Horsham Sparrows 0 Oakwood 5: Oakwood Ladies clinch Sussex title at first attempt

Oakwood ladies celebrate becoming Sussex League champions SUS-170214-002445002
Oakwood ladies celebrate becoming Sussex League champions SUS-170214-002445002

Oakwood Ladies secured the points they needed to claim the league title in their first season as Oakwood, but were made to work for it by a determined Horsham side.

Playing their usual fluent footballing game was always going to be difficult on a muddy pitch.

In fact it was Chloe Higham who had the best chance of the half as she controlled the ball on the edge of the area and fired her shot towards the bottom corner only to see the Horsham keeper pull off a fine save.

Horsham ended the half well forcing a couple of corners of their own which were cleared with little alarm. So a stalemate at half-time suggested that Oakwood had to up their game to another level in the second half, and that they did.

The Oaks dominated possession early in the half by increasing their desire and work-rate in midfield.

Georgia Mockler was a key figure as she closed the space for her opponents and won back more ball.

In possession the Ladies shortened up their passing game and eventually the deadlock was broken by the impressive Emma Green.

She was sharpest to collect a ball on the edge of the area and fired her shot past the despairing dive of the Horsham keeper.

The goal was a visible relief to the team as they took hold of the game and stamped their authority on it.

The lead was soon doubled when following a corner, Kaitlyn, was quickest to react finding herself in the right place at the right time to poke the ball home.

A third followed soon after from the penalty spot following an inexplicable hand-ball.

Abi Knight took responsibility and showed a cool temperament as she had to convert the penalty twice when a stray dog entered the pitch forcing a retake.

The game was now secure and the ladies enjoyed themselves, playing some great football in terrible conditions.

Amber Whenham was having a terrific time down the right as she tormented the Horsham full-back time and time again.

Chloe Higham added a fourth when great work from Amber on the right saw Chloe convert the cross before the keeper could move.

Lauren Tyler rounded off the scoring and an emphatic second half performance from the Ladies when she was put through on goal and slotted in the far corner.

Two stand-out players receive player of the match – Mockler for her industry in gaining possession for her team and then dependable ball distribution.

And then Whenham for her fantastic skills, desire to get on the ball and her decision making.

Oakwood: Kirkham, Scarratt, Killick-Bird(c), Findon, Gilbert, Dancaster, Mockler, Horton, Knight, Hill, Tyler, Whenham, Green, Page, Taylor, Higham