Sirens Round 15 Match Report
It was second versus third this week – Sirens vs Seaford. A promotion playoff spot is what is at stake as the season reaches its concluding stages. The round 6 clash earlier in the year between these two sides saw the Old Xavs record a memorable 2-1 victory on home soil but today OXSC made the long trip down EastLink with the home side seeking revenge.
Seaford United 2 -OXSC Sirens 1
OXSC – Abriani, Albrecht, Ardern, Campbell, Courtney, Deans, Du Moulin, Furst, Longden, Marson, McInnes, Polonidis, Zaharias
Goalscorer: A Campbell
Assist: C Longden
Pre game, the Sirens played spectator to some of the most entertaining football you are likely to see on a Sunday afternoon with a textbook Veterans game of the highest proportions being played out. 22 players on the field plus a referee and I can confidently declare that not one of them broke jogging pace – thrilling stuff. The ref walked off the pitch after a job well done lighting up a ciggie, what a boss.
Back on topic, and the main event was lurking. The home side interrupting a Sirens pre-match discussion saw the visitors take it outside in search of some privacy. After a warm up and a pep talk it was time for business. We had kick off, and from the get go the battle was heated. OXSC looked the better of the sides in the opening 10 minutes and looked threatening on a couple of occasions, a Kirsty McInnes’ cross clipping the crossbar to send panic through the Seaford camp. Half way through the opening period however, and one individual piece of good play from Seaford’s ‘She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’ was enough to give the home side the lead and make me want to throw up. Shortly after, a lapse in concentration on the Sirens left hand side left the Old Xavs exposed as the Seaford right winger composed herself with time and made it 2-0. Hard to take stuff, it was now make or break.
The next goal in this game would be vital – one more for Seaford would just about put it to bed, but if Old Xaverians could peg one back it would be up for grabs again. Surely enough, with 10 minutes to go in the opening period the Sirens showed their fighting character. Claire Longden (on one hamstring) played an inch perfect ball to goal machine Alexya Campbell who was left bearing down on goal, and in characteristic fashion netted to make it 2-1. Game on. The intensity had lifted in this game and the physicality being displayed went to another level. There were a number of off the ball incidents that went unpunished for the home side as they got away with a few cheap shots. Sirens influential winger McInnes displaying great strength as an oncoming tackler bounced off her and went to ground in pain just before the break. 2-1 at half time.
45 huge minutes awaited us as the Sirens pressed to get a crucial equaliser. They’ve shown tremendous heart on numerous times this season so I had no doubt that they could do it again. All half it was body on the line stuff, the 50/50 challenges were earnt and a number of Old Xavs’ ladies stepped up to the plate. Nat Deans was called upon to make a number of impressive saves, including an acrobatic one on one with her legs after rushing out of her area – reminiscent of Germany’s kamikaze (nutcase) goalkeeper Manuel Neuer who has the mindset of a central midfielder. If Deans had been chipped, she would’ve been on the first plane back to Scotland – so thankfully for her she pulled off a ripper.
Attempts to get forward were there for the Sirens; however the Seaford goalkeeper read the play well and was able to cut off attacks as they eventuated. Time was ticking away, and after almost 180 minutes of Sirens vs. Seaford this season, old mate Abby finally received a yellow card for showing dissent. ‘Hallelujah’ was the cry from Tess’ dog Boston as he wholeheartedly agreed with the referee’s decision. A corner was awarded to the Old Xavs with just under 5 minutes to play. Campbell’s delivery was dangerous as always, however the chance went astray.
The full time whistle blew with Seaford walking away 2-1 victors. The girls were shattered not to come away with anything in a game that meant a so much to them. The fight could not be questioned though as the Sirens gave it just about all they could. The result leaves the 2 sides locked away on 30 points apiece with three games to play. It will make for a thrilling end to the campaign as both sides search for the elusive playoff position. Croydon at home next week, bring it on.