Slice of Cheese

Ulverstone Rally To Beat Zebras

Solstice Photography

Ulverstone made it a perfect 10/10 to start the WSL season as they maintained their winning ways with a 3-1 win over the Hobart Zebras. The first half saw both sets of defences excel, and despite a dominant half by Ulverstone, they went in at half time a goal down. Fired up by the injustice of going a goal behind in the first half despite being the better side, Ulverstone came out swinging early in the second. Two early goals a piece for Georgia Foote and Lucy Foote saw Ulverstone rightfully ahead in the game, before five minutes from full time Jazmine Gorrie struck, sending the ball home after a spill from goalkeeper Alyssa Bowden.

In a game fought in challenging conditions of high winds and persistent rain, the team who were ready to pounce on loose, wayward balls and execute simple passes well, were going to be the likely victors. Ulverstone looked to do this. With turnovers given away cheaply by the home side, Ulverstone looked to capitalise with some good spells of possession. During this spell, with Ulverstone raining down with chances during large portions of the half, the Zebras’ defence held up strong, clearing anything that looked to be heading towards the goal area, even if it was Ulverstone who received the ball again to recycle the play for another onslaught. Despite some really good chances, Ulverstone were unable to capitalise.

Meanwhile up the other end of the pitch, it only took one chance for the Zebras to strike and get on the board. Being limited to some isolated, hopeful chances, it was going to take something against the grain for the Zebras to edge ahead, and that is what they produced.

While Ulverstone goalkeeper Georgia Anderson went to collect what should have been a routine ball, she fumbled the ball, with the lurking Georgia Burt ready for the opportunity. Burt stole the ball from the keeper to pass it into the empty net. A goal well against play, and enough to send the teams in at half time with the Zebras ahead by a goal, despite Ulverstone having the better of both possession and creating chances.

Inevitably the rain, which had momentarily came to a halt during half time, thundered down from the whistle of the second half. Some very early chances to test out Zebras goalkeeper was a sign of things to come. Finally four minutes into the half, Ulverstone deservedly pulled a goal back. After the side worked hard down the left flank, forcing a turnover and command of the ball, a quality cross was sent in across the box. A miscommunication in the Zebras back line, left Bowden and Kayla Mason fighting for the same ball, Mason getting a head on it, knocking it to Georgia Foote who had essentially an empty net to send the ball in, levelling the score,

Ulverstone quickly capitalised on their momentum, as Lucy Foote sent a low, hard shot into the bottom corner to give her side the lead just one minute later.

As the second half wore on, the Zebras begun to create a few more chances, despite still looking to be on the back foot for most of the half. The hard work of Nichols chasing every ball punted up to her very nearly paid dividend at times. One opportunity nearly a replica of the Zebras first, with Nichols chasing a dicey back pass to the Ulverstone keeper, but her shot flashed agonisingly wide of the post.

Even with the game opening up for both sides, it was still Ulverstone who controlled the match, simply wanting the ball more than their opponents. To ensure the game was buried and halt a late rally from the home side, it was Jazmin Gorrie who followed up the Zebra keepers spill from a long range free kick taken by Georgia Foote, Gorrie getting the better of the rebound and slotting it into the net.

Ulverstone ran out deserved winners in a contest played in trying conditions. The away side were simply the hungrier of the sides, working hard to win every ball and execute simple passes, which were decidedly difficult with the wind and quick pitch. Meanwhile, it’s back to the drawing board for the Zebras. Their defence did well to keep them in the game, however the side often saw their players too isolated when going forward, in addition to having too many lapses in concentration across the field once the ball was cleared from their lines.

Lucy Macgregor duels with Tiela Weeda- Sosltice Photography

Long time footy supporter and player, short time referee and blogger.Wanna-be know it all about women’s soccer. Also found at MollysFootyRants for more ramblings about football.