Roses Bloom in Tournament

Meon Milton Tournament Saturday 16 th July 2022

With the predicted heatwave for the weekend, parents of Gosport Borough Roses U7 were given the choice to withdraw from the tournament. Everybody chose to play and what a good decision it was. Match time was reduced and a compulsory water break midway through each game was introduced to ensure players were kept hydrated.
The Roses arrived at the tournament at Meon Milton, Southsea as the only girls’ team across all age groups and lined up in their first match against SSA. The girls dominated the early part of the game with some great runs from midfield by Summer Fealy and Elsie Bonnall. Throughout the game the girls put the boy’s team under constant pressure.
Against the run of play SSA made a strong attack but faced strong Defensive Midfielder, Esme Gooding, who made a hard tackle and made a pass through the channel to find Summer who raced towards goal unleashing a right foot shot which the keeper could only push into the net. The girls were not to be broken and held out for a well-deserved win.
Their second game against an established team, Portchester Castles, who saw us lose 5-0. It would have been a much heavier defeat had it not been for some courageous tackling and battling; Lily Taylor, in goal, put in impressive saves and some penetrating runs by forward Kiara Standley-Gray sadly without reward but this did not dampen their spirits.
Into the third game, bravery in defending the ball by Lola Stock and Ivy Wileman against Jubilee 77 set us on course for another victory. With regular rolling substitutes, Skye-Lea Stock tried her best to push the ball forward towards goal, but Jubilee’s defence was just too strong.
Halfway through the game, Roses lost possession after a corner and Jubilee broke free. One on one with the keeper, the ball slipped under Lily and cruised towards goal, only for Esme to make it back just in time to make an epic goal like clearance; rather than kick it out, Esme who was unplayable throughout the game with a number of blocks and tackles, stopped the ball on the line, rolled it back under her foot and played a long pass up to Summer, who once again sprinted for goal. Under pressure from the chasing defenders Summer fired the ball into the goal giving the keeper no chance to cement another win.
Despite the girls continuing to show great courage and perseverance they lost their remaining games by the narrowest of margins.
In a group stage of six teams, the Roses finished in third place qualifying for the quarter finals.
After 5 tough group games, the quarter final match against East Lodge Hurricanes was just a step too far; with tired legs and feeling very hot from the sun the never gave up but succumbed to a strong team.
The girls received many accolades throughout the tournament with team managers and parents commending them on their resilience, work rate and attitude with one manager commenting that he was afraid to play them.
It was a fantastic tournament with many wonderful memories made. Roses Manager, Darren Gooding, said how proud he was of his players, everyone played their best and never gave up. Having only been formed 5 months ago with no previous football experience , the team have developed incredibly well following a successful Weetabix Wildcat program. The Roses are looking forward to a success first season in the Hampshire girls league.

The Team

Esme Gooding (c)
Summer Fealy
Lily Taylor (GK)
Kiara Standley-Gray
Sky Stock
Lola Stock
Elsie Bonnall
Ivy Wileman