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Match Report: OUWAFC Furies

30/01/19 University of Northampton 0-5 Furies 

After a week without a game, the Furies were eager to put their recent hard work in training into practice against a Northampton side who had only managed to pick up 1 point in the season so far. Despite their opponent’s attempts to unsettle the team by pushing kick off back by two hours the day before the match, the Furies travelled to Northampton (which despite its name isn’t actually that far North) with a strong squad, including newbie defender Laura Varley. 

Although undoubtedly favourites going in to the fixture, the Furies were slow to get off the mark and goalkeeper Emmie Halfpenny had to be on her toes to make some important interventions and protect her clean sheet in the first 20 minutes. Eventually, the Furies emerged from their slumber. Penny Streatfield was unlucky to hit the post, and doubly unlucky that her superb cross in the following attack fell to her opposite winger Viola Lough, who managed the seemingly impossible feat of missing a gaping goal from a few yards out. Even centre-back Jess Caterson almost scored her first (and second and third) Furies goal as she went up for corners. In particular, the Furies found a lot of joy down the right – Lough linked up well with central midfielders Jasmine Savage and Juliette Westbrook, and right back Martha Comerford executed overlapping runs that Ashley Cole would have been proud of. 

The Furies’ dominance eventually payed off midway through the first half. Another attack down the right wing found its way to captain Rebecca North, who finished well in the bottom corner to put the side ahead. North got her second shortly after, and the Furies entered the break with a comfortable 2-0 lead. 

The second half saw the Furies strengthen their foothold on the game. Within a few minutes of the restart, Lough found herself on the end of a brilliant lofted through ball from Westbrook and played across the keeper to North, who finished into an empty net to grab her hat-trick. The 4th goal was the product of a solo adventure down the left from the relentless Streatfield. When the ball fell to Westbrook on the edge of the box, she unleashed, what can only be described as, a worldie. In the words of centre back Cerys Baines, ‘I didn’t think it was going in, but it bent in.’ Westbrook’s second followed shortly after, and the Furies should have had a sixth when Eleanor Frew’s shot was ‘saved’ by the goalkeeper. Unfortunately the only person to have judged the ball not to have crossed the line was the referee, and the fixture ended 5-0 to the Furies. 

In a game dominated by the attacking display, the performance from the back four should not go unmentioned. Next week, the side face Nottingham Trent who have dominated the league so far, but the Furies will go into the fixture eager to get a result. 

By Viola Lough

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