Brentford WFC’s First Team have begun their league campaign strongly despite a slightly disjointed beginning. They currently boast an unbeaten record with one win and one draw from two games. Fitting with the difficult times we are currently experiencing; their second game was cancelled by the opposing side, Clapham United, due to Covid-19.
The opening test for Brentford WFC’s First Team came in the shape of Sport London e Benfica, where they prevailed with a 2-1 victory away from home. Despite playing some good football in spells during the first half and creating a lot of opportunities, the team failed to capitalise on those chances. This meant the game was a stalemate going into the second half.
They started well and managed to break the deadlock about five minutes in with a well worked team goal. Rebecca Edwards found herself with the ball up top and beat the defender one v one, before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner.
The home side dragged themselves back into the game and managed to equalise around the hour mark, in all fairness deservedly so at that point in the game. After this the contest became stretched and was very end to end with both teams desperate for the winner. With five minutes to go Edwards won a penalty and Axelle Courlander converted a rebound, after originally seeing her penalty saved by the opposing goalkeeper. Osborne was pleased with the result overall.
He said: “I think the ideas we wanted to get across we did, and I believe there is a lot more we need to do to be exactly where we want to be. But, in terms of what the girls brought to the table on the day I was happy with it.”
The First Team were scheduled to play Clapham United in their second fixture but the game was cancelled because of Covid-19. Moving onto their third and most recent game, which was played last weekend. They faced off against Dorking Wanderers and played at home for the first time this season. Dorking were entering this fixture on the back of two victories and two clean sheets consecutively; their opening game saw them come away with an astounding 10-0 win.
Brentford keeper Emily Boycott shone in the first half as she was on hand on multiple occasions to deny Dorking. This consisted of her being alert and coming off her line to smother the ball, as well as a series of fine saves to prevent the away side from scoring.
Into the second half and it was The Bees who had started the brighter and they got their reward on the hour mark. Midfielder Sophie Troth caused confusion in the Dorking six-yard box with a wicked delivery from a corner. New signing Kara McMahon took full advantage by prodding the ball into the net from close range, a predator like finish.
Dorking hit back just five minutes later when a well-placed through ball found Charlotte Keenan who expertly tucked the ball away to make it 1-1. Both sides had chances to win the game, but neither could take the opportunities when presented to them. It was an anxious last 15 minutes for both sets of supporters, however the score remained at 1-1 and seemed a fair result. Osborne was happy with the point and believes his team have more to give.
“I’m pleased with a point obviously Dorking are a good side and have been around this level of football for a while," he said. "They have a good squad of players as well as a good coaching staff and manager behind them. I’m pleased with the draw, more so because we didn’t perform at our best either. With reflection I’m happy we managed to come away with a point to be honest. The new signings are beginning to bed into the philosophy and understand what we want to do and how we want to play.”
Osborne was full of praise for new signing McMahon and said: “Individually, Kara has been a fantastic addition, she is a very good player as well as a great person. She brings a real good spirit to the team. I was pleased for her to get a goal.”
The beginning of the season has been a lot smoother for Brentford WFC B team who played their first game last Sunday. They carried out a 9-0 demolition job over opponents East London Ladies, making the step up to Division 1 North look seamless.
Pia Williams helped herself to five goals on the day, summer signing Cheyenne Faulkner bagged herself a brace, Calli Weaver and Jasmine Williamson grabbed a goal apiece. They found themselves 4-0 up in 22 minutes and scoring all four in about a ten minute period. Weaver scored the opener, this was her debut for the B Team, and she is also a product of the youth setup at Brentford. Forward Williamson added a second five minutes later with a calm finish and then Williams grabbed a quick-fire double in the 20th and 22nd minute.
The Bees showed no signs of slowing down in the second half as half time substitute, and another summer signing Faulkner, made it five in the 57th minute after getting onto the end of a cross. Just five minutes later Faulkner helped herself to another to increase the lead even further. Williams then completed her hat-trick in the 68th minute before adding two more in the 74th and 77th minute, leaving her with five and The B team with nine. Head Coach Will Blithing was obviously pleased with the result and how the team played.
He stated: “Especially with it being the first game of the season I’m ecstatic with the result and how well we played. They did everything we’ve asked of them from pre-season and then when we went into the second half, they did even more by adding another 5 onto the tally. At no point during the game did we look uncomfortable on the ball and East London didn’t look like scoring to be honest.”
He added: “We were playing out from the back and going long when we had to. We were finding passes that we haven’t even worked on yet, but the combinations were just flowing because we were playing such good football; two and three touch stuff. Before we knew it, we scored three goals in five minutes or something ridiculous like that in the second half because the style was working. We wanted to keep it down and move the ball quickly. Overall, everything we were drilling into them during pre-season showed itself yesterday.”
Both sides travel to Hackney Marshes today, Sunday 12 September, to play their next fixtures, with The First Team playing Hackney Women and The B Team against New London Lionesses Development respectively.