With St Peters Sports Hall out of action, Bootham relocated to the new York Leisure Centre for their Women’s National Futsal Club quarter final tie against London Genesis Women’s Futsal Club. In front of a bumper and very noisy crowd could they make it to the national semi-finals?

Bootham were missing key players but had the rest of the squad available for this key game. Into the starting line-up came Denva Coupland and captain Ellie Whitaker.

Starting Line-Up: Ellie Whittaker (c), Nikki Brown, Katie Samson, Kimberly Samson, Denva Coupland.

Substitutes: Suzy Collins, Lucy Hudson, Lucy Grehan-Bradley, Ava Worthy

Bootham started strongly with Genesis sitting in their own half and looking to hit Bootham on the break. Bootham took a deserved lead when a full court move was finished at the second post by captain Ellie Whittaker. Genesis equalised before Ellie Whittaker hit the inside of the post from a free-kick. Both sides swapped chances, leaving the interval score.

Half Time – Bootham Ladies’ Futsal Club – 1 – London Genesis Women’s Futsal – 1

Coach Chris looked for his side to move the ball quicker and wider, trying to stretch the Genesis first line of defence. A mixup at the back saw Genesis take the lead and they moved further ahead with a well worked goal. Bootham got one back when a brilliant cross from Ellie Whittaker was headed home at the far post by Lucy Hudson. Another defensive mistake gifted Genesis a goal and with just under 3 minutes left Bootham looked dead and buried. A great block by Denva Coupland gave the ball to Ellie Whittaker, who fed Kimberly Samson, who slammed the ball home from outside the D. Just as it looked that the clock would beat Bootham, a long range pass from Ellie Whittaker was controlled brilliantly by Lucy Gerhan-Bradley, and with her next touch, she smashed the ball into the top corner with 4 seconds left, for her first goal of the season.

Full Time – Bootham Ladies’ Futsal Club – 4 – London Genesis Women’s Futsal – 4

The game moved into 10 minutes of extra time. With players on both sides looking very tired and neither side wanting to lose the game at this stage, chances were few.

Final Score – Bootham Ladies’ Futsal Club – 4 – London Genesis Women’s Futsal – 4

London Genesis Women’s Futsal won 4-2 on penalties

Click here to see the images from the day

Player Of The Match – The Whole Squad – After the commitment the players have shown and putting their bodies on the line for every single minute it only seems right to award the player of the match to the whole squad. Every single player contributed to the result and played their part in an outstanding performance.

Captain Ellie Whittaker spoke to us after the game, she said, ‘Every single player left everything on the court and we couldn’t have given any more. We created a lot of chances and on another day could have scored more and got the win, but their keeper was phenomenal and the woodwork wasn’t our friend. That finish from Lucy with 4 seconds left to take us to extra time is something I won’t forget in a while, and the fact we came from 4-2 down to equalise with 4 seconds left pretty much summarises the mentality of this squad. Penalties are always a lottery but I’m proud of all of the players who stood up and took one – that shows massive guts.’

When asked about the season, she said, ‘It’s been an incredible set of performances since the turn of the year, and if you’d have said we’d finish third in the league and as a national cup quarter finalists in our second season I don’t think we’d have believed you. The progression this squad has shown is frightening, we’ve made some fantastic signings, and we’ve become a hard team to beat. It’s been a long season and I think we need a bit of a break before we all go again and see how much further we can develop next year. I personally can’t wait for pre season!

Her final comment was about the supporters, ‘The support we’ve had in our last league game and in this game has been amazing. Thank you everyone for turning up – that atmosphere was one of the best I’ve played in in almost 20 years of playing. We hope you’ll help us next year to make York a fortress and a difficult place for teams to come!’

An emotional Coach Chris spoke with us after the game, ‘That hurts, it really does. I feel so much for every single player out there today who wore the Bootham shirt with so much pride and gave so much. They gave everything today for the club and we just fell short. Sometimes as a coach you can pick faults with the game and highlight things you should have done better, but not today, it just wasn’t going to be.’

Talking about the game he said, ‘I thought in the first half we were by the far the better team, we controlled the pace and tempo of the match and Genesis didn’t created much at all. We took a deserved lead with a fantastic futsal goal and then hit the post. A couple of mistakes gave Genesis the lead, but we never gave up and worked our way back into the match, we didn’t panic and stuck to our game plan.’

When asked about the the goal to take them to extra time, he said, ‘The last words I said to Lucy 2 as she went on were, go get me a goal! Boy did she deliver! The control and the finish are stunning, and with only 4 seconds on the clock, it makes it even more dramatic. I honestly didn’t realise how little time was left, it is everything about futsal in one moment. That said I think all our goals today were fantastic – Ellie’s 2nd post finish, Lucy’s header, and Kim’s breakaway goal were all fantastic futsal finishes. You can’t help but wonder if Ellie’s free kick in the first half goes in, how much that changes the game…’

He continued by saying, ‘The very best of luck to Genesis in the semi-finals against Bolton – it’s a cup tie, so anything can happen. To have a Tier 2 side in the national semi-finals just shows how deep women’s futsal goes in the UK, I’m just so sorry to our supporters that it isn’t us.’

Regarding the crowd Chris said, ‘We asked people to come out and show their support for the ladies and they didn’t let us down. That was the biggest crowd of the season and the noise they made was unbelievable. Just listen to the video! I want to personally thank each and every one for coming to the game, we don’t take you for granted and you really do help us. I don’t know of any other women futsal team in the UK that get crowds like that? A special thank you to Junior and all the players and coaches of York Futsal for coming down, it means the world to the team.’

Regarding next season he said, ‘We are just over a year old, and have far exceeded ourselves as a team this season, 3rd place finish in the league and penalties away from a national semi-final, I have to be very pleased with that. We go away, lick our wounds, feel down and then start to build for next season. The ladies will take a very well earned rest before we start pre-season. We have so much talent coming through from the academy, next season we will have another five graduates pushing for places in the first team, it’s such an exciting time to be at this club, we are building something special in York.

He ended by saying, ‘What are my expectations for next season…well, you will have to come back in September to find out.’

A huge well done to all the Bootham Ladies for an outstanding season in the Futsal National League North, we can’t wait for the next chapter!

Check back soon for an in-depth conversation with Captain Ellie and Coach Chris regarding the current team, new players, the academy and what the future holds for Bootham Ladies’ Futsal Club.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.