Wiltshire FA 1 – 1 Devon FA
Played at Corsham Town FC - Sunday 22nd July 2018
The opening game of the South West Counties Womens Championship will be remembered not for the football but about the way women footballers from Devon and Wiltshire stood the test of time of trying to produce a football match in the most unbearable heat ever experienced by those that attended this fixture played at Corsham Town Football Club.
Both sides played their hearts out on a pitch that despite the great efforts of Corsham Town was dry and solid underfoot.
Both sides at times looked worried, players struggled to run for periods of times and add to that the water breaks and it was remarkable we even finished the game with all standing, but thanks to the Wiltshire Physio, we did and well done girls for giving us a game that was very competitive.
Devon Manager, Roger Bonaparte, assisted with his new assistant Nyssa Edgecombe, set out to protect the Devon goal by playing a defensively strong 4-5-1 formation with the hope that they could steal a goal from set piece opportunities.
The system worked well in the first half with little to worry Devon keeper Zoe Stock (Horrabridge Rangers), apart from the melting sun. The nearest we had to a goal was a half chance that fell to Nadine Johns (Feniton) who fired narrowly wide in the 33rd minute.
Half-Time came and it was maybe a poor communication by the management of the Devon side who stood outside on the pitch in the soaring heat whilst their opponents Wilshire, took full advantage of going into a cool dressing room and a chance to take on more water.
The impact of the difference between the two sides was so different in the first fifteen minutes of the second half. Wiltshire, came flying out of the trap in the second half and were dominating the game and it was only a question of when they would take a well-deserved lead. Zoe Stock firstly denied Wiltshire a great chance to take the lead thanks to her spectacular save using her knee and minutes later pushing away a strong Wiltshire effort that was heading for the bottom corner.
Devon were really struggling to keep their shape with many changes due to the heat that it cost them dearly in the 60th minute when a floated Wiltshire ball into the Devon box was mis-handled by Zoe Stock as he struggled to see the ball in the glaring sunshine and the loose ball was tucked home for the opening goal by Wiltshire’s Ellie Cameron (FC Calne), 1-0 and very well deserved as this Wiltshire team were flying high with confidence.
More and more Wiltshire attacked but thanks to some controlled and calm defending by Devon they were able to hold Wiltshire at bay. With just 12 minutes left a through ball fell at the feet of Brittany Harris (Feniton) who flicked the ball past the outstretched arms of Wiltshire’s keeper for the ball to trickle into the empty net for make the game all square at 1-1.
The game opened up a lot more now and the exhausted legs of both teams was giving strikers that chance to pounce on any mistakes, but in fairness both defences kept it tight and the game ended with honours even and 1-1 was a very fair result to both sides.
Both sides duly got their credit from both sets of supporters as they cheered both teams off the field, please check our pictures and you will see what I mean about the conditions.
For Devon it was a promising start as some players will get better with the system that Roger and Nyssa are playing and we now prepare ourselves for t5he next Womens fixture which will be played on Tuesday 7th August at Coach Road, 7.30 when we host our old rivals Gloucestershire FA.
Player of the Match – (Media Selection) – Lorna Thompson