The one where Wapping was unconventional
After a difficult Saturday league match for Wapping Ladies 1s, that saw them slip to second position, the team had to pick up their spirits and head to Surbiton for the first round of the EH Knock Out Cup Competition.
Surbiton Ladies 1s are the top premier league team and winners of the cup for the last two seasons. This was always going to be a real challenge for the Wapping team, yet also an extremely useful learning opportunity.
The first half saw a dominant Surbiton team quickly score. Whilst Wapping marked tightly, a strong ball was struck in from the centre back and found an upright Surbiton stick, sneaking quickly past Wapping’s defensive unit and into the goal net.
This was followed by another strike from the well-drilled Surbiton side making it 2-0 to the home team.
However, Wapping continued with impressive persistence and resilience. Strong possessional play provided the team with a convincing attacking opportunities.
The midfield line of Ciara Murphy, Aisling Mckeon, Emma Evans, Lucy Todd and Vanessa Sharman were efficient at linking play together around a defensively solid and fast opposition. This enabled a ball from outside the twenty-five-yard line to penetrate the circle and find a very nearly successful deflection from Lottie Colquhoun. Jordan Mulvaney was there to clean up however, intelligently dragging the ball back from just in front of the goalie and lifting it in to the goal making the score line 2-1.
Play continued stably for Wapping till half time. Truly excellent goal keeping and communication from goalie and man of the match, Megan Pugh, ensured the score line was maintained.
The second half was less favourable to Wapping. The dominance and force of the Premier League Surbiton side enabled them to consistently perform strong attacking routines. However, there was a lot to be said for Wapping’s mentality and resilience. The side successfully implemented a good defensive structure from the front to back, with marking being a real strength and disrupting Surbiton’s play.
Katelynn Roganowicz and Kate O’Sullivan showed strong team work by continuously stretching the play and then running back to assist in Wapping’s defensive line of Hannah Gage, Becky Hart, Belinda Armstrong and Dannie Jones. The teams’ defensive organisation and use of ‘double-teaming’ players to dispossess the opposition was really promising, putting the team in good stead for upcoming matches.
Further, whilst Surbiton found the goal another five times in the second half, drawing the final result to 7-1, a real victory for Wapping was in their defensive penalty corners. With six Surbiton short corners, the team kept a clean sheet. A previous difficulty of the team has been successfully remedied, providing Wapping with a defensive confidence to take into the Saturday league and get back to their winning ways.
A tough weekend for Wapping Ladies 1s, yet a valuable experience. The highly motivated side look forward to building on the experience and improving further, determined to regain the league top spot.