WATS 4 – 2 Stafford
The game began how it should have ended with an equally solid performance from both teams. All players were settling into their first league game back nicely with both teams having a few opportunities to put away goals which were turned away by solid performances from both teams goal keepers.
The first goal of the match came from WATS. Passing the ball strongly into the Stafford circle it was stopped initially by Kate Falconbridge but the follow up was picked up by a WATS striker. Michelle Sanderson in the Stafford goal performed a lovely dive to save it but the shot was right in the far corner.
After half time Stafford came back on the offensive and managed to win a penalty corner. The routine was played excellently, with an injection to Hannah Bleakey at the top of the circle, a slip to Pam Mitchell, then back to Bleakey who threaded a beautiful through ball to Jo Lovatt on the back post. The WATS defence tried hard to prevent the goal but it was now 1-1.
The game continued to be played well by both sides however Stafford had a close call when the umpire initially declared a goal for WATS after a shot hit the post but a very sporting WATS played quickly clarified so the game continued at 1-1.
It wasn’t long before WATS did however get their second goal which was scored from a penalty corner after a period of pressure from the WATS forwards.
Stafford soon pulled it back with some excellent play down the right between Amy Mitchell and Amy Bailey and Bailey’s cross found Lovatt who finished for Stafford’s second to bring the score to 2-2.
The game remained pretty even until the last 6 minutes when WATS were awarded a contentious penalty stroke for a foul in the circle and Stafford were reduced to 10 players for descent. WATS scored from the penalty stroke and then quickly followed this up with a 4th goal while Stafford were still readjusting to being a player down.
Stafford tried hard in the last few minutes to pull it back but unfortunately for Stafford the game ended 4 – 2 to WATS. A great game with an unfortunate outcome.