It was a busy weekend of fixtures in the Surrey Flexible League.
Reigate Women Panthers opened the day’s games with a home tie against Kingswood Blue, knowing a win could take them top of the table. After a couple of early shots struck wide, Charlotte McKeon’s corner was skilfully brought down by Beth Mulrenan on the edge of the area, with Zoe Perkin scoring the opening goal. Shortly afterwards, a Pam Seddon-Hall shot for the Panthers was brilliantly tipped over the bar by Kingswood goalkeeper Kate Love. Seddon-Hall was not to be denied, scoring a hat-trick inside 12 minutes, all set up by Becca Nesbitt, taking the score at half-time to 4-0 to the home side. In the second half, Panthers player-manager Misha West set up Charlotte McKeon for her first of the day, before McKeon grabbed a second. Following a goal mouth scramble, Maria Molica-Franco pulled one back for Kingswood Blue, before a long ball from Panthers defender Jess Dorman gave West the Panthers 7th of the day. Kingswood Blue scored a consolation goal late in the game with Kirsty Cullum chipping the Panthers keeper to make the final score 7-2. West said of her team “I’m proud of everyone; the whole team did fabulously.”
Reigate Women Tigresses then took on Merstham FC Ladies at home. Merstham opened the scoring, with a Hayley Ross goal from an indirect free kick. The Tigresses quickly struck back, with Aisling Byrne setting up Libby Moy for the equaliser, before Moy added a second from a free kick. With no VAR at Priory Park, the Tigresses were thwarted in their appeals for a penalty for handball in the box. A lovely passing cross opened up play, with Jamie Bowman passing to Steph Thorbes to make the score 3-1. Thorbes scored a second, before her free kick was turned into the goal by Leianne Beesley to make the final score 5-1 to the Tigresses.
Caterham Pumas took on the Reigate Women Lionesses in the final game of the day. It was a very close game for the first 15 minutes, before Christina Watts broke the deadlock with a goal for the Lionesses, before Caterham equalised. Lionesses’ second goal was very hard fought in the midfield by Watts and Jenna Chisholm, as they recovered the ball to counterattack, with the goal eventually scored by Nicole Eddens to make the half-time score 2-1 to the away team. The Lionesses’ half-time substitutes, Gabriella Helden, Jen Johnson and Nicola Johnson made an immediate impact in the second half, with Nicola Johnson adding a third goal for the Lionesses, scoring a great header from a Caterham goal kick. Both keepers made some brilliant saves in the second half, with the game ending as a 3-1 win for the Lionesses. The Lionesses player-manager Anais Escalona said afterward “it was a good game despite a very muddy pitch making it difficult to run”.