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Lilian Highmoor5 Feb - 14:30
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.... and on to the FINAL

After the TAFC Diamonds quarter final win away to Petts Wood (JPL) the semi final draw had pitted the TAFC Diamonds away to Aveley. The game was played on the club's main stadium pitch, home to their men's team who currently play in the National League Vanarama South.

The TAFC Diamonds had gone into the game as underdogs with their opposition playing in the Essex U16 league. Kicking into the wind the TAFC Diamonds failed to get to grips with conditions and the bounce of the 3G pitch. However, although the opposition were on top TAFC stayed in the game and reduced Aveley to few chances.

A different TAFC team appeared in the second half and began to wrestle the momentum back in their favour. What then transpired was 10 minutes of wonderful football that resulted in two stunning goals.

With TAFC Diamonds beginning to play their passing game their left winger picked up the ball on the halfway line. What followed was a mazy dribble, that took 4 of the opposition out of the game, followed by a wonderful strike from 20 yards that flew into the far corner. Cue scenes from the dugout. 5 minutes later an excellent passage of passing sent the TAFC centre forward racing through on goal. With a cool head she rounded the advancing goalkeeper to slot home from the edge of the box.

For the travelling fans and coaching staff the final 20 minutes felt like an eternity. The nerves were not shared by the TAFC players who continued to play out from the back creating chances and nullifying any possession the opposition tried to build. Pure relief greeted the final whistle. It was an excellent encounter between two good footballing teams.

The plan at the start of the season had been to give the TAFC Diamonds a varied games programme outside of the Surrey circle. The London Cup and Sundays 120 mile round had definitely provided that. A magnificent March awaits for the TAFC Diamonds. They face Dorking Wanderers at Leatherhead FC on March 3rd followed by the London FA U15 Girls Cup Final vs Charlton Athletic on March 17th. The homebound journey allowed time for the mind to wander and dream of cup glory. The M25/A3 roadworks soon brought everyone back to reality.

Michael Ayres (Manager)

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