It was a grey, showery afternoon as the women’s all age division one sides of Lindfield and UTS met at Primula oval on Prince’s Park in Lindfield.
Lindfield looked a very well organised outfit, warming-up as a squad before the match whereas UTS were still waiting for players to arrive. When the referee blew the whistle at the beginning of the match UTS only had ten players on the field and were immediately under pressure.
Women’s soccer is a different game to men’s soccer at this level; it is less aggressive, quieter game, although filled with grace and skill. I sat on the sideline of a men’s premier division match yesterday where there was overt pushing and shoving (and elbowing, swearing, etc.). Today there was definitely some assertive tackles, but no warnings from the referee and the match was played in good humour and huge effort from both sides. To my eye, the match lacked a fineness of footwork that I was expecting with many speculative kicks not really going anywhere in particular.
The first half was played in UTS territory with Lindfield dominating play. Both sides appeared to settle in to a good rhythm after fifteen minutes. Lindfield were the standout side in the first half, but only managed to score once during the half due to the fantastic effort of the UTS goalie thwarting several good challenges on the goal. Lindfield have some quick, accurate players upfront supported by a solid midfield and good defence. The Lindfield goalie appeared to be quite new but was left untroubled in the first half.
The second half was played at good pace, despite the persistent rain and was pretty much a repeat of the first half with Lindfield making several attempts on the UTS goal. Lindfield have a good defensive line which quickly extinguished any attack from UTS and kept the pressure on the UTS goal.
Late in the second half, UTS scored against the run of play. It’s amazing what a goal can do to energise two very tired teams. Lindfield quickly responded with another goal and would have had a third if they hadn’t been called just offside by the linesman.
By the end of the game all players looked spent, with the UTS goalie clearly suffering from the onslaught from Lindfield, but she was the standout performer in my view.
Sadly the Lindfield striker twisted an ankle towards the end of the game in a divot in the field. It’s a shame to see a field of such poor quality being used for a division one match. One corner of the field was almost unplayable as it was so boggy and there was a raised cricket pitch through the middle. I know we cannot expect perfection in fields in suburban soccer, but a little more effort would make a huge difference to the playing surface.
All in all, a good match on a wet afternoon in early autumn.
Lindfield 2: 1 UTS