Image Credit: Luke Snell
FRIDAY NIGHT’S college match between James 2s and Goodricke saw several players from the James 1’s make the starting 7, as their own match was postponed.
James have had a good year so far under Lucy Grehan-Bradley, but have had several matches turned into friendlies due to player shortages.Meanwhile, Goodricke also needed a good result and had Maddi Cannell,York Sport Union President, as their captain and goalkeeper.
James had a strong start with a near shot from Harrison in the first minute. It was clear from the beginning that James’ forwards were going to play a clinical game. Within five minutes, Jones had aimed for the topcorner, requiring an excellent save from Cannell.
One of the more interesting mo-ments of the first half was when the referee, Alex Smith, clashed with Cannell over whether goalkeepers were allowed to leave the D Box. Playing 7 a side means that no other players are allowed in the D, and it was eventually decided that the goalkeepers could not leave either.
A good breakaway by Taylor for Goodricke meant that James’ team were never able to fully relax. A free kick after a Goodricke handball should have seen the first goal of the night, but Grehan-Bradley sent it sailing over the crossbar.
The pressure on Goodricke’s defence increased, which forced Cannell to make two saves in a row. However, the inevitable goal came from Jones up the right hand side in the 19th minute - only one minute away from half time.
Whilst the first half was playedalmost entirely in Goodricke’s half, the second half began a little scrappily. Playing 7 a side on a 5 a side pitch allows hardly any room to run but there were some excellent touches from both sides. The goalkeepers were kept busy with a close shot from Taylor causing James’ goalkeeper to make her first real save of the match, with two more brilliant saves from Cannell.
Putting Cannell in goal was a good move from the Goodricke team as despite a strong corner shot, the James team could not find the back of the net.In an attempt to clear, Harrison kicked the ball out the JLD allowing for a quick tactical break. The intensity of the second half increased for both teams after this.Goodricke had some really nice passes, including a lovely back heel pass from Howard,but James’ defence intercepted at every op-portunity.
A succession of strong throw-ins from Harrison led to a controlled shot for Grehan Bradley which should have gone in but was saved again byCannell.
It looked like James were go-ing to have to settle for 1-0, but some flawless passes from midfield created an excellent opportunity for Grehan -Bradley to put it in the back ofthe net in the 36th minute. This made the final score 2-0 to Jamescollege.
Both sides showed excellent teamwork and Goodricke had some really good moments of play during the match, but they lacked the confidence and control to counter a strong James side.
This was the first time either side had experienced having a Nouse reporter at their match, but the impact of this went beyond exciting attempts to have trick shots caught on camera.
Nouse spoke to Maddi Cannell after the match, who set up the women’s college football league in her third year, and asked her about the importance of putting women’s college football on student’s radar. She stated that it was “clear to see that hundreds of female identifying players turn up to trials wanting to get involved and we’re finally giving them the chance to play at every level.”