D. The crowd loved it but the ball would not go in and the Surbiton keeper was a solid shot stopper. It was going to take a bit more trickery to beat this keeper. As we added our attacking players the same thing happened and we reached half time 0-0.
Half time – and the team talk was clear, we are doing great, keep your heads, carry on and aim away from the keeper.
Surbiton had clearly decided to go for an all-out attack and the second half saw Guildford who had gone back to a defensive line up for the second half under pressure to re-establish control of the game. Surbiton came close, but our defence held out and we switched back on to the attacking line up and used the fresh players to inject more pace into the game.
And then after 12 minutes the trickery appeared, when a hard cross from the right direct to our centre forward at the top of the D, bounced up and became a backhand smash into the top left corner of the Surbiton net. Emma Leahey is the new Andy Murray - GOAL 1-0.
More second half substitutions were made and the full youthful line up was now on the pitch, motivated and rampant, the continued pressure and fitness lead to a circle entry, a goal mouth scramble and second crowd pleasing scored by Anja Atkins to extend the lead - GOAL 2-0.
We continued to attack and in the dying minutes of the game a penalty corner was awarded and a direct strike from the top of the D by Olivia Charles secured a precious and welcome third goal and as the final whistle blew, the score ended 3-0 and a jubilant crowd signalled what all the players on the pitch now knew. We had secured promotion in some style.
Not every season ends so well but in a tribute to the whole team, 3 facts stand out to be proud of. Firstly, this team suffered a relegation last year but have bounced back with incredible hard work and determination. Secondly we finished strongly scoring 19 goals in our last 5 games whilst keeping 5 clean sheets. And Thirdly, with only 11 goals conceded all season, this team’s defensive record is the best in Surrey. No other team in the entire Surrey Ladies League from Premier league to Div 11 has a better defensive record. That’s over 100 other teams. Now that is something to be proud of. Well done Girls.