Photos and Report by John Coxon
With most of the Premiership regulars comfortable and staying up , depleted Ipswich's humiliation by Bowdon 9-2 this weekend was a cruel end of season but Ipswich will be back and firing on all cylinders next season. Champions Slough getting trounced 7-2 by Leicester didn't matter a squat in the scheme of things apart from pride and Canterbury trashing already relegated Old Loughtonians 7-1 seemed inevitable. The main interest this weekend had to be at the bottom of the division where it all remained to be settled.
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Prem regulars Chelmsford, suffering a tad too much this year, found themselves just three points above second from bottom neophytes Poynton. For the Chelmsford girls, having to make the long haul north , a draw or win would see them safe but a win for Poynton would see them level on points but Poynton staying up with a superior goal difference. The heart said Poynton- the head said Chelmsford but nothing is certain at this level in what has been a season for quite a few surprises and so it proved to be at Bellevue.
In what was a sometimes tense and hard fought game Poynton made an understandably nervous start in the first five but quickly found their confidence and remained confident and attack minded throughout , forever driving forward and frustrating the visitors and at no time in the first half looked vulnerable, and absorbing whatever Chelmsford threw at them. At half time Poynton were ahead in terms of effort and courage with Chelmsford unable to make the breakthrough and never really threatening.
Honours even at the first half whistle but Poynton looking the better side. Poynton went indoors in the warm for a parlay with Chelmsford remaining on the pitch in the dugout. With Chelmsford already on the pitch , the delegate went inside to get Poynton out and then a second half with more of the same, end to end stuff but essentially Chelmsford not looking threatening until the last ten. In the 43rd minute, in open play, Kate Maltman made the break-through putting the local side one up from a cross from Poynton captain Sinead McCarthy. Ten minutes later Poynton were down to ten players with young Laura Evans off on a yellow for a technical offence. Poynton held on and Chelmsford were unable to get the advantage.
Chelmsford also lost a player on a yellow later, perhaps high-lighting the sheer tension of the situation. There were a number of heart stopping moments in latter stages of the second half and in particular Chelmsford had a host of short corners but just could not convert. Poynton kept them out remaining attack minded and pressed to the end with a worthy and somehow inevitable win if justice was to be done.
More shots from the game here
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images