Wednesday 21st of February saw our 2nd Team play Glasgow University 1st Team at home. Having lost heavily in the previous fixture and with this being the last game of the season for both teams, the 2s had nothing to lose going into the fixture. Glasgow on the other hand, would have been looking for 3 points in an attempt to continue to challenge our 1st team for the league title as they sit in 2nd place and were only 2 points behind the leaders.
The game kicked off at 2pm and both teams began finding their feet. The first 15 minutes saw a slightly rocky start for the 2s as they felt out the opposition and throughout the first half Glasgow saw generally more of the ball. However, at 25 minutes in, Megan Gower received the ball wide, beat a player to get into the box. The keeper rushed out however Megan skipped past her only to be taken down in the area, where the referee awarded a penalty. Having stepped up to the spot twice in the 2s last game against St Andrews, Bailey Bender confidently took up the role as penalty taker, and struck the ball well and hard into the back of the net to make it 1-0! The 2s looked like they would make it to half time with this lead intact, however Glasgow continued to apply good pressure forcing stand-in keeper Carolina Sousa E Sa to make a number of outstanding saves. Unfortunately at 40 minutes, the pressure paid off and, following a scramble in the box, the ball trickled over the line from a header, only just out of the reach of the keepers. The second team went in at half time disappointed but not defeated, with the score at 1-1. Half-time saw one substitution for Edinburgh as Rachel Torrence came on for an injured Bailey Bender.
The second half kicked off and saw more of the same as the first half. The game was relatively even and there were chances at both ends. However, as the game went on both teams began to tire and Glasgow were applying increasing pressure, as one player gets a shot away from inside the box only just going over. Playing it well around the back, Glasgow made it very difficult for Edinburgh to gain possession of the ball and for long periods of time the ball remained in the Edinburgh half as they defender for their lives. Hannah Dryden ran tirelessly for the first 45 minutes pressuring the Glasgow defence and holding the ball up well. Edinburgh were still creating chances however and on both wings, Amy Gilroy and Lily Chubb made positive runs including numerous nutmegs. With 5 minutes left of the game, it was looking unlikely either team would score and, with the score 1-1, a draw seemed a positive result for Edinburgh who had defended valiantly for much of the second half. Katie Kennedy made a number of crucial tackles at the back during this time, putting her body on the line to defend Edinburgh’s efforts.
However, the 2nd Team had other plans.
At 86 minutes, Amy Gilroy who was playing upfront, received the ball on the wing and, 25 yards out from goal, took one touch before lobbing the ball high into the air, over the Glasgow goalkeeper and into the back of the net! Against the run of play and in quite spectacular fashion, Edinburgh 2s found themselves 2-1 up with only a few minutes left. All of a sudden the 2nd Team had something to lose and immediately set up protecting this lead as Glasgow sent more and more of their players forward. Leaving only a few defenders back, Glasgow were really pushing for an equaliser and were putting everything into any possession they had. However Edinburgh created a couple of chances on the counter attack as a result, as twice Lily Chubb found herself with lots of space on the wing, and Amy Gilroy in the middle to create a 2 v 1 situation. The first time Lily opted to pass, which the defender intercepted cleverly and Edinburgh were forced to defend again. However, the second time, Lily learnt from her mistakes and opted to take the ball herself. Gliding past the final player, and setting the ball up to hit it with her left foot, Lily Chubb then hit a solid strike into the bottom right hand corner of the net to put Edinburgh 3-1 up! This was a great goal and Edinburgh celebrated proudly as, with only 2 minutes left, this put them in a position where they could relax and see out the win. Edinburgh continued to battle hard right up until the final whistle and the referee blew the whistle, meaning the second team took all 3 points!! Man of the Match was voted for by the whole team and resulted in a 4-way tie so the “Women of the Match” were: Lily Chubb, Katie Kennedy, Hannah Dryden and Amy Gilroy.
This game saw the curtains close on Edinburgh 2nd Team’s league campaign as they finish with their highest ever points total. Having beaten every team in the league except our own 1st team, the 2nd Team should be extremely proud of their efforts this season and finishing the season with 2 fantastic victories again strong teams displays how far they have come as a team. They will go into next season’s league campaign with confidence and belief, and if they continue to work as hard for each other as they have this season, then they’re capable of achieving even more next year.
The 2nd Team have no more league games left, however they are yet to play Napier in the SSS Cup where they will be looking to progress further than last year. Stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter for more details of this.