This weekend saw the Rugby Town ladies continue their run in the Birmingham County Cup 3rd round. They took on Redditch United, a team currently unbeaten at the top of the league. Rugby started well playing some good passes and keeping possession well. Kat Watkins was distributing good balls around the field making the Redditch team work. Redditch were first to score beating the defence from a wide position going up 1-0.
Despite playing some good football, Rugby were struggling to contain the Redditch attack on the counter, allowing them to shoot and conceded for 2-0.
Heads didn’t go down, Rugby Towns Emma Atkinson worked tirelessly upfront and put pressure on the defence, this resulted in winning the ball from the defender and one on one with the keeper, slotting home from an acute angle 2-1. The first half wasn’t finished, when almost immediately Redditch piled on the pressure optimizing on a misplaced ball, scoring for 3-1 which was how the score finished for half time. Due to injury Adele Rogers had to go in goal and Jen Johnston slotted in to the center back role.
The ladies came out for the second half very positively and immediately made their impact. Loren Bliss played the ball to Kelly Worthington, who was able to hit a great ball for Emma to turn and run at defenders. She made a perfectly timed pass for Chloe Debaes to finish for her first goal for the club. 3-2. Jen Johnston and Caitlin Revan worked well at the back, containing much of the Redditch attack. Rugby kept pressurizing in the box and were unlucky not to capitalize on a penalty awarded for hand ball in the box. Andie Coupland battled hard in the middle, winning many of the balls.
The ladies kept working hard and with it came rewards. Emma again found herself one on one with the keeper this time hitting the keeper but on the rebound followed home with her right foot bringing the score to 3-3. With all to play for the ladies were reenergized and determined to get something out of the game, going all out for the winner. Emma took a corner, ball came out for Loren Bliss from the left back position to first time loft the keeper from close to the half way line. 3-4 to Rugby Town. However, the lead was only short lived when Redditch were able to score from a free kick. With only minutes to play both teams dug deep, trying to push for the winner but it wasn’t to happen for either team. 4-4 final score.
The game went to penalties but unfortunately the ladies were unable to come away victorious. Manager Jason Morris was very proud of the ladies performance, it’s tough to take when you come so close but we keep moving forward. The ladies hope to build on the performance when they return to league action against Gormal on Sunday down Kilsby Lane. Player of the Match: Kat Watkins.
Photos belong to Lelde Ozolina