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”.
The Surrey FA Flexible League finished this weekend, with all nine teams in the league coming together for a big finish at the Surrey FA headquarters at Meadowbank, Dorking. All the teams were grateful that the hot weather had peaked the previous day, however seven of the nine sides in the league still had to play back to back games on one of the hottest days of the year so far.
In the penultimate game of the season, Reigate Women FC Tigresses started their day against Lyne FC Ladies, knowing that they needed to win both games to have a chance of finishing in the top three of the league. The first half was a very close affair with both teams doing well. Sadly, the Reigate Women FC Tigresses could not convert their numerous chances which included a ferocious header from Holly Stroud rattling the bar. In the second half, the Tigresses changed things up and brought on Nichola Collins, Jamie-Lee Bowman, Claire Gray and striker Sarah Gott, as immediately all four subs made an impact. There was an increased energy throughout the team and following a lovely forward run from Sarah Gott and a deft cross from Stroud, Tigresses’ midfielder Zoe Perkin smashed an unstoppable effort into the back of the net! As Lyne FC Ladies pushed forward to find a leveller, the Tigresses were lucky to hold on to their lead as Michelle O’Connor produced a commanding and assured performance in defence (showing exactly why her teammates had voted her the Tigresses ‘Players’ Player’ for the season). As the minutes died down Lyne continued to push for a goal leaving lots of space in behind and Jamie-Lee Bowman, making her debut, received the ball on the halfway line and was quickly supported by Sarah Gott and Jaime Randle, who pulled the defenders away for the debutant to fire the winning second goal in to the net. A great game and close affair where both teams showed courage and at times great skill.
Reigate Women FC Panthers’ first game of the day was against Palace Pumas Caterham, on the adjacent pitch to the Tigresses, meaning their RWFC Lionesses teammates could sit in the stand and support both teams at once.The game was finely poised at 2-1 at half-time, with the Panthers leading through Pamela Seddon-Hall and Lucy Manning. In the second half Seddon-Hall scored her second, before leading Panthers goal scorer Becca Nesbitt scored her seventh goal in eight games, followed by a first league goal for Izzy Maclean and Seddon-Hall rounded off the scoring by completing her hat-trick, taking the Panthers to a 6-1 win and propelling them into third place in the league, ahead of their ‘winner takes all’ club derby in their second fixture of the day.
Palace Pumas Caterham then took on the Reigate Women FC Tigresses for their final game of the season. The Tigresses made a promising start, with Holly Stroud putting them into an early lead before Zoe Perkin scored her second of the day, making her the leading Tigresses scorer for the season. With a 2-0 lead at half-time, Tigresses’ player/manager Samantha Marshall made way for Aisling Byrne in goal, with Michelle O’Connor also coming off for Jamie-Lee Bowman. The changes proved a turning point in the game, as the Pumas struck back early in the second half, taking the score first to 2-1 then drawing level. Perkin struck again, to give the Tigresses the lead once more, but alas it was not meant to be with the tenacity of the Palace Pumas Caterham shining through to see them draw 3-3.
The final game of the day for both the Reigate Panthers and the Lionesses was an important one, with a club derby to finish the league for both sides, who were going head-to-head to take the crown and win the Surrey FA Flexible League for 2018/19. With three substitutes a piece, it was looking a very even game, despite the heat taking a toll on both sides. A long goal-kick from Misha West in the Lionesses goal set up Beth Mulrenan, who slotted it coolly past Panthers goalkeeper Lucy Manning. There was an accidental handball in the Panthers’ penalty area and a great chance for the Lionesses to double their lead through a direct free kick in the box, which was cleared off the line. The same situation happened at the other end of the pitch not long after, with a push in the penalty box leading to another direct free-kick, which was blocked by the two-man wall. After a short drinks break, the game continued, with the Panthers coming back on the counter, and Pamela Seddon-Hall scoring her fourth goal of the day. In the second half, the Lionesses broke through the tough Panthers defence and it was a lovely finish from Hannah Sparshott, much to the delight of her fellow teammates. The last ten minutes were nail-biting, with the Panthers having plenty of chances; Becca Nesbitt hit the post and there was some lovely attacking play between them, but it was another counter attack that the Lionesses managed to seal the deal with a 3-1 win, with Mulrenan running down the right wing to score her second of the day and secure the Lionesses the title.
The full weekend’s results were: ESPS Phoenix 2-1 Woking DiamondsKingswood Ladies 4-1 Sheen MountiesLyne FC Ladies 0-2 Reigate Women FC TigressesPalace Pumas Caterham 1-6 Reigate Women FC Panthers Reigate Women FC Panthers 1-3 Reigate Women FC LionessesReigate Women FC Tigresses 3-3 Palace Pumas CaterhamSheen Mounties 4-0 Lyne FC Ladies Woking Diamonds 0-2 Kingswood Ladies Final League positions:1) Reigate Women FC Lionesses2) Sheen Mounties3) Reigate Women FC Panthers4) Reigate Women FC Tigresses5) Kingswood Ladies6) Palace Pumas Caterham7) ESPS Phoenix8) Lyne FC Ladies9) Woking Diamonds
Reigate Women FC Panthers in Blue/yellow kit All nine teams posed together between first and second games (RWFC Panthers in blue/yellow, RWFC Tigresses in maroon on the right, RWFC Lionesses in the white shirts) Champions! Reigate Women FC Lionesses – player/manager Becky Keogh (in blue/yellow shorts) holds aloft the trophy with her teammates
For further information/quotes, please contact:Mark Adams, RWFC Chairman & Head Coach, 07947 630803
The Reigate Women FC Tigresses took on Kingswood Ladies this week, looking to go one better than their sister teams, who had drawn and lost respectively in the two previous rounds of games.
The game was initially very evenly matched, with end to end action. Kingswood broke the deadlock first, scoring from a corner. However, shortly before half-time, the Tigresses hit Kingswood on the break with Jaime Randle setting up Zoe Perkin to equalise making it 1-1 at half-time. Following a sustained period of pressure in the second half, Perkin scored her second from a cross by Anna Wilson, helped by an awesome run by Claire Gray. Tigresses goalkeeper Sam Marshall saved a couple of late Kingswood efforts and the game finished 2-1, sparking joyous celebrations from the Tigresses team and supporters. Tigresses player/manager Samantha Marshall said ‘I am so proud of the team today. Although Zoe scored two great goals, it was a real team effort with both goals starting from Michelle O’Connor in defence and I’m so grateful to all our players’.
Top of the table Reigate Women FC Lionesses then took on the Caterham Palace Pumas. With lots of missed chances and some good saves by both goalkeepers, it was 0-0 at halftime. Misha West came out of goal for the second half, hoping to replicate her goal scoring antics from the last round of games but, despite some great efforts, sadly it was not to be and the game finished 0-0. The final rounds of fixtures will be played on Sunday 30 June 2019 at Meadowbank, Dorking (the home of Surrey FA). The full weekend’s results were: Reigate Women FC Lionesses 0-0 Palace Pumas CaterhamReigate Women FC Tigresses 2-1 Kingswood Ladies Sheen Mounties 7-0 ESPS PhoenixReigate Women FC Panthers P-P Lyne FC Ladies (postponed)