ROSS Juniors Women travelled to county champions Hereford Pegasus to kick off 2023 with a county derby in driving rain on Sunday.
And although Pegasus came away with a 5-1 victory over the Midwest League newcomers, there was plenty of potential to see from the young Ross side, who were nearly all U18.
The first half was tight, as Pegasus saw more of the ball but Ross looked dangerous on the counter attack.
The home team broke the deadlock after 15 minutes when Amy Bradley was picked out in space before driving towards the penalty area and guided the ball past the Juniors keeper.
The biggest opponent that both teams had to deal with during the closing stages of the opening half was the rain that swept across the pitch from the south-west.
But four minutes before the half-time whistle of referee Mark Ammonds sounded, Pegasus doubled their lead four minutes before the break when captain Emily Morgan netted a 25-yard free-kick following a foul on Molly Powis.
Ross came out in the second half and played the better football as the game opened up, but couldn’t take their chances.
And then they conceded three times in the ladst 20 minutes, all from defensive mistakes which were ruthlessly punished by Pegasus.
Sarah Bishop scored from Heather Martin’s 71st minute corner before Morgan headed in her second of the afternoon from a teasing Livvy Jenkins free-kick.
Morgan then rounded the visiting custodian in the 83rd minute before unselfishly squaring the ball for the onrushing Martin to convert at the far post for Pegasus to go nap.
Ross showed fantastic resilience though and got a deserved consolation goal three minutes from time when Amy Riggs and Macy Walker linked up to send Millie Malsom through to score.
A Juniors spokesperson said: “For what is effectively an U18s team to play this well away against the current best women’s team in Herefordshire is a fantastic achievement for our female section.”
Meanwhile, Ross Ladies lost 6-4 away to Wellington in the Herefordshire Development League in cold, muddy and at times monsoon condition.
Ross led twice at 1-0 and 2-1, but the home team fought back to go in at the break 3-2 up as they took control of the game.
Wellington continued to dominate and ran out well deserved winners.
The goal scorers for Ross were Katie Hughes, Holly Griffin, Danie Ward and Jess Brain.
And both Ross teams are set to meet at the Sports Ground this Sunday (January 15) after being drawn together in the first round of the Herefordshire County Cup, kick-off 2pm.
Juniors’ men’s George Sandoe Cup visit to Milkwall was postponed owing to a waterlogged pitch. But they’ll be making their own trip to Pegasus this Saturday (January 14) in the Herefordshire Junior Cup, kick-off 4pm.