Friendly Sun 17 July The Crucial Environmental Stadium
  • Bell (8')
  • Humphrey (15')
Moneyfields FC

Keeping out of the heat on the sidelines, with both sides opting to set-up camp in the shade of the main stand to avoid the scorching temperatures of the actual dugouts, Manager John Donoghue handed debuts to a number of new signings. Complemented, of course, by the obligatory trialist.

Coming into the team were former Crawley Wasps duo Ellie Russell and Rachel Palmer, alongside the ex-Saltdean United pair of Niamh Anderson and their Captain Chloe Winchester. Sailing up the coast one way was Hayley Bridge (Portsmouth), while Georgia Tibble travelled in the opposite direction from Hastings United.

It was the luminous green-clad visitors who got the ball rolling, when a fine pass by the #11, simply known as “Flo”, bent it’s way perfectly into the path of Vinnie Nkomo. Goalkeeper Lauren Dolbear bravely blocking the ex-Poole player’s close-range effort with her face.

That opportunity had been created after just four minutes but, only two more further in, the home side went ahead thanks to Becs Bell beating the offside trap to latch onto a long ball over the top;  racing clear before smashing high into the roof of Jamie Reynold’s net.

Katie Young then picked out Sophie Humphrey who, despite facing two defenders, still had the wherewithal to engineer room for a shot that, unluckily, she dragged wide of the far post.

A similar end result was the product of Ella Newman’s burst to the byline and pullback for debutant Bridge, as her goalbound attempt also missed the back stick by a matter of inches.

Humphrey then made her mark by doubling the home team’s advantage, when she too broke away to the byline and did remarkably well to beat ‘keeper Reynolds from a seemingly impossible angle.

Another newby, Russell threatened to break the net with a first time volley but narrowly cleared the crossbar; getting on the end of fellow maiden appearance maker Palmer’s right wing corner, approaching the midway point of the opening period.

The woodwork came to the visitor’s rescue moments later, after Newman’s flag-kick from the other side struck the front upright.

A rare forward foray by the Portsmouth-based guests saw well-placed early substitute Lucy Croft fire off target, as a game broken up into three thirds started it’s second with the hint of a fightback.

Normal service soon resumed though and it was Humphrey once more leading the charge.

Her pace proved too much for Liv Pinhorn on the left but, upon reaching the penalty area elected to go for goal, only to blaze over the top, albeit with options limited.

Last season’s top scorer Gemma Worsfold, one of three introduced to the action during the interval, had a good chance to get on the scoresheet near the culmination of Part Two. Unfortunately she couldn’t quite manage a clean enough contact to capitalize on a lovely lofted ball into her path via the boot of Palmer.

Worthing’s number ten then came even closer, only for a tremendous last-ditch challenge by Kiera Boylan to deny the centre-forward.

Sadly, that would prove to be the final contribution of not just Boylan but her teammates too as, with injuries rather than the heat taking their toll, Moneyfields were down to even less than the bare bones. Leaving gutted Boss Kevin Watson forced  to shake hands with his opposite number Donoghue and the match drew to a premature close, an hour into proceedings.