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C & K Basildon travelled to Malta over the May bank holiday weekend, where they played a match against Malta's international side in the National Stadium.
After touring Malta in 2014, when Basildon beat Malta's Under-19s 5-0, Basildon were invited back to face Malta's international side. After an early morning training session at Mgarr United FC, Basildon defeated Malta in the early evening kick off through goals from Karissa Rodney, Zoe Rushen, Claire Lacey (2) and Carly Eagles.
The following day, Basildon played Kirkop Ladies and Mgarr Ladies in a triangular tournament. Basildon started the tournament with a 4-0 win against Kirkop thanks to goals from Laura Bryant (2), Hannah Porter and Merrick Will. Basildon then faced Mgarr, where a penalty from Zoe Rushen was enough to earn the visitors a 1-0 win and with it win the tournament.
For the opening match, C & K Basildon travelled to Malta to take on the Maltese national side at the impressive National Stadium. Despite the match kicking off at 6pm, the temperature was still around 25 degrees.
Malta opened the match well and had an early chance when a dangerous cross into the Basildon penalty area saw Ylenia Carabotthe shoot over the bar when well placed after just two minutes. Basildon's first serious attack saw Merrick Will play in Amy Nash out on the right flank, but Nash's cross was well held by the goalkeeper.
On twelve minutes, Nicola Carty's pass found Carly Eagles, and Eagles' diagonal ball found Karissa Rodney, who beat the full back before lifting the ball over the advancing goalkeeper. Malta equalised on 28 minutes when a well worked move ended with Emma Xuereb shooting low past Mel Kinsalla from the edge of the penalty area.
Three minutes later, a Zoe Rushen free kick, following a foul on Sara Sinclair was blocked by the wall. But, Rushen got her name on the scoresheet on forty minutes as Basildon went back in front. Sara Sinclair held the ball up well, before back heeling the ball to Zoe Rushen, who struck the ball over the goalkeeper from 30 yards.
On 44 minutes, Nicola Carty released Sara Sinclair in behind the Malta defence, and Sinclair's cross found the head of Karissa Rodney, but Rodney's header was blocked at the expense of a corner From the resultant corner Basildon added a third goal when Amy Nash's short corner found Nicola Carty, and Carty's cross to the far post was headed in by Claire Lacey.
Basildon went further in front just four minutes into the second half when Amy Nash's corner found Hannah Porter, and Porter's header was tipped onto the post by the goalkeeper, but Carly Eagles was on hand to convert the rebound. On fifty two minutes, Zoe Rushen won the ball inside the Malta half before making her way into the penalty area, only to be denied by the advancing goalkeeper.
Basildon added a fifth goal minutes from yet another corner from Amy Nash. This time it was Claire Lacey who powerfully headed in from Nash's corner. On the hour mark, Zoe Rushen played in Karissa Rodney, who got behind the Malta defence, only to see her shot saved by the goalkeeper.
Two minutes later, Malta had a good opportunity from a corner, but the header just cleared the bar. On seventy five minutes a reverse ball by Meagan Doyle found Amy Nash, whose shot was saved at the expense of a corner. In the final minute Rebecca Smith's through ball found Meagan Doyle, but Doyle's shot went just wide of the post.
Basildon: Kinsalla, Carty (Smith), Lawler, Lacey, Porter, Eagles (Hinz), Will (Stephanou), Rodney (Southgate), Rushen, Nash, Sinclair (Doyle).
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