The late late show
By Russ Gibbs
Girls unbeaten in four
We didn't know what to expect in this one. Lincoln Griffins are a new name to our league this year, though we knew they had some players and a coach from last season's Hykeham Tigers team. We also knew that they had impressively won their first three games and were joint top of the table. With two wins and a draw ourselves we also knew that a win would see us leapfrog them, probably into second place.
In the end it was a game that Bingham dominated for long spells without playing particularly well, and the Lincoln Girls worked very hard and made life difficult. In the first half our girls created a lot of good situations but couldn't quite turn them into decent attempts on goal, and our team seemed to be suffering from a collective case of 'poor first touch'. The deadlock was finally broken when Izzy continued her record of scoring every week, latching onto a shot that was not held by the Lincoln keeper and firing home from close range. Pip made an outstanding save that meant the girls held the lead into the break. Half Time: BTFC 1 - 0 Lincoln Griffins.
The second half was similar to the first, although the Bingham girls seemed to be creeping closer to extending their lead. They hit the bar with a cross/shot, hit the post and shot just over or just wide several times, and the Lincoln keeper was very much the busier of the two goalies. Of course, having not capitalised on the dominance in territory we fell to the sucker punch and after some slack defending conceded a soft equaliser. To their credit the home team continued to push forward and were gifted a chance to retake the lead with a penalty, following a very harsh decision by the ref. Lauren opted for power and unfortunately went slightly high and put the ball over. Though we want to win our games, this wouldn't have been a very satisfying way of doing so. Both teams still had all to play for. The miss seemed to spur the team on, and although the coaches were urging caution as we didn't want to give another soft goal away, the girls went for it and piled on the pressure. With just two minutes left a poor clearance by Lincoln fell to Lauren just outside the area, and spotting that the keeper was off her line she hit a lovely chip over everyone into the centre of the net. The girls then defended in numbers to see out the remaining time. Full Time: BTFC 2 - 1 Lincoln Griffins.
It was quite a scrappy game and it's never easy for any team to concede late on so it may have seemed harsh on the visitors, but our girls showed good battling qualities to get through this one and deserved the win in the end. It was not the great football we saw at West Bridgford a week earlier but sometimes you just have to find a way to get a positive result, and all credit to the players for doing that. Lincoln also deserve credit for making it a tough and ultimately close game and have clearly improved a lot from last season's Hykeham side. We look forward to the return fixture at their place after Christmas.
Everyone worked very hard in this game. BTFC winner of the Vintage Magnolia Player of the Match trophy this week was Lily Rose. She had a great first half at right back, marking her opposition winger out of the game. Despite taking a very strongly hit ball to the face and having to put an ice pack on her swelling eye, she returned to help the girls see out the game at the end. A skilful and brave performance.