Updated: Nov 10, 2022
29th October 2022: A frustrated Aztecs side come out on the wrong end of this close game.
A depleted squad due to injuries, this are the seven that made the trip to Somerset.
In the exquisite red away kit for a second game running, the Aztecs encountered newly promoted Cheshire for the first time.
The two teams spent the early stages feeling each other out, learning about their new opponents. Rebecca Moody nearly continued her fine scoring form from recent games with a long shot from the Southampton half. With Libby Wright way out of her goal, her cross into the D was intercepted by Moody, who launched one from down town. The shot went agonisingly wide as a Cheshire got a head to it.
It was Cheshire who broke the deadlock, with the goal coming from Keri Sampson. A lovely one-two down the left wing, and a great finish into the far bottom corner to put the yellow team a goal up.
The tense nature of the game meant neither team produced many clear-cut chances. Nicki Curtis did well to prevent a cross at one end, and Rebekah Tonks had a half-volley tipped wide at the other end. With two minutes to go before the break, Laura Ingram came close. Kayleigh Tonks carried it forward, passed to her sister Bekah, who slipped in Ingram with a great pass. Being chased from behind, Ingram's shot went wide. But Ingram was still alert, and scored only seconds later. The Southampton press baited a pass inside. Laura Ingram pounced to intercept, and then found the net by nutmegging Libby Wright from close range.
The Aztecs almost immediately took the lead. A well worked kick-in routine from Rebekah Tonks and Laura Ingram found Kayleigh Tonks unmarked at the far post, but Tonks judged the bounce wrong, and hit the ball wide of the open goal. The half finished 1-1.
With sixty seconds of the second half played, the Aztecs were behind again. Helen Cann making it 2-1. A one-two down the right, the ball was laid across the D to Cann unmarked at the far post. Moody got a touch on the cross, but couldn't deflect it fully. Sayler slipped as she moved across the goal was nutmegged upon getting back on her feet.
Five minutes later, and Southampton had a great chance to level the game. Ingram intercepted a pass, and found a great ball to play Bekah Tonks, who tapped it into Kayleigh Tonks, who had her shot saved by Wright in a one-on-one. In full attack mode, Sayler pushed higher on the fly. The resulting kick-in from the Wright save was played short from Maidment to Ingram. Ingram switched it to Moody, who played Sayler down the right. Sayler's cross to Bekah Tonks was cut out by the defence, preventing what would have been a great team goal.
The next good Aztecs chance came a minute later. A Bekah Tonks free-kick was fired into Kayleigh Tonks, but ricocheted off a defender towards goal, sailing inches wide of the goal. The Aztecs kept coming, and were throwing the kitchen sink. A corner routine between the Tonks sisters found Maidment in the D, but was scrambled away off the line.
Despite having the ball, the chances, and only conceding one shot on target in the second half, the Aztecs could not find the back of the net. Cheshire took the three points from this frustrating encounter.
Laura Ingram was awarded player of the match, scoring our only goal, with what is becoming a trademark nutmeg.
Watch the highlights back here.
View the whole match below.
Enjoy these photos from the game.
The scores from the day of games.
Cheshire 2 - 1 Southampton Aztecs
Birmingham WLV 2 - 2 Hartpury
Bolton 2 - 2 London Helvecia
Manchester have pulled out of the league, meaning Tier One will now be battled out between seven teams. Some games are being rearranged, and now the Aztecs will immediately face-off against the champions Birmingham WLV in Nottingham on Bonfire Night.
The Aztecs will be travelling the length and breadth of England. Be sure to check our schedule to see when the team will be playing near you.
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