Football: Barking & Dagenham girls suffer rare loss
PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 April 2019
Barking & Dagenham's district girls' squad suffered their first defeat in 12 matches at Kent Cup winners Medway.
A goal in each half settled the tie, but the Southern Counties Cup finalists will take poositives into bigger games that lie ahead.
Defences were on top for a large part of the match as Ruby Abela, Elishah-Mintah Adarkwah and Kirsten McNaughton were at the heart of Barking & Dagenham’s best play throughout.
The first chance came when Abela’s through ball set Violette Sharpe in behind the home backline, before the Gascoigne forward’s cut-back eluded the onrushing Ellie Mai Morgan.
Later in the half, intricate play between Morgan and Kaltrina Ibrahimi resulted in the latter’s cross falling to Jessie English in the box but another chance was snuffed out, with the ball eventually scrambled to safety.
In between, Medway took the lead as Barking & Dagenham half cleared a needlessly conceded corner but a shot from 20 yards found the target.
After the break, winger English threatened again and had the visitors’ best opportunity to get back into the game, riding a pair of tackles to fire off a well-struck effort, only for the home keeper to turn it behind with a fine diving stop.
Victory was sealed when Barking & Dagenham failed to deal with a long ball over the top and it was almost 3-0 moments later when a dipping free-kick from 30 yards cannoned off the bar.
However, Barking & Dagenham will be buoyed by the defiant performance of their defensive unit and the emergence of Lily-Mae Elsey as an able deputy in midfield for the absent duo of Kayla Grain and Miquellah Meade.
Many lessons were learnt and the squad becomes all the stronger for it.
Barking & Dagenham: Mei Wang (Henry Green); Jessie English (Roding); Kirsten McNaughton (George Carey); Lily-Mae Elsey (Northbury); Elishah-Oliviae Mintah Adarkwah (George Carey); Kaltrina Ibrahimi (William Ford); Ruby Abela (Dorothy Barley); Ellie Mai Morgan (Henry Green); Violette Sharpe (Valence).