History was made for Guernsey women's' football when the newly-formed Ormer Ladies team travelled to Bournemouth on Sunday 25 September to play in the first round of the Hampshire Women's' Invitation Cup. This is the first time a Guernsey team has been invited to play in this competition.
Fifteen players and their coaches travelled to Hampshire to play in the cup against Hampshire Div One team AFC Bournemouth, a tough team who won Division Two last season and have the benefit of playing regular games, which game programme has been denied to the Guernsey girls in recent years due to shortage of players at club level. The game was played at the David English Sports Centre on a sunny but windy day. Traffic delays on the M3 meant the Guernsey contingent didn't arrive until 20 minutes before kick of, so a quick change and brief warm up was called for, not the ideal preparation for such a game.
It was clear from the off that the Bournemouth girls were used to playing together, and their initial attacks and quick passing caused some early difficulties, particularly down the wings where on both flanks they had good, quick attacking players. Ormer's full backs were very much on the defensive at the start, particularly on the left side where Ormer's left back Lynsey Strange was faced by two attacking players working well together and causing some problems. However, Lynsey's experience started to show, and with support from her fellow players gradually helped get Ormer out of trouble. It was therefore a wake up call when Bournemouth scored the first goal, and this came from a mistake from Ormer's keeper Alice Davis.
A goal kick caused problems when against the wind Alice could only kick the ball directly to a Bournemouth striker hovering centrally just outside the box, and with no defender able to recover the striker easily put the ball into the net. One down after just 7 minutes. However, Alice is made of stern stuff and fully redeemed herself later, particularly near the end when two run-throughs on goal were thwarted first by the keeper's foot and then by a full body block, let alone some other instinctive saves to keep Ormer in the game.
Following the goal the game was end to end with no clear chances either side, both sides playing good passing football but no clear opportunities. A loose ball rolled against the Ormer post and Claire Philp cleared, Emma Miller, still only 17 but playing with confidence, cleared a ball off the line, and at the other end a long range free kick from Candice Simon went just over the bar. With strong direction from Ormer captain Vicki Rang at the back, and good running by Candice, Claire Philp and KIrsty Carre on the flanks and solid central midfield play from Katie Watson, who seemed to be everywhere, there was no further score until the 33rd minute when a Bournemouth striker broke through after a quick one-two and scored. 2-0 to Bournemouth.
During this period Ormer's Anna Robert picked up a foot injury and could not carry on. Kirstin Laine was a very able replacement at right back, with the coaches using the rolling substitutes rule effectively, and ensured fresh legs when needed from the four subs available. The Ormer girls continued to press and an attack down the left caused panic in the Bournemouth defence resulting in a last ditch clearance from a defender which was hooked just over the bar. Ormer had a few long range shots from Jess Page, Candice Simon and Tatiana Caires, but these caused no problems until the girls were rewarded with an outstanding long range goal from Donna Gallienne on 38 minutes. The ball was played across the 18 yard line from right to left, until reaching Donna who picked up the ball outside the box, turned and hit a superb strike from 25 yards which looped over the keeper and high into the top left corner of the net. 2-1 down at half time.
The second half had the strong wind behind the Ormers. Both sides had several opportunities before a long through ball from Bournemouth in the 60th minute broke kindly for their striker off our keeper Alice Davis and the striker put the ball into the empty net. 3-1. Not to be outdone, the Ormer girls continued to play their passing game, and almost immediately Ormer scored. A teasing ball across the six yard box looked like it had evaded everybody but eventually it fell to Dee Marsden who calmly ran in and hit the ball home with confidence. 62 minutes and 2-3 down. Shortly afterwards Kirsty Carre had a snapshot which went over the bar, and towards the end Chloe Le Tissier hit a volley from a tight angle on the right which struck the bar and bounced wide.
Both sides continued to press but no more goals. Bournemouth hit the Ormers bar late on, but the final whistle came with the score Ormer Ladies 2 AFC Bournemouth 3. After the game the team and coaches voted Candice Simon Player of the Match.
A very good showing by the Ormer girls in their first competitive game. Came up against a strong experienced team playing regular football. There is much more to come from this Ormer team.
The girls started on this journey not knowing where their standard is in relation to the Hampshire County Womens Football League, which has 3 divisions. After the initial two friendly games against Southampton Saints Ladies and AFC Portchester, and now AFC Bournemouth, all Division One teams, it is encouraging to hear from all three opposition coaches that they fully believe Ormer Ladies are of Division One standard and all have offered to support an application from Ormer to play in Division One next season if we so choose. The likelihood is we will aim for Division Two to start with, to help gain match experience and build confidence amongst the players.
Players: Vicki Rang (captain), Donna Gallienne, Alice Davis, Lynsey Strange, Kirsty Carre, Anna Robert, Jess Page, Tatiana Caires, Diana Marsden, Candice Simon, Katie Watson, Emma Miller, Kirstin Laine, Claire Philp, Chloe Le Tissier
Coaches: Jose Alvarez, Martyn De Garis, Brian Horsepool