by Mike Curry · 13/10/2020
After last week’s win against Wigan, and with a very strong looking matchday squad, hopes were high that we could expect another good performance against an in-form Merseyrail. They have enjoyed a good pre-season and are still in the FA Cup, so we expected a competitive afternoon.
The opening quarter of an hour was a very cagey affair, most of the play in the middle third, with both teams finding it hard to get behind their opponents. West had the first couple of opportunities with crosses into the area, but nobody on the end of them.
The visitors worked their way into the game and on 23 minutes were in on goal, a shot across Claire’s goal and off the post, put out for a corner. This led to the opening goal as the corner took a fortunate rebound and Merseyrail had the lead. 0-1.
A shame to concede in such a way having been defensively solid to that point, Rachel Mason a particular highlight for us at the back.
West continued to probe and a chance went wide on 32 minutes. A couple of minutes later we won a free-kick to the left of the area. Ellie Caddick stepped up and her effort was well struck and on target but apparently at the keeper. However, it was far from a straightforward save and all she could do was push the ball into the roof of the net for our equaliser. 1-1.
Something you don’t often see happened on 42 minutes. Sophie Woods was through on goal, about to shoot, when a Merseyrail defender shouted “aarghh!” behind her. She miscued her shot, and the referee immediately awarded an indirect free-kick for obstruction. Unfortunately, and despite a great strike from Ellie, it was just high.
Couple of changes for West at half-time with Summer Breed and Elizabeth Livesey on for Wilman and Woodsy.
Couple of early efforts for West, Claire Young with a shot on 50 minutes, comfortable for the keeper, and then a lovely run and pass from Hannah Mitchell, but Biff’s shot went over. Tactical change on 53 minutes, Vyas replacing Leah Dolan.
Claire was forced into action on 54 minutes, doing really well to push a Merseyrail shot onto the post and away.
West had another couple of chances shortly after, both comfortably saved.
Further tactical changes for West on 63 minutes – Jami and Taylor replacing Beth and Isha, but still no breakthrough for West, and Rachel Mason continuing to deny the visitors any clear chances.
Things started to go a tad awry for Merseyrail as we entered the last quarter of the game. They had become increasingly frustrated at some decisions not given their way and on 68 minutes had a player sin-binned, and then on 75 minutes another one had to sit out for 10. West really needed to take advantage of their extra players and it was a couple of minutes later when the breakthrough came.
The ball found Claire Young on the edge of the area and her excellent shot was high over the keeper and in. West finally had the lead. 2-1.
On 84 minutes we nearly had the points secured. A great effort from Caddy was met by an equally brilliant save from the Merseyrail keeper.
Things threatened to boil over a minute or so later. Claire Young was caught by a very late challenge and was lucky not to be seriously injured. The visitors up to that point probably had some grounds for disappointment around some decisions, but there was no doubting this one as a second yellow and then red was shown to their player. Isha was back on for Claire on 87 minutes.
The treatment for Claire meant several minutes of added time and unfortunately for Vyas, this led to a bad injury of her own after challenging for a 50/50 ball. She limped off in the 7th minute of added time with an injury that was subsequently diagnosed as a fractured fibula. We wish her a speedy recovery. These late injuries the only downside to an excellent West win.
F-T: West 2-1 Merseyrail
Line-up: Jefferson (GK), Caddick, Wilman (Breed 46′), Mason, Corris (Hodges 63′), Dolan (Vyas 53′), Frisby, Mitchell, Young (Mundell 87′), Mundell (Gunn 63′), Woods (Livesey 46′)
Goalscorers: Caddick, Young
Player of the Match: Rachel Mason