Gosport Borough Roses Roar to Cup Final

Hampshire Girls U8 Cup Saturday 11th March 2023

As the Roses debut season comes to a close, they are (at time of writing) unbeaten in the league and have faced some tough competition as they grow into football.

Running alongside the league, is the Hampshire Girls Cup. Another new and exciting experience for the young Roses and nervous expectation for the parents.

Building on their early league victories the Roses were drawn in the first round with an away trip to Braishfield Bees Gold. The Roses dominated early on scoring 8 goals with no reply with midfielder, Esme scoring 6 goals in the first 20 minutes. The home team made some substitutions and clawed back a couple of goals. The Roses continued to press forward with goals from Summer (4), Elsie (4) and Lola scoring her first goal to finish the match with a win.

In the second round, it was another away trip to Worthy’s in Winchester. The fixture was hampered by the loss of goalkeeper, Lily and forward Kiara following their car breaking down on route to the game meant the girls, on a freezing morning had to make changes to their starting line up with Esme playing in goal. The Roses showed their dominance once again and despite a tricky pitch came away victorious with Summer scoring a hat-trick.

With a couple of teams pulling out of the league and byes given to teams as a result the finals on the cup competition ended with in a round robin format consisting of five teams; Warsash Wasps, Hartley Witney Tigers, Atalanta, Winchester Kingfishers and our very own Roses. The matches were played at the Winklebury Football Complex.

With quick 10-minute games, Roses made quick work of winning their first game against Winchester Kingfishers winning with some fantastic solo runs by Elsie and goals from Isla and Summer.

They carried the winning momentum into the second game beating Hartley Witney Tigers following a great run by Summer who dribbled past three players before striking past the keeper for the goal. The Tigers attacked frequently but some great saves by Lily S in goal meant the Roses kept consecutive clean sheets.

In their third game they were up against Warsash Wasps, a team they have played twice in the league already, winning both games convincingly but the Wasps were stronger and battled hard against the Roses. Strong performances by Ivy and Kiara kept the opponents attacks to a minimum. Lily T battled hard on the wing which sent Summer through on goal to score. The game ended with a win to the Roses.

In the fourth and final round robin game, the Roses faced Atalanta. An established and very high-level team. Atalanta kicked off and attacked immediately catching the Roses by surprise and scored within seconds. Despite their experience compared to the Roses further attacks were shut down by defender Maia who throughout the tournament protected her goalkeeper and made many a crucial tackle and attacking passes. One pass almost resulted in Lola having a chance in front of goal before being closed down by the Atalanta defence. The Roses were defeated.

The final was decided by the top two teams in the round robin. Atalanta finished top of the group with Roses in second place so the teams would have to play again to see who would lift the trophy and run out winners of the Hampshire Girls Cup 2022/23 season.

The final was played over 20 minutes with all ten Roses player getting the experience of playing in their first ever final.

The Roses knew how good Atalanta were and prepared themselves well. The Roses closed the Atalanta girls down quicker restricting their brilliant passing into space as best they could. Isla and Esme were relentless in their pursuit of the ball, Maia was solid in defence, our midfielders of Lily T and Ivy combined with the strike force of Lola and Kiara kept pushing forward at every opportunity and they created chances. Atalanta proved too strong and scored after 7 minutes. Atalanta continued to push forward but some brave goal keeping by Lily S who made a string of fine saves before having to come off injured when the ball was kicked from her hands for Atalanta’s second goal. Lily was replaced in goal by Esme who also made some fine saves, even stopping one on the line with the referee allowing the goal.

The Roses were brave and battled well but could not breakdown the Atalanta team and lost. Gosport Borough Roses Manager, Darren Gooding said ‘They should all be very proud of their performance throughout their first tournament and lost to a very good and experienced team, but they matched them and I believe could beat them.

The Roses have come such a long way in a short period of time and grow game after game and are becoming a feared team to play in the local area. Together with my coaches, Dale Fealy and Paul Taylor we work hard to develop the girls and make sure they all have fun when they play football. I want to thank my Roses for being so brilliant and they fully deserved being finalists’.

The Roses:

Lily S
Esme (c)
Lily T