JRCS Y7/8 0-3 Barking & Dagenham
AFTER A FIVE WEEK break, Barking & Dagenham girls’ U11s were back in action as they made the very short trip to Jo Richardson Community School to take on a combined Y7 and 8 side. Denied more goals by a phenomenal goalkeeping performance, a brace for skipper Ellie Morgan and a converted penalty from Kayla Grain ensured the district side stretched their unbeaten run to three games ahead of Saturday’s trip to Gloucester.
Despite dominating possession and territory, Barking & Dagenham made hard work of breaking down their resolute opponents, struggling to muster a serious effort on target. Kaltrina Ibrahimi and Lily Mae Elsey both went close: however, the JRCS backline held firm and looked unlikely to yield any time soon.
It took until seven minutes before half-time for the pressure to finally pay off when a free-kick was awarded to the visitors thirty yards from goal. Ibrahimi’s technique on the set-piece was exquisite, as she sent a fizzing, swirling shot towards the target. Just as it looked like the ball would fly straight in, the initial effort was parried at the final second, with Morgan pouncing on the rebound to give her side a deserved lead.
A minute later, Elsey’s effort was saved when Morgan’s through ball found her in space before the captain again tested the keeper with a sharp spin and shot inside the box.
It was the introduction of Kayla Grain after the interval however that eventually converted the dominance of the away side into chances. Her calm touch on the ball spread throughout the ranks as Barking & Dagenham attacked with much more purpose and control.
First Miquellah Meade’s break resulted in another effort for Morgan, this time firing straight at the keeper from close range.
Then Grain began a flowing move featuring Elsey and Morgan that saw yet another fierce attempt held in spectacular fashion.
The lead was doubled shortly after when Meade drove directly at goal from midway inside the opposition half, ghosting past the JRCS and firing a shot across into the far corner from the right-hand edge of the box. The effort was palmed away on the dive but Morgan poached a second in similar fashion to her first to make it 2-0.
Now, Barking & Dagenham were rampant.
Ibrahimi’s whistling free-kick from thirty yards again brought panic before Grain, Morgan and Meade cut through for Grain to be denied by an outstretched right hand a goal seemed inevitable.
Then a save of the wrong sort allowed Grain her revenge as a handball inside the box brought an obvious spot-kick which was duly converted.
Shortly afterwards, Morgan hit the post from a tight angle with Violette Sharpe forcing a save after a dynamic run and shot from the edge of the box.
Morgan, Elsey and Ruby Abela were all denied by the home keeper in the closing stages while, at the other end, Mei Wang managed to navigate the entirety of the match without touching the ball.
With clean sheets in four of the last five games, confidence is high going into the new year as the aforementioned trip to the West Country is followed by this year’s London Girls’ League campaign.
Barking & Dagenham: Mei Wang (Henry Green); Miquellah Meade (Henry Green); Kirsten McNaughton (George Carey); Ellie Mai Morgan (Henry Green); Violette Sharpe (Gascoigne); Jessie English (Roding); Kayla Grain (Richard Alibon); Lily-Mae Elsey (Northbury); Kaltrina Ibrahimi (William Ford); Kezia Owusu-Abeiye (Valence); Ruby Abela (Dorothy Barley)