July 3rd 2022. A fantastic day at the AFC Littlehampton Women's 6v6 tournament as Southampton Aztecs finish runner-s-up in the final.
Late entrants to the annual event, this was the first time our women's team played football together under the Aztecs banner. Many have been football teammates for years, in the past and currently, but today the futsal shoes were left in the bag, and out came the football boots. Staying in red for the entire day, matching the sunburn, the Southampton team faced-off against a range of football teams from the south of England. Forty-four teams were split into eight groups, with the top two progressing into a sixteen team knockout. Group games were two halves of ten minutes, and knockout games were straight fifteen minute games.
Southampton Aztecs 4 - 0 AFC Varsity Atoms
The Aztecs raced ahead to a 4-0 lead in the opening seven minutes, but failed to extend that lead during the remainder of the game.
1. Kayleigh Tonks assisted by Rebekah Tonks
2. Kayleigh Tonks assisted by Rebekah Tonks
3. Kayleigh Tonks assisted by Alicia Povey
4. Alicia Povey assisted by Kayleigh Tonks
Southampton Aztecs 2 - 0 Glebe Red
Glebe made the Aztecs work for it, but Southampton came out on top.
1. Rebekah Tonks assisted by Kayleigh Tonks
2. Kath Heath assisted by Kayleigh Tonks
Southampton Aztecs 7 - 0 Gosport Falcons
The Aztecs really found their stride against the Falcons and found the net seven times with five different scorers, and three different assisters.
1. Rebekah Tonks assisted by Alicia Povey
2. Hannah Walker assisted by Amy Maidment
3. Alicia Povey assisted by Kayleigh Tonks
4. Rebekah Tonks assisted by Kayleigh Tonks
5. Amy Maidment assisted by Rebekah Tonks
6. Kayleigh Tonks
7. Rebekah Tonks assisted by Rebekah Tonks
Southampton Aztecs 0 - 1 Bournemouth Sports B
The first team to score against, and keep a clean sheet against the Aztecs. A frustrating performance, with both teams already guaranteed progression to the next round, with first a second place up for grabs.
With the group stages over, Southampton had scored thirteen and conceded one in just four games. The football was flowing, and the team were now looking forward to the challenge of the do-or-die of elimination cup football. Sixteen teams remaining, and up first were Chichester.
SECOND ROUND: Southampton Aztecs 1 - 0 Chichester
A great strike from distance from Rebekah Tonks left the keeper rooted to the ground, proving to be the decider in this tight affair.
1. Rebekah Tonks
QUARTER-FINAL: Southampton Aztecs 2 - 0 Roffey
The Aztecs advance again from an Alicia Povey brace.
1. Alicia Povey assisted by Rebekah Tonks
2. Alicia Povey assisted by Amy Maidment
SEMI-FINAL: Southampton Aztecs 1p - 1 AFC Varsity Cardanos (2-0)
Southampton went behind early on against the run of play, when a Varsity player with a run reminiscent of Michael Owen in 1998 versus Argentina put the opponents ahead, squeezing the ball through the three defenders and goalkeeper. Southampton fought hard and threw the kitchen sink at the opposition to get back into the game. A Rebekah Tonks shot deflected off the chest of Alicia Povey into the net to tie the game. The teams then went to a penalty shootout with Varsity shooting first.
This is where the amazing fifteen-year-old Mo Delaney played a blinder. Varsity shot first, which was saved. Rebecca Moody stepped up and smashed the ball high into the net. Varsity then had their second kick saved. Hannah Walker stepped up for the Aztecs' second, which was saved. Mo Delaney then saved the third Varsity penalty. Rebekah Tonks had the third Aztecs kick, converting, making it 2-0. This meant that if Mo Delaney made yet another save, the Aztecs would be in the final. Mo Delaney did the unthinkable, and made it four penalty saves in a row. Incredible!
1. Alicia Povey assisted by Rebekah Tonks.
FINAL: Southampton Aztecs 0 - 1 Shoreham
The Aztecs fought hard and battled to the end. Undone by an early goal, the Reds couldn't get the goal to level the game. Some good saves from the Shoreham keeper from close range chances condemned Southampton to the silver medal.
Although we'd have preferred gold, it was still a fantastic day. A well run tournament, lots of great opponents, terrible tan lines, and some very good football. This is the first time the Aztecs have been together since the win against Worcester to remain in Tier One, and the start of the pre-season preparations. Some excellent football was played, with the team knocking it around like pinball. The team enjoyed bonding, providing a great opportunity to embed new players. This team is improving all the time, and we are so excited for the future!
With five goals and five assists, captain for the day Rebekah Tonks was voted as Aztecs Player of the Tournament.
Enjoy some photos from the day!