AFC Unity celebrated International Women’s Day with a 2-0 win at New Bohemians.
In the last stretch of the season, the “red stars” went to Handsworth with what’s left of their squad following the first several months of their first ever season. However, despite being low on numbers, they dug deep to get the win.
“With a few players from our remaining squad unable to make the game, it at least gave opportunity for others to step up and rise to the occasion, which they did,” said AFC Unity manager Jay Baker.
But the whole team, like their opponents, battled away on a tough playing surface with gusts of wind, and showed true mettle.
“It was such a tough game, and really tight, because New Bohemians put in a heck of a showing, as is obvious by the goalless scoreline at half time,” Baker said. “But I think what it sometimes comes down to is just enjoying the experience and doing the best you can, whereas I felt our opponents almost wanted it too much – sometimes you have to settle down, relax, go out there and just go for it.”
The manager added: “We’ve said it over and over again; as a brand-new alternative football club set up specifically for women, we came into this first ever season in this league as the underdogs, and the fact we never expect a victory actually helps us; we know we have to battle for it, and as showed in this game, often you have to tackle the conditions and the physicality in order to earn the right to play the football you want to play.”
AFC Unity’s last defences held out strong in the game, keeping a clean sheet, and allowing the “red stars” to keep pushing and eventually grab the two goals that made the difference.
“On International Women’s Day, what I saw was every single woman in my team playing their hearts out, right across the field,” said Baker. “I couldn’t be more proud – I was beaming the rest of the day!”
Goals were provided by Shanie Griffith and Sophie Mills.