Carterton play their games at the Carterton Pavilion, a multi-sport facility on the North-Eastern periphery of the town, within a long goal-kick of RAF Brize Norton. There's a very good sized car park, a tea bar and toilet facilities within the pavilion. Carterton Ladies pitch is at the far side of the playing fields, past the cricket square. The pitch itself looked to have weathered the recent rainfall quite well, but seemed to be a little 'bobbly' in places. The spot is also clearly a very popular place for locals to let their dogs off for a run and more, but more of that later.
Great to meet both Andy Wicks (@oakmistphotos) and Woodley United General Manager Mark Rozzier (@rozziermark) before kick-off. Both are big supporters of women's football and do so much to help promote the game. We've all connected many times through Twitter, so it was really good to put a face to the name. You can check out Andy's photos from the game in the weekly #MakeAD1N blog which will be published later this week.
Neither of these teams had managed to play a game since December 4th. On that day, both were defeated, Woodley 4-0 at Premier League Ascot in the League Cup and Carterton 2-1 at home to Eversley & California in the league. Followers of this account and the weekly #MakeAD1N blog will know that Woodley have been on a superb run of form lately, winning their last four league games without conceding a goal. Carterton have been having a difficult season and have yet to win in the league, but a County Cup win and a first league point, both in November, had them hoping the corner had been turned. The earlier meeting between the sides, scheduled for October, had been postponed, so this was the first time they had come face to face this season.
A glance at the team sheets before kick off (thanks to Mark Rozzier for letting me get a photo of these), revealed that Carterton were down to the bare bones, with only eleven players named, no substitutes and with coach Sam Wadey-Smith on the pitch, no guidance from the side-lines either. Woodley were in the great position of being able to name four substitutes as well as having ten of the starting eleven from their last league game, the 4-0 win over Penn, starting the game.
What a way to start! Woodley came flying out of the blocks and were off the mark before the first minute was over. Carterton failed to clear their lines, allowing Mollie Haines to latch onto the loose ball and make no mistake with her finish. 0-1. A minute later it was almost two, but this time home keeper Lyndsey Burdock made the first of many good saves to keep it at one.
Less than 10 minutes in Burdock was powerless to prevent Woodley from notching a second goal when a through ball caught out the Carterton defence allowing Haines to drive in the from the left and finish low off the inside of Burdock's right-hand post. 0-2.
The blistering pace of Woodley's opening salvo was halted somewhat when we had the second call for an emergency poo bag as more unwelcome remains from the local dogs was found. This was the second stoppage within 10 minutes. Luckily there seemed to be a good supply of bags on the side-lines, even Woodley were carrying some, which meant I didn't have to run back to the car to grab my spare pack. The stoppages also prompted the referee to carry a couple of bags with her for the rest of the game (at least one of which got used), something I've certainly never seen before.
Soon after the restart Haines thought she had grabbed a hat-trick before the quarter-hour was up, when she latched onto another good through ball and finished well. However, the assistant's flag had gone up immediately even though it must have been very tight. The winger didn't have to wait too long for another chance though. On 23 minutes Sarah Lawrence was felled in the box and Haines was given the opportunity to take the penalty, which she duly dispatched for her hat-trick. 0-3
With five minutes to go until half-time, top scorer May Hamblin tried to get in on the act when she was put clean through, but Burdock stood up well to block the shot. Once again, it was a temporary reprieve for Carterton. A minute later Ellen Surtees delivered a free-kick into the box, it was cleared as far as Hamblin on the edge of the box and she returned it, left-footed, over Burdock into the far corner. 0-4. A great finish that gave the keeper no chance. Hamblin was in the mood now and just before the break she crashed another left-foot shot off Burdock's post with the keeper beaten. Then, just on the stroke of half-time it was almost five, and would have been if not for the determination of Leema Galloway, who somehow managed to get back and scramble the ball off the line. Great defending.
HT Carterton 0 Woodley United 4. One way traffic to say the least. However, you have to admire the team spirit shown by Carterton. Woodley played some good football and thoroughly deserved their four goal lead. They were absolutely ruthless, with their high press keeping Carterton penned in to their own half for much of the 45 minutes.
The game, however, soon settled into a similar pattern as the first half, Woodley pressing forward and Carterton digging in to defend doggedly. It took until almost the hour mark before United broke the home resolve again. Yet another searching ball set Sarah Lawrence free on the right. She drove in towards goal before hitting a crisp cross-shot past Burdock into the far corner. Good finish. 0-5.
Around the hour mark, Woodley made more changes, bringing Mollie Haines back on (rolling subs in this league). Almost immediately, the winger made it six, slotting home neatly after being set up by a great cross from Holly Wilkins. 0-6.
After a complete shake-up of the Woodley line-up, centre-half and captain Ellen Surtees was switched to the attack and, on 81 minutes, managed to spring the offside trap, stride towards goal and unleash a dipping drive over Burdock into the far corner. Great strike. 0-8. Then, to round thisngs off, Surtees once agin broke the trap with four minutes left to go. thsi time she drew the keeper before slipping the ball sideways for Holly Wilkins to grab a deserved goal of her own. 0-9.
FT Carterton 0 Woodley United 9. A completely dominant display from Woodley who close the gap on Milton and do their goal difference no harm whatsoever. The result was never in doubt from the moment Mollie haines scored the first goal within 40 seconds of kick-off. However there was never a point in the game where Carterton gave up. Their resolve and team spirit was very impressive and I really hope they can pull in a few more players in the near future. The eleven they had on the pitch on Sunday did them proud, despite the score. Both teams are back in league action next weekend. Carterton face another tough test as they welcome league leaders Milton United to Monahan Way. Woodley are back at home as they face draw specialists Long Crendon. For a full previrew of next week's games check out the weekly #MakeAD1N blog, coming soon.
Carterton: Burdock, Cornford(c), Duffy, Wadey-Smith, Diamond, Haynes, Brain, Galloway, Pugh, Streete, Clarke. Subs: None
Woodley United: Cheadle, Evans, Sims, Surtees(c), Wilkins, Quinn, Sawyer, Messitt, Lawrence, Hamblin, Haines. Subs: Benton, Measham, Routledge, Slann
Ground Number: 341