In the tightly contested bottom half of the Midlands Women’s Division 5 Arden league that was all decided on final matches; Stratford Ladies 3s finished on a high, moving up from 10th to 7th position as they ran out 1-0 winners in their final match of the season.
Stratford started confidently with Georgie Poulton, Lily Lewis and Poppy Blackwall soon troubling the opposition defenders in their D. Player of the Match Myrtle Arber and Liv Creed skilfully managed the midfield while pacey Phoebe Wilson on the right kept driving the ball forward. But goals eluded Stratford and soon Berkswell and Balsall Common started to find ways through to the Stratford end. Defenders Sophie Arber, Sarah Dunnett and Charlotte Isbell prevented most, keeper Karena Quinn mopping up the remaining few shots that penetrated. Determined Sophie Franklin at left wing-back and debutante Emily Steele drove the ball forward and found Harriet Fretwell subbed on with Gracie Gibbons to change Stratford’s attacking play. Fretwell’s powerful shot at goal was tapped in by Gibbons on the right post for the 1-0 lead.
Stratford continued to dominate in the second half, but the visitors’ keeper was not letting another past and despite winning several short corners, Stratford couldn’t up their tally. But it was enough to secure their well-deserved 7th place league finish.