Berries secure their first three points
Saturday 20 October: 2–1 win
Berries started with a great deal of purpose and really wanted to be in the game. Berries were still a bit panicky in possession but passes were getting to their targets and, in 50:50 tackles, for once the ball was coming out on the Berries side. Nip and tuck on both sides through the first half, with Berries defending resiliently with Steph or Michelle (when she was not filming or updating facebook J) having their work cut out by a nimble-footed right wing.
Helena on the right side of defence was having yet another solid game, at one point taking on two of the opposition attackers and making it look so easy. The halfs (Susie/Alison/Helen R and Jenny) were breaking up the play and trying to release the forwards.
Merton were always looking to counter attack, as Berries pushed forward looking for the first goal. The Berries forwards (Pheobe/Emily/Helen S/Nikki/Grace/Emma) were working well, passing the ball and releasing the wings (Emma/Phoebe/Emilly) to terrorise their backs.
Opportunities were falling to Berries but the ball was just not crossing the line, due in most part to the intervention of the Merton keeper.
A glorious passing move finally undid the Merton back line, with Phoebe deftly turning the ball into the net. More counter-attacks followed, with Merton hunting for the equaliser. Berries were also looking to extend the lead and, after a bit of goalmouth ping pong, the ball fell to Emily who just pushed the ball wide of the post.
One up at half time and a much more positive Berries side came out for the second half.
As the half progressed, Merton threw themselves forward, desperately trying to get the equaliser. Calm heads from Berries and better marking were limiting Merton’s opportunities.
Berries had a couple of short corners, the second falling to Nikki to hit a cracker of a shot which was only saved by the keeper’s helmet.
With around 15 minutes to go, Phoebe again popped up at the left hand post, to slot in her second goal of the match and give Berries a little breathing space.
Ten minutes to go and the suspense is too much for some, who have to leave the pitch area as they cannot stand the tension of Merton players constantly pounding down towards Berries goal and each time the ball being cleared in some fashion.
With five minutes to play Merton scored, following a good reverse stick pass and a shot across Lin which nicked inside the far post. Merton short corners followed but Berries held on for their first win of the season.
Final score: 2–1 win.