Ladies 2s Excel in Draw Against Reading
By Ellie de Heer
Ladies 2s 1 – 1 Reading L1
POM: Taz Cookman
The youngest team ever fielded in a national league game (average age 17.6 years) took on top of the table Reading on a crisp Saturday afternoon.
An early Reading goal in the fifth minute put Surbiton on the back foot, but not for long. The rest of the half saw action at each end, but tight defending from both sides saw the score line stay the same.
A chance for Reading came just before half time, in which they were awarded a penalty corner. However, a fearless Mera Cookman bravely ran down the shot, which concluded the action packed first half.
An inspiring half time talk by Will Fulker saw the 2s take to the pitch in fiery fashion. Flair was on show in each playing line with Reading struggling to find a response. Taz Cookman continued to rip through Reading’s defensive line, with Maddie Long having the same effect in midfield. The continuous pressure finally paid off with a Hannah Denison strike being tipped in by Sophie Tait. At 1-1, it was all to play for.
Things started to get feisty, with a yellow card given to a Reading player and a telling off for Liv Martin on her debut (a rumoured miscommunication with the umpire). However, it didn’t stop there as another youngster, Martha Le Huray, also received a telling off for a bit of argy-bargy. Eleanor de Heer shockingly received no sharp blows of the whistle or cards.
Reading were still at the receiving end of the mounting pressure, with some quick counter attacks from Surbiton midfielders Pippi Spawforth, Peggy Winterborn and young gun Jenny O’Grady.
Some equally quick breaks from Reading were swiftly dealt with by the dauntless Surbiton defence. Maud Blokland, Lilie Lamacraft, Mera Cookman, Elani Sherwood and of course goalkeeper, Tessa Shahbo, were at the very heart of the action.
With the final blow of the whistle, the final score remained 1-1. Surbiton 2s showed utter class and maturity in this clash with top of the table Reading.
However, it wouldn’t be right not to mention the 17th player of this squad - the crowd. On behalf of every player in the 2s, we would like to thank every single person in the crowd for supporting us in this huge game. Even the Reading supporters. You made it quite the spectacle.
Special mentions go out to some of the youngest members from our squad. Debutant Liv Martin was only given the call up one hour before push back, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell. She showed absolutely class up in the forward line.
Other mentions go to youngster Elani Sherwood. On her debut, she played as if she had been playing national league for an age. A third mention goes to Jenny O’Grady who was solid in midfield and defence. A truly versatile player.
And a thank you to the best manager in the world, Jill Shahbo, who goes above and beyond every single week.
This game is only just the start of Surbiton Ladies 2s’ upwards journey in the Women’s Division 1 South League.
For more flair and just purely outrageous play come along to our next home game on Saturday 31st October at 1.30pm, when Surbiton take on former Premier League side Slough.