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Linlithgow Rose Girls in first competitive eleven-a-side match

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Leith Athletic Girls
Linlithgow Rose CFC Girls
SWF U13's South East Region
10 March 2014
The first ever competitive 11-a-side match by a LRCFC Girls team saw a trip to sunny Leith for the league opener to play the newly combined Leith / Musselburgh Windsor team.
A heavy pitch made for a cagey start by both teams, but the Rose were mostly on top in the opening exchanges with Kirsty and Leah probing down the wings.
Persistence by Leah led to the breakthrough, with Rheanna taking advantage of Leah’s hard work to work the ball beautifully in from the goal line finding Lucy who’s turn and finish from ten yards after ten minutes was executed expertly to give the Rose the lead.
The Rose didn’t manage to capitalise on this, and Leith worked themselves back into the game, putting more pressure on the back-line than at the start of the game. Cozza and co coped well, with some hefty challenges all across the pitch. Tara and Laura were working well together in the middle of defence with Fiona and Hannah denying much by way of clear opportunity.
However Leith fired themselves into the lead with two goals in five minutes in 19 and 24 minutes that left Beth with no chance – both well taken finishes.
This put the Rose on the back foot for the remainder of the half, but Ellie and Anna tried to take the game by the scruff of the neck and succeeded in doing so. A lung bursting run from Ellie from her own penalty area was unfortunate not to see an equaliser, and Anna bossed the middle always looking to bring her teammates into the action. Laura W was unfortunate not to get on the end of a loose ball in the six yard box, and Megan looked to follow the instructions given and force herself up the wing at every opportunity.
A scrappy first half overall, with the Rose perhaps a bit unfortunate to be down at the break despite not firing on all cylinders.
Half Time: Leith Athletic 2-1 Linlithgow Rose
The second half was a much more gripping affair.
The Rose were fastest out of the traps, with lots of pressure and a succession of corners. The equaliser came after excellent skill down the left saw Kirsty pick out Tara who fair larruped the ball into the back of the onion bag.
The game opened up with chances at both ends. Tyler came on to hustle and bustle to good effect and the packed Leith defence always managed to just get the block in or force a turn away from goal when the Rose pressed. The Leith goalie had a great save from an Anna free kick, and pulled off a couple of more run-of-the-mill stops.
Beth had been much quieter of the two goalies, doing well when called on, but showed her real class with an astonishing double save, culminating in a brave dive at the attackers feet to deny a certain goal. The Leith coaches couldn’t quite believe it and had their heads in their hands in disbelief at Beth’s heroics.
The Leith keeper pulled off a great diving save from Tara shortly after as the game switched ends rapidly.
A small moment of history saw the first yellow card to Cozza, who’s tackling had been fearsome all game, after bringing an opponent down. Cozza is an incredible mix of raw power but never any maliciousness, and the free-kick probably stopped a clear run in goal. Don’t worry Cozz, it’s all part of the game!
The free-kick was struck as sweetly as you could imagine, flying in an inch under cross bar to leave Beth needing a ladder if she was to have a chance to put Leith ahead again with fifteen to go.
The Rose pushed and pushed. Ellie again with a great run that just didn’t have the finish at the end, Leah setting up Megan and Lucy to drive into the box only to be stopped and other chances just not quite coming off. It took an Ellie special into the box where Kirsty was lurking around the penalty spot for the Rose to equalise as she turned beautifully to slam the ball high into the net.
Hannah did well to break up a Leith surge down the left as fast breaks were Leith’s main weapon in the closing period, with one such seeing Beth crocked after bravely coming out, with Ellie taking over between the sticks for the last couple of minutes.
A great second half in a good combative game, sees the Rose and Leith joint top of the league this weekend!
Full Time: Leith Athletic 3-3 Linlithgow Rose 
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