Bootham were back in cup action this week when they entertained Tier 2 leaders Manchester at St John’s. After an opening day league defeat to Manchester, Bootham were looking to continue their recent improved performances. Back into the squad came Kimberly Samson and Allegra Sellschop-Evans, with Natascha Eustance making a well-deserved start.

Bootham were represented by:

Allegra Sellschop-Evans (GK), Lauryn Zareba-Gilbank (GK), Charlotte Broad, Kimberly Samson, Ellie Whittaker (C), Ava Worthy, Lucy Hudson, Jess Baker, Jessica Barnes, Natasha Eustance, Suzy Collins and Ruby Shaw.

1st Half

From the first whistle both sides were on the front foot. A couple of early chances went begging for Manchester before a full court move involving the whole team saw captain Whittaker smash home from close ranges, for her 4th goal of the season. Within 3 minutes Bootham had added a second when a neat flick from Baker saw Samson dribble round the keeper to slot the ball home. An error gifted Manchester a way back into the match and they forced a second shortly after when a fine save from Zareba-Gilbank came back off the post to land at the Manchester players feet, who scored from close range. Bootham had chances to score again when Baker went close twice, and Eustance had a long range shot saved.

Half Time: Bootham 2 – Manchester 2

2nd Half

Bootham went at Manchester from the first whistle and nearly scored when a great pass from Eustance found Shaw inside the D, but her shot was well saved by the Manchester goalkeeper. Manchester took the lead with a Bootham own goal, and then increased their lead when a long-range shot found the top corner of the Bootham net. Bootham went further behind when a well worked corner was fired home. The home side never stopped trying but a brave save by Zareba-Gilbank kept the score at 5. With time running out, Broad intercepted a long pass and ran through the Manchester defence before finishing through the keepers’ legs. Bootham went not done and a smart interception by Samson set up Shaw for a first-time finish. Bootham pushed for an equaliser and on the final whistle Eustance smashed the ball over just over.

Full time: Bootham 4 – Manchester 5

Click here to see images from the game

After the game Coach Chris spoke to us and said, ‘I must be disappointed in that result. We took a 2 goal lead and look very comfortable in the game, but errors and a bit of luck let Manchester back into the game. I think in the first half we played some fantastic futsal but just couldn’t put our chances away. You can’t afford to do this against top sides, and Manchester are a top side, with some quality players. When we are on top, we must learn to be ruthless in front of goal and kill games off.’

He continued by saying, ‘Individual errors cost us today. I know these players are hurting, and they are determined to put them right. It is team game, and we win together and lose together. We created enough chances today to win the game, I guess being totally brutal Manchester were more clinical with their chances. They are a good side, and second half played some fantastic futsal.

He finished by saying, ‘It doesn’t get any easier for us as next week we have probably the hardest game of the season when Bolton travel to York. They just had a fantastic result at the weekend, scoring goals for fun against Sunderland. That said, we have nothing to lose, no-one even expects us to cause them a problem, so the players can go out and play with no fear and show everyone what good players they are. It’s a game I wouldn’t want to miss, and we really need our supporters to come out and cheers the lady’s home. Who, knows, miracles do happen…’

Click here to see highlights from the game

Player of The Match as picked by Ellie Whittaker, on behalf of Match Sponsor Sue Whittaker – Ruby Shaw and Jessica Baker – With match sponsor Sue Whittaker unable to make the game, captain Ellie picked Ruby and Jess. She said, ‘I couldn’t separate both of them today so decided to award a join Player of the Match, both were outstanding in everything they did today.’

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