The first game since the return of football’s Covid break saw a fantastic day for a duck out on the pitch with the rain pouring down and a pitch made for sliding on. A visit to Long Eaton against Leafield Athletic was on the cards as the FAWNL returned to action. It was Leafield that came out the blocks first but Leah Kellogg was off her line fast in difficult conditions. But the first goal wasn’t far around the corner as on the 2nd minute a ball over the top saw Tara Kirk time her run perfectly before picking out Jordan Atkin running in at the back post to put the ball into the back of the net giving Long Eaton the 1-0 lead.
Leafield showed they weren’t there to make up the numbers as they forced Leah Kellogg to once again be called into action as she saved the effort on the 16th minute with an outstretched boot. The score instead of 1-1 was soon 2-0 as Nicola Emery provided Tara Kirk with an assist and Kirk didn’t think twice as the ball rustled into the back of the net as Long Eaton doubled their lead on the 18th minute. The weather was really playing havoc with the ball being caught up in the wind but it was Long Eaton who made it 3-0 on the 26th minute. Some fantastic play saw Jess Munn get the final touch off a Emma Goddard ball. Everything Tara Kirk touched seemed to be gold as it was 4-0 as she doubled her tally for the afternoon as once again Nicola Emery picked her out and she ran in behind and smashed it home.
Both teams were finding difficulty with the conditions as the rain and wind played out through the first half. Leafield even though were 4-0 down were still competing well in the game, Long Eaton had to defend well especially Molly Boultbee and Annie Taylor being involved alot through the first half. Jordan Atkin was having a right battle on the wing causing troubles and Tara Kirk was causing the Leafield Athletic defence all kinds of troubles.
==== Half Time – Long Eaton 4-0 Leafield Athletic ===
Long Eaton made a substitute at half time where Amy Well came on for Tara Kirk and it didn’t take long until she was on the score sheet. On the 48th minute Amy Wells was straight into the action as she smashed the ball home from close range to make the score 5-0 to Long Eaton. On the 51st minute Leafield Athletic pulled one back when Lily Eustace played through Daisy-Mai Clements who struck the ball home to make the score 5-1. The goals didn’t seem to dry up though just before the hour mark it was Long Eaton who added their 6th of the game when Nicola Emery decided it was time to add to her assists with a goal of her own. A shot that was simply unstoppable as she hit it with her right foot into the top corner of the net.
The weather never really let up but seemed to get worse as once again both teams were trying hard to get forward and create I was sure that Millie Fugler was trying to score when first she had a looping shot that went over the keeper but hit the post and came out, before hitting a long range effort that didn’t go the right side of the uprights. The final goal of the game, was worth admission alone when the impressive Jess Munn made it 7 with her second of the game. Amy Wells laid the ball off and without a seconds notice, Jess Munn unleashed a wonder as it cannoned in off the post to give Long Eaton the 7-1 lead. The game pretty much played out after this 82nd minute game that saw the players running off to get out the downpour.
A great return for the football at Grange Park, with the final game of the year being played at Grange Park on December 20th as they host Solihull Moors in the FAWNL Northern Premier League. Also many times we don’t really ever say anything good on the officials as we only look at them when they make mistakes but in really tough conditions the Referee and her Lino’s did a fantastic job.