Two Lousy Minutes!
By Peter Guise
Bay must wait for title
Herne Bay FC Ladies (1) 1
Lauren Harris 3
Maidstone United (0) 1
South East Counties Women's Football League Division One (East)
Sunday 17th March 2019
at Winch's Field
(photo by Steve Barton: Lauren Harris wheels away after opening the scoring early on for Bay)
Having settled the nerves early on with a well worked goal in the 3rd minute from Lauren Harris, her 17th of the season, Bay were just two lousy minutes away from clinching the title when the Stones grabbed a late, late equaliser, writes Peter Guise. By then the nerves of the highest crowd of the season had been stretched to mere sinews. Bay might have had this game sewn up by half-time but they couldn't capitalise on the many chances that came their way. After the break, the nail biting began, Maidstone started playing more positive football and threw on former Bay favourite, Carly Farrow, who spurned at least two good chances to equalise. Bay still had chances themselves, Chloe Woolaway sent one fizzer across the face of the goal and Kate Foster blazed over when on another day the net would have bulged. With the clock running down, that dreaded moment arrived, that moment that almost always has an unstoppable inevitability about it when expectations are high but unfulfilled. An uncharecteristic slip up at the back for the Bay and with Cooper scrambling to get to the ball, somehow it trickled over the line. Two minutes remained, Bay thought they had responded almost immediately, with a similar goal-line breach at the other end but the ball was ruled not to have fully crossed the line.
This was Bay's first drawn game of the season, it was only the 9th goal conceded in the league all season, yet still that single point is required to make the title safe.
"That's football and that's what happens", said manager Peter Whittaker, "it was a totally entertaining game and there was terrific support here today. I loved how everyone went away from the ground still talking about the injustice of it all. I can't fault the effort and it reminds us of how unpredictable football can be".
Herne Bay FC Ladies starting line up: Sarah Cooper, Lucy Page, Kayleigh Mount, Jemma Barton, Saraya Phillips, Kate Foster, Megan Pearce, Lauren Williams, Chloe Woolaway, Lauren Harris, Abigail Duff.
Substitutes (roll on / roll off): Effie Dodds, Sophie Gifford, Katie Reeves.
Player of the Match: Jemma Barton.