Women's First Team
London & South East Regional Women's Football League - Division 1 South Sun 24 March MKM Arena
Bognor Regis Town
Welling Utd

The Rockettes suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat in a game of two halves at the MKM Arena against a resurgent Welling United in a London & South East Regional Division 1 South clash.

Despite Annabelle Gracey’s fine left-footed strike on 25 minutes giving the Rockettes a first half lead, the Wings were much better in the second half and secured 2 goals to take home the points.

Early on Laura Barton did well to get a cross into the area on 4 minutes. The ball was contested by Millie Carter but the ball rebounded out to Annabelle Gracey who hit a lot show at goal. But the chance was pushed around the goal by the goalkeeper.

Kerri Grant did well to beat her marker on the right but her cross flew out of play soon after.

Then Gracey did well to keep the ball in before Grant let fly with a left-footed strike on 8 minutes but she bounced her effort wide of the far post.

10 had a shot for the visitors ricocheted back off the crossbar on 10 minutes in a rare chance for the visitors in the first half.

Carter then had a chance as she committed the goalkeeper into a save low to her right on 13 minutes.

Grant had a bouncing pass she knocked over the goalkeeper, who got fingertips to it to steer it onto the left post and out as the Rockettes started well.

Jade Widdowson latched onto Carter’s left-sided cross. She brought the ball down for Barton who knocked her chance high over the bar on 18 minutes.

The Rockettes took the lead on 25 minutes. A nice move by Gracey saw her cut inside from the right before letting fly with a left footed strike from outside the area. The ball curled right into the top left corner of the net. There was a good cross in the build up by Grant that was deflected out to the young winger.

4 had a freekick which bounced wide from about 25 yards out for the visitors in a rare chance for the Wings.

Lou Lou Robson tried to hack a clearance away but Georgina Starkey got in the way, allowing 22 a chance but she hit her right footed strike wide of the far post on 35 minutes.

Following Barton’s right sided corner kick, Grant had a chance from outside the box but her fierce effort was diverted over by the head of a defender.

A cross by 10 saw 15 latch onto it for United, but on the turn she smashed it high over the crossbar on 41 minutes.

Starkey was replaced by Steph Madden on 45 minutes in a change just before half time as she had a slight knee problem.

Gracey had an opportunity on 50 minutes as she burst through with a run down the right before shooting low but only just wide of the right post.

Gracey was then fouled on the right just outside of the box. Barton stepped up to shoot it agonisingly over the bar on 54 minutes.

Lindfield went into the book on 58 minutes after a late challenge on Welling’s 4, 25 yards out from the goal. Robinson stopped 10’s curling effort though with a save.

Jade Widdowson did well to chip the ball over the defence. Carter was offside with her run though on 61 minutes.

Then a neat ball by Carter set Lindfield up. She hit a chance at goal with her first touch, forcing the goalkeeper into another save, managing to stop it with her right glove moments later.

Starkey returned off the bench on 66 minutes to replace Jess Cromey for the Rockettes.

15 sped down the right for the Welling side before running inside the box and firing a shot at goal. Robinson, at her near post, managed to use her left hand to divert it onto the right post and out on 70 minutes.

Carter was clearly fouled on the right flank on the turn and had to receive treatment. 15 rightly went into the book for the challenge.

Gracey got Bognor on a rare second half attack and her ball into Grant saw the striker’s effort deflect off a defender.

But Welling United scored their equaliser on the 77th minute. A neat ball deep across field by 10 saw the onrushing substitute go on a run and knock the ball along the deck and beyond Robinson.

4 turned quickly in Bognor’s half before playing the ball across and forward and it was Barton who inadvertently diverted it wide of the right post. Robinson had to palm over the bar directly from the resulting corner.

Starkey had a nice run on the left before shooting and forcing the goalkeeper into a rare second half save but she only had Gracey up in support and was surrounded by defenders.

The Rockettes lost possession in their own half allowing Welling to get their second of the afternoon on 86 minutes when 4 sped through and showed her composure before shooting low beyond Robinson.

The Rockettes had some real opportunities at the end. Starkey did well to find space in midfield before picking out Grant with a pass but she diverted it agonisingly wide of the right post on 87 minutes.

Starkey was sent off with a straight red card for dissent after a freekick was awarded to Welling, leaving Bognor with 10 women.

A late long distanced freekick by Robson was too much for Widdowson. Soon after Carter did well to run through into the box but her chance was blocked and she won a corner right at the end. But the ball in from the left by Barton was well saved by the Welling goalkeeper, ending any hopes of grapping a point.

Tired legs showed at the end for the Rockettes as Welling United were winners in the end and took all the points. Bognor are away to Montpelier Villa on Wednesday 3rd April with kick off at 7.45pm. They are next at home on Sunday 7th April when they welcome Hassocks to the MKM Arena, with kick off at 2pm.

Rockettes: 1. Nicole Robinson, 11. Annabelle Gracey, 13. Jade Widdowson, 5. Lou Lou Robson, 6. Georgia Selby, 16. Jess Cromey, 4. Georgina Starkey, 7. Millie Carter, 18. Kerri Grant, 10. Laura Barton, 15. Jemma Lindfield Sub: 18. Steph Madden