Grain guides Barking & Dagenham district girls to victory against West Kent
PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 November 2018
Kayla Grain’s opening goal of the season was all that could separate Barking & Dagenham girls from hosts West Kent in a much-improved team performance.
The visitors also had keeper Mei Wang to thank for two fine saves, ensuring a clean sheet and a 1-0 victory for her team over the current Kent Super League leaders.
The decisive moment came after just six minutes when the home side pushed forward in numbers, hoping to exploit Barking & Dagenham’s left flank.
Elishah Mintah-Adarkwah had other ideas however, wrestling back possession in the danger zone and clearing the ball to Kaltrina Ibrahimi.
The William Ford winger stayed composed under pressure, working space to pump a long ball in behind the opposition defence.
Ellie Mai Morgan’s appetite for a lost cause then saw the skipper burst through a West Kent defensive sandwich to emerge on the other side with the ball, bearing down on goal.
With the home keeper advancing, Morgan looked certain to pull the trigger herself – until she intelligently cut the ball back to the unmarked Grain to sidefoot a calm finish into the open goal, despite a desperate last-gasp lunge from a West Kent defender.
Morgan had an opportunity to double the advantage two minutes later, however, her daisy-cutter lacked the necessary power to force its way home.
Returning veteran Miquellah Meade then saw two efforts saved in the 10th and 17th minutes, before a long ball over the top saw West Kent’s biggest chance of the game.
A home striker advanced on goal, only for Wang to charge off her line to narrow the angle and make the save.
Despite heavy pressure, West Kent only managed one real opportunity, when a clear offside was missed by the officials to the amazement of both sets of benches.
Wang once more tipped wide however, preserving the advantage going into the closing stages.
First Grain tried her luck from 30 yards, then Morgan hit the post from point-blank range, before Ibrahimi found the side-netting as the scoreline stayed the same.