Fulham Ladies 6 Langford Ladies 2
Fulham started their defence of the Premier League cup title yesterday against Southern Division opponents, Langford LFC.
Fulham had played Langford twice last season in the league, winning both games very comfortably 9 - 0 and 0 - 5. However, Fulham have been dogged with injury problems this season with 3 key players out of the game, including Katie Chapman who is currently pregnant. The injury tally did not stop yesterday, with two more casualties, Rachel Macarthur and Katrine Pedesen. Rachel Yankey, Una Nwajei and Astrid Johannessen were also missing from the starting line up, due to minor injuries sustained after international duty the week before.
Langford have strengthened their squad this season, attracting new signings such as the England Under 19 goal keeper, Ebony Cabey Gooden.
Fulham started well, creating several corners in the first few minutes of the game. The first goal came after only seven minutes, with Katrine Pedersen scoring from a Kim Jerray-Silver corner. However just 3 minutes later, Langford's Sarah Flint scored to level the game after a basic defence error from Fulham.
Rachel Unitt took an excellent corner five minutes later, which Langford's Captain Jo Churchman was unable to clear off the line, bringing the score to 2 - 1 after fifteen minutes.
The third Fulham goal came within three minutes from yet another corner. Rachel Unitt took the corner with the ball being cleared out to Rachel Macarthur who volleyed it straight into the net. Unfortunately only a minute later, Rachel was tackled heavily by the Langford defence and was carried off the pitch with a quad injury. Natasha Daly was brought on as substitute in the seventeenth minute of the game.
Fulham suffered another injury scare with Katrine Pedersen receiving a bad cut above her right eye from an air challenge. She had to leave the pitch to be stitched up and was replace by Roxanne Bennett.
Langford's second opportunity of the game occurred after forty two minutes. Michelle Oliver scored with a well taken goal from the six yard line, after the cross was allowed in by sloppy defending by Fulham. Half time score 3 - 2 to Fulham.
Kristy Moore continued Fulham's goal scoring tally in the second half, after fifty three minutes. The goal came after quick combination play in Fulham's last third.
One hour into the game, Una Nwajei was brought on as substitute for Ronnie Gibbons. She was immediately able to threaten the game but was unable to convert any of the opportunities. Fulham created lots of chances in the second half, constantly putting pressure on Langford. Most of the second half play centred on the goal mouth but Fulham were finding it difficult to finish off the play. Finally after seventy three minutes, Deena Rahman managed to break through the Langford defence to score with a powerful 18 yard strike. Natasha Daly brought the goal scoring tally to 6 - 2 just five minutes from the end of the game, after increased pressure with goal attempts by Kristy Moore and Una Nwajei.
Gaute Haugenes said after the game "We played an average game and gave away 2 goals from our mistakes. We did dominate the game but I would have been happier if we had kept a clean sheet. Our injury problems don't seem to be going away - we have now got 4 or 5 key players out of the game, and with only a small squad, the team are going to have to dig deep. We may have to review our playing style now. "
"It was pleasing to see Debbie Watson, who is only 15 years old, to play the whole game. It shows that she is definitely a player for the future"
Jody Smith, Kim Jerray-Silver, Rachel Macarthur (Natasha Daly 18 min) , Rachel Unitt, Mary Phillip, Debbie Watson, Ronnie Gibbons ( Una Nwajie 60 min), Sanchia Duncan, Kristy Moore, Deena Rahman, Katrine Pedersen (Roxanne Bennett 38 min).
Subs not used: Astrid Johannessen, Rachel Yankey
Ebony Cabey-Gooden, Michelle Oliver (Cheryl Baber 73 min), Sheree Oliver, Katie Tarling, Ines Faustenhammer, Cristina Torkildsen, Emma Wickham, Joanne Churchman (Jenna Schillaci 75 min), Sarah Flint, Julie Fensom, Steph Belcher
Subs not used: Lisa Spry
1 - 0 Katrine Pedersen (7)
1 - 1 Sarah Flint (10)
2 - 1 Own goal (15)
3 - 1 Rachel Macarthur (17)
3 - 2 Michelle Oliver (42)
4 - 2 Kristy Moore (53)
5 - 2 Deena Rahman (73)
6 - 2 Natasha Daly (85)