We came, we scored and we nearly chucked it away!!!!

Stoke Town Ladies 3 v Wyrley Meerkats 5

‘Its a funny old game’ ain’t it! If a game was worthy of the cliché ‘A game of 2 halves’ this were to be it! The Meerkat troupe headed North to meet our northern rivals Stoke Town Ladies in the first round proper of the Staffs Cup.  It was more than a feeling that this was to be a potential grudge match, as the previous year we’d beaten the Stokey’s 1-0 to claim the Cup, they owed us one really!! Were they up for it! Were the Meerkats ready for battle?

What ensued was a match of memorable proportions that was accompanied with a cacophony of sound from the travelling fans.  This match had everything, blood, guts, glory and a linesman who hadn’t a bloody clue!!!

A full squad made the trip north providing the gaffer with yet more selection headaches.  Its a good job he’s follically challenged as this would render any ‘bloke’ bald! He opted for Skye between the sticks, supported with Ellie ‘The Enforcer, Abbie ‘Delap’ Clay and Millie ‘Stonewall’ Sturch in defence.  Erin ‘The General’, Faith ‘Mouse’ Youd, Mya ‘The Magician’ Sidhu were deployed in the centre of the park with Eloise ‘The Engine’ and Chloe ‘Sonic’ Venables leading the line.  From the off the Meerkats looked lively, definitely smelt of teen spirit, whatever it was, it was working.  The girls were like a bat out of hell and pressed the game from front to back, strong in the tackle and were always looking for the killer pass to thread through.  It wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken when Captain colossus Erin, shot and beat the keeper, who had no chance in saving the shot.  They celebrated with great gusto and settled back into position and the onslaught continued.  Mya and Eloise were playing some lovely 1-2 interplay carving their way through the Stoke defence, thus providing Chloe with opportunities on goal.  Ellie was living up to her nickname and was enforcing the back line! This girl gets knocked down but gets back up again, you’re never gonna keep her down! Skye was managing the shot stopping well ensuring care was taken with the shots as they were zipping off the moistened ground. Millie and Abbie supported well, situated as if they were all along the watchtower. Some more ‘beautiful’ football between Sonic, the magician, the General and the Engine lead to the latter being cut free on goal who gladly deposited the ball into the back of the net.  Obviously gets her finishing skills from her dad as she’s a sweet child o mine!

The gaffer rang the changes with Mollie and Melissa switching for Abbie and Faith.  They settled in well and Melissa ‘Mini’ Cooper made various sorties into the oppositions half trying to carve out openings for the front 2 to feed on.  Half time came with the Meerkats leading 2-0, things were a whole lotta rosie!! God knows what happened at the start of the second half it must have been a communication breakdown as the Stokeys were allowed to run a mock and pull it back to 2-2 within a matter of minutes.  The stokeys attacked again whilst the Meerkats were dazed and confused, the ball from a mis-hit shot managed to squirt underneath Skye.  The decibel level increased! The Stoke supporters put down their oat cakes and began to cheer.  The Stoke onslaught continued and if it wasn’t from goal line heroics from the General, the girls would have found them selves further behind.  This turnaround was not helped by the linesman who appeared to have a inability to flag for an offside, did he know what offside was, was he a plant or a plank?.  Tell a lie he raised his flag when I raised my arm – there were no wires involved – strange…. or am I paranoid?

Sophie ‘The Terminator and Katie ‘Peggy’ Mitchell came on to try to rally the girls and ensured the score line didn’t worsen.  The game had left me and the supporters comfortably numb and only changed on the re-introduction of Mya ‘The Magician’. Mya performed a Cryuff turn on her own half and proceeded to beat the stokey defence, lined up a shot on her right foot and blasted it into the back of the net – a magical goal.  The Meerkat supporters raised the noise level and seemed to be wired for sound. This gave the girls new vigour and embarked on a wind of change! Chloe who is faster than the brown stuff off a stick was terrorising the defensive line and was during an attack that lead to her first goal.  A great goal that was purely down to determination and ridiculous pace, she was born to run!  The feeling was alright now as Sonic wrapped up the victory with her second of the game, when the keeper spilled her shot and couldn’t stop the ball from creeping over! The Stokeys tried to rally again but were thwarted by the General who wiped man and ball out causing for a squeaky bum moment!  Luckily the 3 man defensive line of The General, Mouse and Delap ensured the shot was over hit and over the bar.

The girls truly deserved the win as in all they were the better team! They just need to recognise the need to apply pressure during the totality of the game.

Managers Player was Captain colossus Erin Waddilove who played with her heart on her sleeve and led by example.

Parents player was awarded to Mya ‘The Magician’ Sidhu – a majestic goal and performance.


Things to work on

Charging the ball down – run at the ball carrier, don’t wait!

Standing tall in a tackle (don’t jump, turn or flinch) – Learn off Ellie – she’s perfected tackling.

Positional awareness –  don’t follow the ball, stay in position and know who you should be marking.

Fitness – the pitches are good at the minute! wait until they become boggy, you will be hanging out your shorts by the end of the games!! You need to get fitter – some more than others.


Girls you continue to make me and the gaffer proud! Keep smiling, keep trying!!



Mrs Sturch Porter – your driving awareness is hilarious! I will ask the league if we can play all our games in Pelsall to ensure you don’t get lost.  I swear I saw you going round a roundabout several times – do they not have roundabouts in Pelsall or did you just like the scenery?

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