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Wyrley only had 12 players due to Uni visits, County netball matches etc and with Cath, Jemma, Hayley and Amy carrying injuries, they went into this game with some trepidation against last season’s Division 1 winners, Cup Semi finalists who had lost after extra time and who had won 10 – 1 in their first game. In addition Wyrley lost Laura Lindsay to a jaw injury shortly after half time to stretch their own resources further. Ok Rubery at various stages of the game had 11, 10, 9, 8 & 7 players but for the vast majority played with 10 that could not cope with the excellent slick passing from Wyrley.
Wyrley were 3 up after 9 minutes, with Laura Lindsay scoring from the edge of the box that flew into the net at knee height and following up with a great header after a fine run and cross from Hayley Turner. Hayley made up for a miss from close range, with a series of super crosses, with further heading chances going begging from Sophie Shorrock, Laura Cumberledge and Rachel Hall. Shorrock smashed home her first of the game from just inside the box. The first half football was a joy to behold and time after time the ball moved from back to front a la Arsenal as the referee described it later but our finishing was a bit like a la Man U in the first half. A little bit of overconfidence at the back gave Naomi from Rubery a couple of chances, which led to a tremendous double save from Nia Jay from a penalty kick. Shorrock scored her second just before half time. Further Wyrley chances went begging and as the Rubery site says, the quality of play deserved much, much more in terms of goals on the scoresheet.
Wyrley, as mentioned above, lost Laura Lindsay to a worrying jaw injury after a minute of the second half, meaning that Hayley moved into the middle despite carrying an injury and Jemma moving to the right, whilst also struggling with a thigh injury.
Goals now came at regular intervals. Laura Cumberledge moved onto a Turner pass and confidently curled the ball into the top right corner. Hall got the goal that her powerful running deserved by cracking home outside the box and almost scored again when her shot clipped the bar. Cath Davis went close from a header and also a free kick from 40 yards. Beth Crooks was very influential in midfield and had two opportunities to score from distance.
At the back, Leah Fanning passed with confidence and had 2 storming runs that created further opportunities. Saff Hicken’s passing was excellent and Amy Marshall dealt comfortably with sporadic Rubery attacks. Nia had 2 further excellent saves to make to keep the season’s goals against column at zero.
Jemma now started to exert an influence on the game and she followed up last week’s left foot goal with two more, cutting inside with swift running and steering past the keeper. She too also hit the bar, as she had done against RPS.
Hayley Turner took a free kick awarded in her favour by clipping home an excellent free kick into the top corner.
Shorrock hit another from inside the box and the pleasing one for the manager was when she followed up a shot from Hall, saved by the keeper. These are the goals we could get more of, rather than relying upon Goal of the Month contenders.

The first half display would have made any manager proud but the goals came in the second half as tiredness and Rubery injuries had their effect. Hopefully, Laura’s injury will recover quickly – as she says, it’s not serious enough to stop her talking!
Good luck to John and his Rubery girls for the rest of the season – we have a great relationship with this very friendly club and we know they will do well.

More good news for Wyrley was Emily Downes signing up for another season before the game – welcome back Emily!

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