By Thomas Nicholls
Saltdean Ladies start their league campaign with a 13-0 win
Credit - LUKE DENNIS
Saltdean ladies kicked off their Sussex County Women & Girls Football League campaign with an emphatic 13-0 win over Rustington Raiders Women on Sunday.
Ria Banitas netted her first goal for the club, while there were also hat-tricks for both Casey Sands and Emily Hale, alongside braces for Molly Miller, Megan Gates and Eleanor Ramsauer.
The girls opened the scoring on 14 minutes through Miller, before goals from Banitas, Gates, Sands and Hale wrapped up the victory before the half time whistle, with the scoreline at 9-0.
Four goals followed after the break, where Hale and Sands completed their trebles, before a late brace from Ramsauer.
The victory lifts the Tigers to second in the early league table, with Newhaven enjoying a superior goal difference following their 18-0 win over Pagham.
Manager Joe Mctiffen was blown away by his sides performance, particularly in the second half.
He said: “I’m very proud of the girls today, we have been working hard in training on our shape and also movement off the ball and I feel today we did that very well.
“We started slowly and didn’t use the ball as well as we have been, but second half I was pleased.
“What I liked about today was that the goals came from all over the park, it wasn’t just the strikers who scored, there were a number of different scorers which pleases me.”
It was a tough pre-season for Saltdean, who worked tirelessly to get things right for the opening game, and Mctiffen admitted he was very happy with the affects.
“The hard work is slowly paying off. Obviously it’s very early to say only one game in, but we are looking sharp and fitter in every game.
“The ladies know we still have things to improve on, but we’re going in the right direction.”
Goals weren’t a problem throughout pre-season, and it doesn’t appear as if the ladies will struggle across the course of the campaign either. Mctiffen says that while he is impressed, he will stay grounded.
“Of course the result gives us confidence, but we have also seen the results in the rest of the league. We have a big game next week against Worthing United, who are also new to the division.
“I would like to think we will be up there (at the top of the table) when the season finishes, but who knows? There are some quality sides we need to be aware of.”