United girls fall at the final Dutch hurdle
DENHAM United U15s did superbly well to reach the final of the Holland Easter Open – but went down all guns blazing to a Dutch side at the last hurdle, writes Tim Street.
The event, a two-day international youth football tournament, attracted teams from all across Europe, and in the Denham girls’ age group, there were 20 teams competing for the cup.
Denham got off to a flier, beating Dutch teams JVC Cuijk 3-0 and SV Lopik 4-0, and Norwegian side Snekkersten 4-0, meaning they topped the group on maximum points without conceding a goal.
They were also the only English side in their age group to qualify for the cup as MK Dons and Manchester Ladies could only finish third in their respective groups.
The second group stage saw Denham also finish top, with 3-0 wins over Bluaw Geek, Naestved IF and JVC Cujik, to set up a final meeting with last year’s winners, FC Stedoco.
Denham were at a disadvantage, having been given only five minutes rest between their last group game and the final, but they gave it their all and, with time running out, it looked like penalties would decide it.
But a lucky break saw their opponents take the lead, and as Denham threw everything forward in search of an equaliser, the Dutch side grabbed their second with the last kick of the game to secure a 2-0 win.
Club press officer Lisa Parrett said: “The girls played the whole weekend with passion, teamwork and great attitudes and came away with their heads held high, as well as a runners-up trophy. We are proud of every one of them as no English club had ever got that far in that age group.”
The Denham girls were: Gracie Perkis, Kodi Spencer, Annie Walsh, Chloe Smith, Charlotte Parrett, Katie Akerman, Reanna Isaacs, Maddie Vilday, Alketa Rragami, Yasmin Garcia, Brogan Moore, Anaisa Harney and Kayleigh Currivan.
Back at home, goals from Amy Holdcroft, Niamh Reynolds and Nicole Leys saw the U14s hold Spurs to a 3-3 draw, but the U11s lost to the same opponents, despite a player of the match display from keeper Charlotte Gaffney.
The senior side also went down 3-2 to a last-gasp Crystal Palace winner. Meanwhile, the club’s summer tournament will run from May 28-30 this year. Call Jo Currivan on 07919 032 532 or email email@example.com for more details.
n EUROPEAN ADVENTURE: Denham United U15s