The first game of the season has historically been unpredictable and full of goals. Sunday's game was no different, with Calverton MW Ladies running out 5-1 winners on a bright day at Eagle Valley.
The first 30 minutes of play was scrappy affair, with Calverton struggling to put together the smooth passing play aspired to, and Finding their feet in a new 3-5-2 formation. The best chance came from Hayley Brown who latched onto a pass and rounded the keeper before being thwarted by last ditch block from an Arnold defender. Arnold's rare attacking play was well managed by the back three, providing solid clearances and interceptions where called upon.
The breakthrough came on the half hour mark, when winger Demi-Leigh Crofts latched onto the ball in the area and calmly slotted home into the bottom corner to make the score 1-0. Before half time Demi doubled her tally, after Shell Morphus battled to gain possession in the box and arrowed a good shot which was deflected by the keeper. Showing her coolness again, Demi snapped up the loose ball, looked up and buried the chance. Shortly afterwards, Shell Morphus again found herself with space in the opposition box, and this time made no mistake, curving an elegant ball into the top right corner of the net to make the score at half time 3-0.
After the break, play opened up slightly, and Calverton continued to battle for chances against a drilled and engergetic Arnold side. Arnold's efforts were rewarded after a clearance was charged down in the Calverton area and placed out of reach of keeper Sarah Wright.
Calverton were disappointed to have conceded after a solid first half defensive display, supported by strong goalkeeping by Wright in smothering a number of loose balls. For a short period Arnold pressed, being marshalled well by hard working midfielders Louisa Payne, Shell Morphus and Laura Billam. When a pass from Saqqara Nugent fed Hayley Brown down the left who finished into the bottom right corner, the game was out of sight.
In the dying minutes of the game Calverton were able to put a shine on the result when substitute Steph Morrell, in her first season with the club, came on to produce a perfect through ball for Demi Crofts who secured her hat-trick with an assured and skilful finish.
Overall, a successful match for Calverton Ladies who will only get stronger as the season progresses.