City U18's win A420 Derby
By Wayne Holden
OCFC Ladies U18's started their season with a bang with a hard fought victory away to fierce rivals Swindon Town 4-2.
A mouth watering first league fixture between 2 of the favourites to be challenging for the title this season, and the game did not disappoint. On a carpet of a pitch at Lambourn Sports Club that suited City's style of play, they really looked like they meant business from the start, and dominated the early stages. It was no surprise that they took the lead with 10 minutes on the clock, as Molly Lygo cut in from the left and fired a shot from 18 yards which was cruelly deflected past the Swindon keeper. On 15 minutes City's dominance paid dividends again as they went 2-0 up, as some neat work from Becci Bostock, and then defence splitting pass from Lara Althorp, allowed Dara Austin to come flying in and fire past the helpless Swindon keeper. 25 minutes in, and the game was held up for 10 minutes, as City Captain Megan Thorpe had to be taken to hospital with what looks like a serious injury. The girls although some of them a little shocked, tried to not let this affect them, and to their credit once the game got under way they finished the half the strongest, but could just not quite add to their tally.
The 2nd half started, and Swindon obviously got a rocket at half-time, as they came out all guns blazing, and really threw everything at City to get back into the game, and they deservedly did on 66 minutes, as the very impressive Lauren Abery scored stunning individual goal, as she picked the ball up on the half way line, turned her marker, and went on a mazy run taking on 3 defenders, and then finishing coolly to make it game on. It really was backs up against the wall now for City as Swindon pressed for an equaliser, but much to City's relief and against the run of play they broke up he other end on 72 minutes as the lively Kiera Isaac created space to get her shot in from the edge of the box, which the keeper made an excellent save but could only parry it out, and Isaac reacted the quickest to follow up her own shot and fire home to put City 3-1 up. 2 minutes later City all but wrapped up the points to go 4-1 up, as the inventive Lygo got her 2nd of the game with a fantastic strike from 25 yards which flew into the top corner giving the keeper no chance. Swindon did get another goal back on 79 minutes, as former City triallist Natalie Webb slotted home, but it was too little too late for Swindon as the game finished and City will be delighted to have beaten Swindon 4-2 in their own backyard.
Both sides should be massively proud of a top game which was a credit to ladies youth football, and I'm sure both teams will be challenging for honours at the end of the season.
Team: Lucy Hunter, Alexis Parsons, Becci Bostock, Megan Thorpe, Isabella Richards, Dara Austin, Lara Althorp, Shelley Knight, Molly Lygo, Courtney Sumner, Kiera Isaac. Subs: Iona Smith, Ellie Larkin, Chloe Holden, Lauren Page.
Goalscorers: Molly Lygo (2), Dara Austin, Kiera Isaac.
Player of Match: Molly Lygo