Womens Football - Lions 0-1 Manchester 62
Gibraltar - Womens Football - Lions 0-1 Manchester 62 The story behind the images by Stephen Ignacio
Lions in disarray after two defeats, but show determination on the pitch
Lions 0-2 Manchester 62 (Friday)
Lions 0-1 Manchester 62 (Sunday)
After a delay since before Easter for the Women’s league to restart Lions and Manchester 62 were thrown together twice this weekend, both times with the latter coming out the eventual winners.
Confusing schedules which were further compounded by last minute changes saw Lions playing Manchester for a second time in the mid afternoon heat. However, it was Friday’s match which had brought about the first signs of trouble within the Lions camp after losing 2-0.
Manchester, leading in the table needed to maintain their lead by winning both matches so as not to lose the league again in the last stages, as they had seen happen before.
Lions who had played well on the day, with a tighter control in defence and a greater use of space conceded two goals in which the team seemed to implode as players pointed fingers at each other.
The signs of trouble were seen to emerge on Sunday when Lions turned up with just nine players, essentially leaving them without any substitutes in their nine a-side match against a team they had only just lost against 48hrs earlier.
This however, did not stop players showing their commitment to play, something seen on both sides. Lions saw Zamara, their central defender turn up after having umpired at a fun hockey tournament since 9am and Barnett, Manchester’s midfielder had run in the 5k Series earlier in the morning.
Although unable to field any substitutes who would allow them to rotate players in the heat Lions played better than they had in their previous match. A more unified approach to their saw them approach the match with greater certainty in defence. Two fabulous saves from Revagliatte provided further confidence.
Lions were however to succumb to Manchester through a defensive error by Espinosa let Sheryl through onto goal. Revagliatte, who came out from goal to block had little chance as Manchester 62 grabbed their first and only goal.
Lions kept up their formation even as they tired in the second half. Although the dominant side, and with the option to rotate players, Manchester 62 were not getting to the areas they required to create goal chances as Lions stuck to their guns.
Although losing 1- 0Lions, even though with existing tensions within the team, provided a sterling demonstration of commitment which saw them through the second half without conceding any more goals. Manchester 62 continue at the top of the league with just four matches left to play. Three of which are against Lincoln.
The other women’s league match between Europa and Lincoln on Saturday was a further sign of the problems caused by the rescheduled matches and delays. The match was forfeited by Europa who could not field a team, this however, not known by Lincoln until just half an hour before match. The team had appeared, including two players who were meant to be on holiday and had cut short their holiday only to line up for the match.