I'll be honest and say I was a tad nervous going into this game with a bare 11 again. Missing a GK, Centre back and top goal scorer.
To be fair, Palace only had 11 players as well which helped to soften the nerves.
We played 4-5-1 and the game plan was to frustrate Palace. Gaby again played in Goal with Lauren filling in at centre back.
We started the game really well and more than matched Palace all over the pitch. The midfield consisting of Chloe, Jess, Claudia, Maddie and Zara with Tess up front pressed Palace high up the pitch and disrupted their passing. When we needed to drop we did, and Lauren along with Ava, Hannah and Cerys prevented most of the Palace attacks. The odd chance Palace had was snuffed out by Gaby.
We had a few chances ourselves and with a bit more composure may have taken the lead.
The half appeared to fly by.
Half time team talk was more of the same please. We had learnt a lot from the gruelling battle last week, and knew we had to continue trying to win the physical game. Don't be bullied. Gaby was asked to stay in goal as it would have been silly to disrupt the team. Thankfully Gaby agreed which was a credit to her character and good sign the team were working together.
The second half played out the same as the first, and we were clearly frustrating Palace as their coaching team were now bellowing at their players. The atmosphere was now electric with both sets of parents getting stuck in. Our players were responding and I believe we were now on top as we had a number of good chances to take the lead.
With 10 minutes to go, Maddie took a big hit which sent her tumbling to the turf. In my opinion it was a clear foul but waved away by the referee who motioned a shoulder to shoulder tackle. - Yeah fair in Rugby maybe!! A 5 minute break in play, while we treated Maddie with concerned looks on peoples faces. Maddie put the concerns to rest as she rose from the turf like Tyson Fury confirming she wanted to play on.
When we resumed we soon found ourselves 1-0 down. Possibly Palace's only real shot on target, Just a lapse in concentration and maybe the injury scare still playing on peoples minds contributing to it. 1 soon became 2 as we pushed for an equaliser.
A disappointing result as we deserved so much more.
The girls gave 110% and did everything the coaches asked. A real good performance.
Palace would have left the match feeling lucky and will certainly remember us.
Players of the week - Everyone
Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.