Goole Town Tigers Girls Under-10s finished their debut season with an impressive tournament victory in the Wetherby Mini Invitational on Saturday morning.
The girls have gone from strength to strength throughout the campaign and ended it on a very high note. A crash on the A1 left half the squad stranded on the way there, so it was with a bare seven that the Tigers would start the first game against Wetherby Lions. That being said this streak of Tigers are made of strong stuff and despite very little pre-match preparation they were straight into the action. Goole were dominating the play and were soon two goals to the good through Sophie Gray and Alexa Cawkwell with Iris Whitfield and Marcie Masterman both heavily involved. The defensive line of Lilly Rockett and Brooke Pinder were able to push high to condense the pitch to help sustain the attacks, leaving goalkeeper Anastasija Igaune with very little to do. As more players began to arrive changes were made, and Olivia Young-Williams and Maisie Jessop both entered the match to help consolidate the lead.
The Tigers would continue to create chance after chance in the second period. They would add a third late on through Alicia Fallon whose turn and snap shot would find the top corner. Next up for the Tigers would be old foes the Horsforth Huskies. Goole knew it would be a tight affair following on from last week’s game against them, but they would again be upto the task. Regular keeper Laura White had arrived and was back in goal and was never threatened as firstly Rockett and Young-Williams then Igaune and Jessop provided her with a solid barrier.
The Tigers took the lead midway through the first half, Cawkwell, Whitfield and Masterman all involved before Gray fired home. The squad was finally completed as the game reached its midway point. Ava Sheldon and Maegan Oldridge were both straight into the thick of the action. Sheldon played a lovely ball down the right, releasing Oldridge who showed a burst of pace to get to the byline. She put in a whipped cross which just evaded the onrushing Fallon. The final whistle would sound and gave the Tigers a second victory. Finally for the Tigers would be Wetherby Pumas. The girls, uplifted by the two previous performances, were instructed to enjoy the final game and played some of the best football of the season to date. For long periods of the first half Sheldon now in goal was the only player in the Goole half as the Tigers flooded forward at every opportunity with Pinder probing from midfield.
The Tigers were soon one goal to the good. Oldridge launched a quick long throw to Gray on the right side of the box, and she would slide the ball across for strike partner Cawkwell to knock the ball home. The Pumas were always on the back foot, and Goole were soon awarded a penalty for a foul on Gray. Unfortunately, the resulting spot kick was missed but that didn’t stop the flow of attacks. Oldridge needed three opportunities to finally double the Tigers lead but then they were thankful to first Young-Williams and then Rockett for great covering tackles. Just before the half time whistle Sheldon was called into the action for the first time and produced a great save to preserve the clean sheet. Into the second half and Jessop was often the last line of defence and she was on top form to help repel the Pumas attacks. Masterman was proving a constant menace down the left as Goole were continuing to look dangerous in attack.
The Tigers would add a third midway through the half. Oldridge sent a long free kick forward and a slight touch off the referee saw the ball land at the feet of White. She showed great composure to find Fallon in the box, she would in turn play a neat ball to Whitfield who had burst into the box and poke the ball home to seal the victory. This was a brilliant team effort from the Tigers in quite difficult circumstances. To win any tournament is hard, but to do so without conceding a goal shows how much the team has evolved since they were formed just over a year ago. The girls would like to thank the team sponsors, management, and parents/supporters for all their support throughout the season. (19-05-727 SU)