Barking & Dagenham district girls fall short to Gloucester
PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 January 2019
A stirring fightback from Barking & Dagenham's district girls fell just short of earning a share of the spoils against Gloucester as they suffered a 3-2 defeat.
Ellie Mai Morgan’s fourth goal in three games, plus Kaltrina Ibrahimi’s first since the opening game of the season, hauled their side back from a two-goal deficit only to see the host’s edge ahead with five minutes to play.
It took almost 10 minutes before the first chance of the game as a ball into the Gloucester box saw Morgan, Ibrahimi, Ruby Abela, Violette Sharpe and Miquellah Meade all have efforts blocked or saved.
That all changed in the 19th minute when a wonderful run that evaded three challenges and an emphatic finish left keeper Mei Wang with no chance from the edge of the six-yard box.
Gloucester doubled their advantage just after the halfway mark when Barking & Dagenham failed to clear a corner, before being punished by a strike from just outside the penalty area.
The momentum shifted as Meade broke from within her own half to drive at the Gloucester backline.
Committing defenders, she created space for Morgan to run into, threading a through ball behind her opponents for the Henry Green striker to chase.
Holding off two challenges, Morgan won the race before thundering a first-time strike past the onrushing Birchley.
With the home side stunned, the Barking & Dagenham squad then levelled things up with 15 minutes remaining.
This time, Wang’s long kick from goal brought panic in the centre circle as Morgan was bravest, winning possession and lobbing a pass wide left to Ibrahimi.
As the ball bounced just inside the box, Ibrahimi got there first, calmly stretching a boot to lob into the vacant goal and silence the home crowd.
Barking & Dagenham were now favourites to win the game, attacking at will with their tails up.
However, with five minutes to go, a late foray into the Barking & Dagenham half wasn’t dealt with, leading to a corner.
The visitors once again had a chance to clear their lines, but it wasn’t taken, while the half-chance was – with the ball bouncing back off the upright to rebound into the opposite corner of the net.