Women’s Football: Cambridge cruise to victory in top of table clash
Cambridge 4 – Nottingham Trent 0
Cambridge Women produced a ruthless display at Oxford Road to overcome second-placed Nottingham Trent and secure their four-point advantage at the top of the table. After a disappointing away draw at Lincoln in their last game, it was important the Blues got back to winning ways, which they did in spectacular style, dispatching the opposition in a four-goal thrashing.
Early on the first half proved a frustrating affair for both sides; neither team able to assert themselves going forward, the slippery pitch and the opposition’s long-ball play disrupting Cambridge’s passing game. The early pressure on the Nottingham box by Cambridge was met with a well organised defence that managed to clear the danger; the goalkeeper calmly collecting balls floated into the penalty area. Cambridge’s defence was equally difficult to break down, largely due to the outstanding individual performance of the skipper, Marielle Brown, who was strong and decisive on the ball and tireless off it for the duration of the game.
It looked like the Blues were going to be in for a tough afternoon, failing to create clear chances and being bullied off the ball by a tenacious and physically strong Nottingham team. It was Charlotte Bull, lively all afternoon, who found a way through for Cambridge as she latched on to a ball from Lisa Furtwängler just before the half hour mark and cleanly converted.
The goal injected some tempo into Cambridge’s game. The play settled and team were able to string decisive passes together, pressurising the rattled Nottingham defence. A chance for the hosts followed shortly after the goal when Furtwängler played Fruszi Karig through, but the pass was a touch too heavy for the centre-forward who was unable to beat the keeper to it. On the stroke of half time, Bull came close to doubling the lead and her individual tally, the ball falling to her just outside the box on the left hand side of goal, but unfortunately couldn’t get enough on the ball the convert the chance.
In the second half, Cambridge came out all guns blazing, applying constant pressure deep in the opposition half. Substitute Eleanora Vriend had instant impact as she blasted up the pitch delivering a scorching inch-perfect pass into the box which was promptly slammed home by fellow fresher Mel Abegglen, who had made an intelligent forward run forward in to the box.
The chances then came thick and fast for the light blues as the visitors lost the composure and resoluteness they had demonstrated early on. A good attempt was made when Furtwängler snaked past the Nottingham defence and surged into the box, but the shot was comfortably saved by the keeper. On 75 minutes the hosts reaped the reward of their pressure when they broke forward again and Eleanora Vriend notched a goal to add to her assist with a straightforward shot, neatly rolled into the bottom corner. Finally, Lisa Furtwängler got the goal that she so richly deserved for her dynamic attacking play on 82 minutes. The ball was worked quickly forward, evading the tiring Nottingham defence and Furtwängler thumped a powerful low shot into Nottingham’s goal. The only blight on an otherwise brilliant attacking performance was Kathyrn Savage missing a late spot kick, but when you’re 4-0 allowances can be made.
All in all, it was a very good day at the office for Cambridge ladies and after a slow start, last week’s draw can be well and truly forgotten.