AFC Unity uncannily beat Hemsworth South 5-2 for a second time at home this season in what was the last game at Hillsborough College for the 2014/15 season.
“No disrespect to Hemsworth, because they were really good and are a fantastic club with great players, but the first half was a bit of a mess for us due to our own distractions on the touchline, and it made my decision-making very difficult, before we then lost two players at half-time while we were trailing,” said AFC Unity manager Jay Baker. “Once the negativity was tackled, though, we re-set – and the fortitude, determination, and guts of every single player on the pitch in that second half was inspirational and absolutely incredible, in wind, rain, sleet and snow as well!”
AFC Unity banged in all five goals in the second half as they gritted their teeth and adjusted to a different team formation for the last 45 minutes.
“We’re called the underdogs, and all season we’ve prided ourselves on being able to fight back, because giving up isn’t in our ethos,” said Baker. “But I have never been so impressed by those players than in this game – they stuck together, stuck to the adjustment of positions, and never stopped believing they could win, in the face of adversity of all kinds, from stuff off the field, to the scoreline, to the weather, they showed their true character and I’ve never been so proud of them, each and every one.”
Injured defender Sarah Richards watched from the sidelines on crutches, but was given the win wished for in her absence.
Baker added: “We said we’d want to win for her, and we did. I want to thank everyone who came along to support us in such horrible weather, the coaches for their efforts, the captain, and all of our players who remain in the side, for showing true character as we approach the final stretch of the season on the road.”
AFC Unity goals came from Lucy Strutt (3) and Sophie Mills (2).