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EAGLES U12s PUT IN A STRONG FIGHT AGAINST TOP SIDE SOUTHAMPTON

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Player of the Match Poppy Downer with manager Dan Verstraeten

The Wight Eagles Girls U12 squad travelled to Southampton on Saturday (13th November) for only their third game of the season so far.

The girls faced a tough Southampton side but were straight out of the box, putting pressure on the mainlanders from the off.

With the Eagles missing strong centre back Faith for this trip, there was a reshuffle at the back with Poppy moving Center and winger Jessica filling in at left-back. That wasn’t a problem though as they were well drilled and Southampton couldn’t break the lines, which saw them caught offside a number of times.

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As play progressed, the Eagles were really starting to show their pace and ability. Lyla was able to launch an attack linking up well with Ellie down the dangerous right side, playing the balls through to Imogen up top. Imogen had her chances to slot home but the Southampton defenders cleared for a corner. Lyla put the corners into the 6-yard box on multiple occasions but the keeper kept pushing them wide.

Before the halftime whistle a goal was secured when Amelia played the ball wide out to Lily, who in turn passed to Imogen who was quickly closed down. Imogen managed to slot the ball quickly to a waiting Lyla, for her to score one of the goals of the season right in the top corner to make it 0-1.

Shortly after you could see the girls were turning the heat up and Southampton were shocked. The Eagles pushed for a second goal 5 minutes towards half time and another great bit of pace and link-up play by Lily soon saw her play the ball inside to find Amelia, who got her shot off quick on the edge of the area and to make it 2-0 to the Eagles.

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A quick regroup and the second half was underway with the Eagles continuing to put pressure on the home side. The Islanders had another 2 shots at goal but the keeper had upped her game.

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As the game got deeper into the second half Southampton started to show there energy levels and showed why they are unbeaten with their left winger giving Ellie a tough game. It was hard for the Eagles to keep their composure as Southampton quickly scored 2 goals pulling the game back to 2-2 a piece.

Disgraut Eagles players kept fighting to the end and soon had some injuries with Lyla and Amelia both subbed. Eagles picked up the pace again and soon got Southampton turning their backs towards the goal, with some more good link-up play demonstrated. Imogen was through behind the lines to try and make it 2-3 but her shot scraped the post wide.

With 3 mins to go Southampton had a fluke shot that hit the boot of Poppy closing down, sending the ball the other side of keeper Eloise into the net making it 3-2 to Southampton – devastating for the girls who gave the game everything.

FT: Southampton Women’s u12 3-2 Wight Eagles U12

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Manager Dan Verstraeten said:

“It was heartbreaking for the girls as they came so close to getting their first win, but we can’t expect in such a short amount of time to be turning teams like this.

“Last week shows the attitude of these girls is outstanding and they can all really play football. 3 months ago they just got together as a new team, they are working hard in training and it really is a matter of time.

“Also I want to say very well done to the U10s, U14s and U16s who done the club proud on the Island at their tournament, so not a bad weekend after all”.

Player of the Match: Poppy Downer

Starting 11: Eloise, Ellie, Poppy, Jessica, Lily, Amelia, Olivia, Lyla, Imogen.

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