U15s Diamonds vs Wigan Athletic (H)- 5th Mar 2023
Milnrow (2) v Wigan Athletic (2)
Sunday’s game pitted the two title rivals against each other for the first time this season, in the first of a triple header - this time it was to be at home on the 3G surface. Both teams went into the game boasting 100% records after ten games, so something was going to fall today!
Milnrow went into the game rocked by the news that influential central midfielder Mia was to miss out, after being injured the day before. Despite this, the girls were confident of a victory.
Wigan had the best of the opening stages and the first half chance for them saw a header go over the bar after five minutes. Milnrow weren’t quite at the races and Wigan enjoyed plenty of possession without creating anything of note, this was largely due to the performances of Megan and Poppy, who were both outstanding at the back.
On fifteen minutes though, slightly against the run of play, great hold up work by Lois and in turn saw Holly’s run and fed a great through-ball to her. Holly’s pace was enough to outrun the wigan defence and very calmly slot the ball past the advancing Wigan keeper. 1-0 to Milnrow.
The girls started to grow in confidence with the goal behind them and exerted pressure on Wigan and on thirty-six minutes, Holly nipped in from an attempted back pass to the keeper and was brought down in the box for a clear penalty. Captain Lois duly obliged, stepping up and putting the ball past the keeper’s left. 2-0.
Half Time: 2-0
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, with Wigan enjoying plenty of possession but without creating much and Milnrow growing back into the game but couldn’t find the final quality pass. It was nip and tuck but with fifteen minutes to play, gaps started to appear in the Milnrow midfield and Wigan began to exploit it.
With thirteen minutes to go, Wigan got one back after poor marking from a corner which allowed a free header.
Wigan, now pushing for an equaliser, got just that three minutes later when a defected shot saw Ellie wrong footed. She did well to readjust and get down but could only push the ball onto the inside of the post and it rolled in for 2-2.
Wigan very nearly got a third two minutes later when a shot narrowly missed.
The last five minutes saw Milnrow pushing for a winner but today the final ball just didn’t seem to be there, and the game ended honours even, in what was a fair result on reflection.
It emerged after the game that Ellie had played the full match with a fractured finger, injuring it in warm up!
Girl of the game was awarded to Megan, who just shaded Poppy – both girls were outstanding at the heart of defence today and Cienna worked tirelessly, without getting much joy.
We go again with all still to play for.
Lois Lennon (Pen)