By Mackenzie Byrne http://kenzieebyrnesoccerviews.blogspot.com/
On the weekend of storm Brian, Loughborough Foxes created a storm of their own by blowing away their higher tiered opposition, Middlesbrough Women, with a 2-0 victory in the Women’s Premier League Cup First Round.
Middlesbrough travelled to Loughborough sitting top of the Women’s Premier League Northern Division, a league higher than the Foxes, and nearly took the lead inside five minutes, but were denied by a header from the goal line by winger Lindsey Tugby. Middlesbrough had another decent chance just inside ten minutes, but Boro’s Number 9 put an effort just wide of the target.
However, it was the minnows who took the lead, against all odds, from Tugby. Good work in the box by Charlotte Cooper resulted in her rolling the back into the path of Tugby who curled her effort into the bottom right hand corner. Jubilation in the stands - so much that one supporter had his shirt off in Ryan Giggs FA Cup style! Foxes continued to defend well, which saw Boro limited to a number of chances from outside of the box, especially from Number 9, however all of the efforts from the visitors were blazed over the top of the crossbar, a number of them coming from 20 yards out or further.
Against the run of play, Foxes found themselves two goals to the good. Tugby returned the favour to Cooper, after sound footwork in the area, and the latter poked home from close range. Absolute scenes in the dug out & in the stands as half time drew closer. Foxes lead by two at the break.
Boro came out of the blocks very quickly and had two efforts within a minute of the restart, but neither troubling Amy Burle in between the Foxes’ sticks. Foxes had their third effort of the game just after the hour mark and could have put curtains on the tie, but Cooper scooped her effort over the bar.
With twenty minutes remaining, Victoria Brackenbury took one in the face, which highlighted how good Foxes were defensively and how resolute they were with their efforts to keep a clean sheet. Boro were narrowed to plentiful of long range efforts, with only one effort coming inside the area, which was comfortably held by Burle.
Boro dominated possession, but the closest Boro came to scoring was in the eighty-first minute, as Number 6 rattled the outside of the woodwork, following a finger-tip save from Burle, but the rebound was blazed high and wide, albeit from an offside position. Unfortunately for Boro, one of their most dangerous players going forward was taken from the field after feeling the effects of a strong Jodie Bartle challenge.
Foxes saw the game out till the end and achieved a massive scalp in the League Cup first round, after coming into the game as huge underdogs. A great performance saw the Foxes knocking out one of the favourites and keeping a clean sheet in the progress, which was well deserved in the end. Kudos to the change in tactics and formation from manager Jenny Sugarman. Outstanding! ðŸ‘ðŸ»
Some strong words from the opposition coaches after the game in the clubhouse as whispers rang out that their ladies didn’t deserve food on the way home from the services, as well as some fruity language. Boro weren’t as bad as suggested, but were denied by a solid performance from the Foxes’ Ladies.
Foxes will take one eye off of the League Cup as they return to league action next weekend as they play hosts again to Steel City Wanderers Ladies in the Women's Premier League Midlands Division One. Come & support the ladies at the Loughborough University Stadium, next Sunday at 2pm.