On Sunday the 25th of October 2009 on a cold, blustery evening in Blackpool, I attended my first ever football match England v Malta.
With a bit of persuasion I have decided to blog about my wonderful evening with the England ladies! I hope you enjoy my ramblings and photos!
Finally the day had arrived! And with the help of my trusty sat-nav I found myself driving into Blackpool. Just as I was waiting at a roundabout, what would becoming towards me but the England coach! It must have just dropped the players off but my excitement rose on seeing it…this was nothing to what I felt when I eventually got into the grounds.
We parked the car and went for our tickets, bought a program and entered the ground. Before we’d even found our seats I could see the England team warming up, Faye, Fara, Alex etc all the faces I’d seen on a small screen where suddenly in front of me…in the flesh! Warm up was soon over and the teams left the pitch.
Then both teams strode back out on to the pitch and we all stood for the national anthems, we being a crowd of 3,681 football fans, not a bad turn out I felt…and we sure made a lot of noise to fill the grounds! The ref looked at her watch, and blew her whistle, this was it! The world cup qualifier had started!
England started well with Lianne Sanderson and Jill Scott both seeing their efforts stopped but then with only 5 minutes gone Faye White opened the scoring with a simple tap in off of a Sue Smith free kick GOAL!!! We leapt out of our seats!…we were off to a good start!
Sanderson and Williams both had chances and England were on the attack. The second goal came on the 20th minute, Sanderson picked out Williams who made no mistake and stuck the ball into the back of the net GOAL! 2-0! Williams went onto have another shot at goal only to find the Maltese goal keeper’s gloves. The resulting corner allowed Jess Clarke to stab the ball in…GOAL! 3-0! Just 3 minutes later Williams struck again from a Clarke cross GOAL! 4-0 A good save from the Maltese goal keeper stopped it being 5 when Jill Scott connected with a chip from Williams….Half time 4-0 to England
Well, this is going alright so far we’d missed a few chances but on the whole the team that Hope Powell had put out were playing well. Half time saw the women’s footballing stars of tomorrow come out and show us their skills…did I just see the next Kelly Smith!?
Right second half, come on England!!
It wasn’t a great start for Malta who saw Natasha pace sent off for a second bookable offence, she took out Williams legs, so Malta were down to ten players…as the ref drew out the red card an almighty roar rang round the crowd! That was quite clearly the most noise the crowd made through the whole match!
Play resumed and Jody Handley’s shot went wide but Williams soon notched up her hat trick with a lovely glancing header GOAL! 5-0! Soon after this Williams was subbed for Emily Westwood and Fara got a standing ovation, well deserved!!
Lindsay Johnson looked to have scored the next and while we were all jumping up and down we noticed the offside flag was up…nooooo! Jill Scott had a chance but just hit the cross bar with a header, the corner that came from this saw the next goal, Clarke got her second after slotting in a rebound off the post GOAL! 6-0!
This was great! Everyone was having a go and we were winning!
Emily Westwood (Woody) missed a sitter of a header but more than made up for it with what was for me the goal of the match a left footed strike from 25yards out powered into the top left corner! GOAL! 7-0
Alex Scott, Johnson and Dani Buet all had chances but with just 2 minutes of playing time left on the clock Rachel Unitt made the total 8 with a tap in off a rebound from a save GOAL! 8-0!
They’re looked to be more goals in the offing but they just couldn’t find the net so had to settle for 8-0…well done girls! 3 points! And Congratulations to Fara Williams player of the match!
So that was my first football match! and what an enjoyable game it was, ok it was a little one sided but it was great to see the talent of the England players
The players did a lap of the ground and we all clapped and cheered. We noticed that some of the players were signing autographs so off we went with program and pen in hand!
Jill Scott came up first, she had a bit of a chat with us and signed my program, what a lovely lass! Then came Faye White…yes THE Faye White! I was a nervous wreck! But she signed my program…a few other players came and went and then I spotted Alex Scott and she came up had a pic took and signed the program, she was charming and soooo little! Alex is one of my favourite players so meeting her made my night!!
A couple more autographs and photos taken and It was time to bid the lovely England ladies and Blackpool good night as we set off for home tired but very very happy!!… Bring on Turkey!
1 Karen Bardsley, 2 Alex Scott, 3 Rachel Unitt, 4 Dani Buet, 5 Faye White (C) (15 Lindsay Johnson, 59), 6 Laura Bassett, 7 Jess Clarke, 8 Jill Scott, 9 Lianne Sanderson (18 Jody Handley, 53) 10 Fara Williams (17 Emily Westwood, 68), 11 Sue Smith
Substitutes not used: 12. Katie Chapman, 13 Rachel Brown, 14 Casey Stoney, 16 Eniola Aluko
(no copyright intended)