Thursday 19th January 2012, at Cannon Park
Sheffield Wednesday Women (0) 0
Lincoln Ladies (4) 7
Maslin, Balmond, Hunt, Nutter(c), Birtles, Robinson, Barker, Scott, Tait, Baxby, Naylor
Subs - Windle, Smith.
Hobbs, Barker, Daly, Stoney(c), Staniforth, Walton, Clarke, Hamilton, Allen, Cantrell, A.Trialist Subs - Bradley, Horwood, M.Harris,
The gulf in class between these two sides, as the scoreline suggests, was massive.
Wednesday have a good side, with two or three stand out players.
Super League side Lincoln, on the other hand, have players of exceptional quality throughout their entire squad, in every department.
Tonight's game was a complete mismatch ... women against girls if I may indulge myself in a little cliché tweaking.
It would be fair to say, that one of my friends who had gone to Cannon Park with me tonight, i) hates Sheffield Wednesday with a passion (though that doesn't unduly concern me, I'm not exactly fond of that particular club myself either), ii) has a cynical attitude towards the women's game in general, iii) displays severe misogynist leanings at times.But even he, the original olde worlde male chauvinist pig, said to me after the game "Fair play, you were right and I'd go out of my way t see Lincoln play again, they're quality!"
Which kind of cancelled out his pre match "Butch dykes, kicking lumps out of each other" dismissal of what he was expecting before he'd even seen a ball kicked.
His words, not mine, I hasten to add.
Lincoln Ladies, unlike their useless male counterparts from Sincil Bank, pass the ball around as sweetly and neatly as any team I've seen play all season.They attack at speed and in numbers, work tirelessly for each other off the ball, use the whole width of the pitch to good effect ... and if the Owls keeper hadn't been one of their better players, then never mind a seven goal hiding, tonight the Imps could've racked up an even greater score.
Superlatives abound, but I make no apologies for that ... any praise, regardless of whether is sounds OTT or not, is wholly justified.
There isn't a single player who wore the all blue kit of Lincoln tonight, who didn't look 100% comfortable on the ball, or who couldn't make time and space for themselves to out-manoeuvre their opposite number, throughout the team, from back to front.The Owls, for the most part, were chasing shadows and making up the numbers tonight.
There was a spell in the second half when Lincoln were toying with the Sheffield side and walking rings around them ... and I mean literally at walking pace.
I've seen this Wednesday side before, like I've already said, they're a good team.
But, they'll have to take stock of Lincoln's dominance and accept they've been given a bit of footballing lesson over the course of the 90 minutes.
It will have been a steep learning curve, but tonight's visitors - the Owls use Cannon Park as their base this season - have set the benchmark for the standard to which the Wednesday Women's side must aspire to if they want to move up a grade.
Go and take a look for yourself if you don't believe me.