SEUFC Ladies were once again impressive in defeat when University Black brought their 100% record to Pembroke Park on Sunday afternoon.
Having put in solid performances against all the other top sides already this season, United were looking to halt the visitors' march to the top of the ladder, in difficult windy conditions.
With club mascot Rocky Lobster making a surprise appearance to cheer the girls on and, with the wind at their backs, United had much the better of the first half, carving out at least half a dozen excellent chances. Sadly, they all went begging, while the visitors were able to convert their only clear-cut opportunity to go into the break a goal to the good.
Having failed to capitalise on the wind advantage in the first half, United knew that, with the tables turned, it would require some backs-to-the-wall heroics to stop the young and powerful University from running away with the game.
And, for a long time, the free-scoring Uni frontline of Sophie Muir and Georgina Crease – with almost 40 goals between them already this season – were kept at bay, until a ferocious drive from Crease crashed in off the post to double their advantage midway through the half, seemingly putting the game to bed.
However, this South East side is not one to take defeat lightly, as they have proved so often this season in a series of battling performances. And so it came as no surprise to see them actually halve the arrears soon after, courtesy of Felicity Burns's spectacular strike from the edge of the box.
Any hopes of a comeback were soon dashed, however, when Uni lashed home a third after the home side failed to deal with a routine corner, before another powerful strike late on gave the scoreline a harshly lopsided appearance.
Having now played all the top sides, South East ladies take some comfort in having proved themselves competitive in every single game, and that it is only small margins which are preventing this from being reflected on the scoreboard.
The Women’s Southern Championship 1 is a wonderfully entertaining competition this season and, with our squad streamlined into a single team, we are proving a good match for every team we come up against, even those half our age. There has also been plenty of positive feedback from teams we have played as to our playing level and team spirit. We have definitely taken a few teams by surprise with how competitive we are.
A different proposition awaits at Pembroke Park on Friday evening, when the ladies take on the Metro Yellow community side who, after a slow start, have started showing signs of improvement. But, if we can show the kind of intensity we have shown in recent brave defeats to Clarence, Beachside and Uni, there is every chance that we can pick up the points we deserve.
Go South East!