Olton and West Warwicks 2 Beeston 1
DESPITE beating Birmingham University on Easter Saturday, Olton Ladies are facing play off games against the winners of the three Conference Leagues in order to continue their long Investec Premier League membership.
The first match was against Beeston who had won the North Conference winning 16 of their 18 games. Despite being without three key players, Olton were never going to give up their prized Premier status without a fight.
As a result, Olton were in control from the start, playing the ball around the back and hitting through well to the forward line where Pascal Massey and Mandy Gatherer really shone.
A great combination of experience and youth led to Olton’s first goal from Gatherer in open play in the 11th minute. A good start, but there was still a long way to go!
Amy Hone, despite sustaining a head injury, worked hard in midfield all game while defensively, the team worked hard to get through several intensive counter attacks by Beeston.
However a practised short corner routine and Beeston were back in the game just before half time.
A win was the only result on Olton’s minds though and in the 59th minute a great second goal from Gatherer put Olton back in the lead.
Beeston retaliated but Laura Price and Julie Stowe were strong in defence while Jen Mashford, the Olton keeper, pulled off a great save in the dying moments of the game.
The final whistle went, and Olton had taken three valuable points against a tough side. This win was matched by Buckingham in their game against Harleston Magpies which sets the scene for the big finale weekend at Reading over April 20-21 when Olton play them both.