AFC Unity’s steep learning curve showed with their 4-5 victory at Hemsworth – the place where they lost 7-0 in their first ever game there in a pre-season friendly this past summer.
Hemsworth took the lead each time, with AFC Unity playing catch-up: Hemsworth scored first, and the red stars equalised, before the blues again took the lead to make it 2-1, only for the first half to end 2-2.
In the second half, a ten minute holding period took place, with Unity looking likely, until Hemsworth again went ahead, making it 3-2, only for another quick response to break even yet again. Hemsworth would go in front one last time to make it 4-3.
“I never had any doubt,” said manager Jay Baker. “We have the belief and the passion to come back in games every time, and I knew if we could keep coming back, we’d eventually play all our cards and then get the win.”
Coaches Jonny Hodgson and Olivia Murray shared similar sentiments.
“The team showed complete belief in one another; they’re not willing to let each other down,” said Hodgson. “This is a team with a real passion.”
“The reason we won,” added Murray, “was due to the fact that everybody gave one hundred percent right up until the last minute, and played with the belief that we were going to win despite going behind.”
AFC Unity did indeed pull another back to make it 4-4, before the winning goal was scored in the 85th minute.
“Cor blimey,” enthused Hodgson, “with 40-yard strikes being scored, we have some serious class.”
“There was some absolutely quality finishing today,” agreed Murray. “It was a brilliant team effort.”
“Hemsworth showed us great hospitality and have an excellent set-up,” added Baker. “To go there and win 5-4 is a real achievement, and again another testament to the spirit in the team, the quality coaching, and the culture of the club as a whole.”
AFC Unity goals were provided by Nathalie Silver (2), Shanie Griffith, Lucy Strutt, and Lena Reitzle.