Sunday 21st December v Prestatyn Ladies (a)
Sunday 11th January v Pwllheli (a)
The Airfield, Chester Road
Broughton, Flintshire, CH4 0DR
v PRESTATYN 11th NOVEMBER
Wingmakers fly to the summit in special game both on and off the pitch
Airbus Ladies overcame a one nil deficit to beat Prestatyn Ladies 5-3 in a thrilling match to go three points clear at the top of the table.
On paper the match was simply a league match worth three points, but to the Airbus squad it was so much more. For all bar one player it was the opportunity to play on the Airbus main pitch for the first time. It was a huge part of the ladies history and a match that represented how far they had come in five years.
It was a glorious afternoon basking in the autumn sunshine with many supporters there to cheer on the girls to create a fantastic atmosphere after the two minutes silence was observed perfectly. To add even more to the occasion the Wingmakers had their photograph taken in their new sky blue shirts on the pitch to mark the special event.
The result was crucial to the home side not purely for the three points and win, but to prove to all their doubters that they have what it takes to be a great footballing side.
Coach Arrowsmith decided to continue with the 4-5-1 formation that was played against Northop Hall, Smith replaced the injured Friend in goal and captain Borley came back in to the side to play the lone striker as Lees pulled out wide. The rest of the starting XI remained unchanged. Knox, Prytherch, Shute, Thornton and Walden made the squad and started on the bench.
The home side started the stronger with Lees and Hyndman using the width of the pitch to their advantage. The ball was being played around with prowess as the team settled down quickly but it was the away side who took an early lead against the run of play.
Two unnecessary free kicks were given away as Prestatyn eased closer to the Airbus area with the latter resulting in the goal. The ball was chipped in high and with the sun bearing down on the pitch made it difficult for anyone to get contact with the ball. Keeper Smith came out to get it but was caught out and left the Prestatyn striker with an easy tap in into an empty net.
Airbus did not take long to draw level as Lees cut inside and laid the ball off to Williams who struck the ball perfectly as the ball went in off the crossbar.
All square and all to play for as both teams created chances but it was the Prestatyn goalkeeper that was being called into action. Shots from Lees, Goodall and Borley all caused trouble for the away side’s defence who struggled to clear from the resulting corners but managed to scramble the ball away at the second time of asking.
Borley got the Wingmakers second as they went into a deserved lead. The ball was worked from the back all the way to the top in classy fashion as the team stroked their passes around with confidence. Borley got the ball under control, turned and calmly played it into the back of the net.
The home side were still playing the better football but the away side were quick to break on the counter attack as they used their pace on the wings. They almost drew level as the Wingmakers had a nervy moment at the back but Twohig was there to clear off the line.
Five minutes before the break Borley doubled her goals and extended Airbus’ lead with a contentious goal. There was a hint of offside as Borley crept in front of the defender to poke home but the referee allowed the goal to leave the Wingmakers going in at the break 3-1 to the good.
All five substitutes remained on the bench at half time as Arrowsmith chose not to make a change. The second half started off strongly as Prestatyn changed their formation to cope with the five in midfield for Airbus. But it was the home side who continued to create the better chances.
Ten minutes into the second half Parry gave way for Walden as she went in goal with Smith pushing out to the left wing and the Wingmakers reverting back to 4-4-2. At this point the away side began to dominate as they controlled the midfield with the extra player now in there. The home defence was being stretched as Dolman and Miles worked tirelessly to clear everything that came at them.
It was almost inevitable that the away side got the first goal of the second forty-five as the pressure mounted on Walden’s goal. A long looping shot tucked just inside the post to bring Prestatyn just one down.
The away side felt the momentum sway even more in their favour as they continued to dominate possession, although they failed to force Walden into a serious save. The Airbus midfield was being overrun but still managed to cause problems over the top with two up front. Borley and Lees were working well at the front when given the ball and linked up together to threaten Prestatyn. Lees got on the score sheet at the ideal time to calm the nerves of the players and spectators as she hit a long range shot beautifully beyond the despairing goalkeeper.
Despite going further behind the away side remained confident they would get something from the game and continued to press forward. Miles was one step ahead of the Prestatyn forward and cleared everything with no fuss. It was a strong performance from Miles with resilient challenges flying in to prevent further attacks.
Airbus Ladies made it 5-2 with just under ten minutes to go as Lees managed to outdo her first goal and scored a screamer from range to leave the Wingmakers on the verge of victory. As the players went back to the their half, captain Borley made way for Knox as she came on to try and make a quick impact up front.
Prestatyn refused to give up and kept fighting to get something out of the match. Prytherch came on to replace Dolman for the last five minutes as Smith then reverted to right back with Prytherch slipping in to right midfield.
Corners have been the undoing of the Wingmakers defence for much of this season and it caused them again as Miles was unfortunate to score an own goal after flicking on the corner through Walden’s arms.
At 5-3 the away side were still confident of causing an upset but time was against them. Shute came on to replace Twohig for the final couple of minutes to help steady the nerves at the back.
Airbus had one final chance with Hyndman, Knox and Lees combining well but the final ball was just short and the away side managed to clear the ball to safety.
It was three points the home side deserved despite not having the strongest of second half’s, but their determination to grind out the result saw them battle it out to the bitter end.
Player of the match: Becky Lees
Airbus: Smith, Twohig, Scammell, Miles, Dolman, Parry, Lees, Goodall, Williams, Hyndman, Borley. Subs: Knox, Prytherch, Shute, Thornton and Walden.