by Mike Curry · 05/10/2020
A late change of venue for our opening league game of the 2020-21 season. Wigan’s pitch was left unplayable following Saturday’s rain deluge, but thankfully the Brookburn Road surface had recovered from both the rain and Saturday’s Men’s 1st Team match. Game on at home.
West’s summer recruitment made for not only a strong looking starting XI, but an equally strong bench.
It was a cagey start from both teams, and it was 10 minutes before the first real opportunity of the game. Taylor Gunn putting a shot just high and wide. We went close again, this time from a corner on 14 minutes. Wigan had their first decent spell of possession and went close on 18 minutes with a free-kick.
The next 10 minutes saw both teams cancelling each other out in the middle of the park, the visitors looking dangerous from set-pieces, going close again on 29 minutes. A minute later West were almost ahead. Hannah Mitchell burst into the area and her excellent shot was deflected behind by a defender for a corner, which came to nothing.
We made our first tactical change on 36 minutes, Amy Vyas replacing Leah Dolan.
The pattern of the first half continued for the remaining 9 minutes, and we were goalless at the break.
We made a second change at half-time. Isha Mundell coming on for Taylor Gunn up front.
A decent start saw West on the front foot, Amy Vyas going close on 50 minutes. Five minutes later, we had the lead. A great shot by Biff was parried by the keeper, the ball looping up into the air. Wigan had 2 defenders on the line, but it was half-time sub Isha who got the decisive touch, somewhere in the head/face region for the opening goal. 1-0 to West.
There was still an edgy feel to the game and West were unable to push on for the next 15 minutes. On 70 minutes we went close as Jami Hodges turned a great Ellie Caddick free-kick just wide.
That was Caddy’s last contribution, making way for Summer Breed a minute later. Shortly after we were forced into another change, Jami struggling with a hamstring and was replaced by Beth Corris.
Wigan had a decent spell of their own. On 80 minutes they put together a fine move and an excellent ball in, denied by a safe pair of hands from Claire from the subsequent header. Claire was called into action again 3 minutes later, tipping the ball over for a corner.
Of more concern was an injury to Shortz. Friendly fire from the boot of Wilman very nearly cost Shortz her big toe nail, but we think she’s ok. Nevertheless she can’t continue and is replaced by Leah Dolan.
The subsequent corner led to a heavy knock in the back for Wilman and a few minutes treatment. She was ok to continue but there was probably now 5 minutes of added time.
We didn’t need to worry for long though, Isha Mundell taking possession of the ball just inside the Wigan half, running forward and then launching a 30-yard effort over the keeper and into the net. 2-0 to West and Isha proving to be a pivotal change at half-time.
West were looking to see the game out and also keep a clean sheet, but in the 4th minute of stoppage time, Wigan scored with their own 30 yard special, giving Claire no chance. 2-1 and a potentially nervy last minute or so.
West saw the remaining time out though, and secured the 3 points from the first game of the season.
Full-Time: West 2-1 Wigan
Team: Jefferson (GK), Caddick (Breed 71′) , Wilman, Mason, Dolan (Vyas 36′), Edmondson (Dolan 83′), Mitchell, Hodges (Corris 74′), Frisby, Livesey, Gunn (Mundell 46′).
Scorers: Mundell (2)