CLARA TOWN 1-5 REAL FA SWANS
Real FA Swans continued their good start to the season with a fine victory over Clara Town on Saturday.
Having started the game brightly, keeping possesion and moving the ball over and back the pitch the Swans were starting to dominate. Following a foul from a Clara defender on Alison Bane, Katie Kelly stepped up to unleash a super strike to the top corner of the Clara goal. This is Katie's second free kick of the season and another weapon that is fast becoming more than useful in the Swans attack. More than useful is a phrase that could well describe the interplay between Zöe Mooney and Alison Bane again today. The two were linking up extreamly well and it was a give and go from the two that sent Alison down the right flank in behind the Clara defense. Alison then continued her run, floated in a cross, only for it to strike the hand of a Clara defender. The referee gave the peno. Zöe Mooney stepped up and scored her second penalty of the season. Clara Town to their credit were always dangerous going forward, and the Swans defense of Shauna Cunningham, Oonagh Cassidy, Claire Stuart & the versatile Nicole Geoghegan were in for a busy eighty mins. In fact not long after the penalty being put away, Clara broke down the left and after a nice pass to the Clara striker, Grace O Sullivan in the Swans goal needed to pull of the first of a fine string of saves towards the end of the half. The highlight save was a strong left handed one, which the alert Aoife Glennon playing on the Swans left wing helped to clear up by knocking the ball our for a corner.
Half time score 0-2 to the Swans.
Both teams started the second half very much even. Chloe Smullen & Jessica Maloney's influence in the middle of the park for the Swans was starting to grow. The two Midlands u14 Gaynor Cup squad members were linking up very well, running at the heart of the Clara defense and also getting some dangerous shots away on goal. Jessica went on a mazey run and seen her shot hit the bottom of the post. Soon after Chloe skipped past a couple of defenders, found herself one on one with the keeper, but unfortunately the Clara keeper who had a fine game won on this occasion. Having weathered the storm Clara gained some confidence and after a long ball over the top caused confusion between Nicole & Claire, the Clara forward raced onto the ball and lifted it over the on rushing Grace in the Swans goal. With the score now 1-2 the Swans were to endure an onslaught of Clara attacks for the next ten minutes. However the defense coped very well with the constant pressure and the swans were soon on the attack again. From a Chloe Smullen corner and following a bit of a scramble in the box Alison pounced on the loose ball to fire Swans into a 1-3 lead. With the fitness levels beginning to be a factor in the last ten minutes the Swans were the ones with the foot still on the pedal. Some great work down the left by substitute Kacey Geoghegan that lead to Jessica playing a square ball accross the box, Alison was on hand to grab her second of the game with a measured side foot finish to the bottom right hand corner of the Clara net. Substitute Louise Hopkins at right back made some crunching tackles late on and played some solid passes out of defense as she helped to keep the momentum going. With five minutes to go Chloe Smullen who was causing havoc all day was on the end of a few crunching tackles herself. Chloe had to leave the field injured and we do hope that this is not too serious. The Swans who were light on numbers today played the last five minutes with ten players. Zöe Mooney latched onto a poor goal kick and she made no mistake against the keeper to grab her second of the game. With the final whistle looming Clara gave one last push and were awarded a penalty. Following a through ball that was heading for the end line the Clara forward won the foot race against Grace in goal for the Swans. Grace made an attempt to win the ball but just clipped the Clara player. However the penalty ended up over the top of the crossbar. The referee sounded the end of the game and Real FA Swans picked up the three points.
We would like to thank all the parents for travelling to the game today, and for always being on hand to give players lifts to and from fixtures. Well done to all the girls and to Clara Town for the competitive match