Sunday sees the team going to Saltdean for the penultimate game of the season. Although dependant on other results, there is a slim chance of a league title win with a lot riding on this game.
If City win and Hastings and Montpelier draw then it goes to the last game. But City would then have to win their last game and hope Hastings and Montpelier both lose to take the title on goal difference.
The squad is fully fit with the exception of defender Emma Verrinder who has an ankle ligament injury, and are raring to go.
we talked to staff and players about their reactions to the Hastings game, and about Sunday’s game.
Manager Connor Slade
“We knew that the Hastings games were going to be a tough, and when we conceded 2 in the first 15 minutes from a set piece and a great long distance finish, we were looking a bit down.
But we kept things solid throughout the rest of the first 60 minutes. A big credit to the centre back partnership of Eloise & Payton who played an outstanding game both in and out of possession and massively contributed to the fantastic next 60 minutes that we displayed for the 2nd game.
In the 2nd game we created chance after chance and maintained our way to play football. An impact off the bench from Katie provided us with an injection of pace but in the end we scored the first goal through a Gaby & Elinor combination, another partnership that has proved so important for us going forward.
The second goal was a finish by new girl Molly and the 3rd by Katie Long who bagged her first of the season. The best thing about the goal was seeing the celebrations, we haven’t properly celebrated a goal like those yet this season. And I think the occasion was really met by the players and overall the result fair and deserved.”
Assistant Manager Joe Connell
“Starting slowly in games has cost us a few times this season & ultimately not being switched on to the long ball resulted in two goals for Hastings.
We re grouped at the end of the first game & came out much stronger in the second game. Passes were sticking to the girls feet, through balls were being Latched onto & 3 well worked and deserved goals came our way.
They are a good side & we knew it would be a tough task facing them in a double header, full credit to the girls for battling for 120 mins.
For the Saltdean game we have to be more switched on from the start, Being in control of both halves of football and continuing to stick to our principles, not being drawn into scrappy football”.
“As a team I think we can all agree, we started off slow at the beginning . After Hastings scored 2 goals in less than 9 minutes, we knew we had to step it up a level.
From being able to watch on the bench, to coming on as sub, it was evident we dominated and controlled the 2nd half. Unfortunately, the slow start costed us a 2-0 defeat.
After losing the first game, you would expect confidence and motivation levels to be low. However, the team talk was highly positive and motivated us to go out there and smash it. This is exactly what we did. 6 minutes into the second game, Gaby Hobday crossed a great ball in the box for Elinor Williams to tap in. The goal restored our confidence and made us hungry for more. It did not stop there, after receiving the ball from Gaby I was able to run down the line and cross the ball into the box for Molly Jones to take a strike, scoring our 2nd goal in the 18th minute.
The half-time team talk reminded us to stay focused and continue to play how we were. As a player you could tell the group dynamics were very positive and team members were starting to trust others with the ball, which lead to a number of opportunities to attack.
A couple passes from Mia Gardner and Lisbeth Mottashed, lead Mia to cross the ball into box. As I received the ball, great communication from Gaby made me take a touch before crossing the ball to Katie Long.
In the 60th minute Katie took the opportunity to take one last strike at goal, which lead us to a 3-0 victory just before the full time whistle.
Overall, as a team we all gave 110% and dominated ¾ of the 30 minute periods. After both games we were able to identify our strengths and areas of improvement. Ahead of our next game against Saltdean United FC Women’s Development, we will look to continue our high standard performance”.
“The next two games are both big games, it’s going to be tough, Saltdean will be looking to finish on a high, but I definitely think we’ve got what it takes to pull it out the bag.
I think I can speak on behalf of all the girls, that we all want to work hard for each other to achieve the result we need, but also play the football I know we’re capable of playing to really show how good we are as a team.
We showed that in the 2nd half of the 1st game, and throughout the second game in the double header against Hastings Utd on Sunday”.
Captain Gaby Hobday
“The Hastings games were tough but I am very proud of the entire team and the performance everyone put in. We all felt that we were unfortunate not to come away with at least a point from the first game as we were definitely in control and dominated possession, we just couldn’t take our chances.
We went into the second game full of confidence and this showed as we scored first after a beat finish from Elinor and continued to push forward as much as possible.
Our attacks caused the Hastings defence and goalkeeper endless problems and with goals from Molly and Katie Long got the result we deserved and ultimately proved what an impressive footballing side we are.
Looking ahead we are excited to see what challenge the next game against Saltdean brings and hope that we continue to play nice football and aim to end the last few games of the season strong.
I’m proud of where the girls have come from since the start of the season and I can’t wait to see what’s still to come!”.