COGS vs. Lewes FC Women Vets – Annual Friendly supporting Crawley Open House – May 2021

Our annual encounter with our old friends the Lewes FC Women Vets came to fruition, this year, after a year of Lockdowns and COVID rules meant we couldn’t play each other last year but with all the COVID protocols in place, we managed to get together, on The Dripping Pan pitch!

Photo by Jane Stotty of DJ Stotty Images

The day didn’t disappoint, although the weather tried it’s hardest to beat us, hailstones et al.  In a flurry of driving rain, hailstones and some sunshine, the 3 x 30 games we played ended in an even score.  The video below will give you some kind of sense of how torrential the rain became.


Jenny Westaway, who must be a legend in Lewes through her love of all sports, organised the day and it was agreed that any money both sides paid to play would go to Crawley Open House, as the men, who were playing on the pitch the following day, were collecting their donations for a Lewes charity.  What a great way for The Dripping Pan to be used at the end of a season and we thank Lewes FC for their kindness in letting this happen.

The first game took place with a 3pm ko and our volunteer referee for the day, Karen Dare, blew the whistle to start what would be a great afternoon’s football.

Karen Dare, who gave up her afternoon to referee, with her fee being donated to Crawley Open House.

If anyone ever tells you that women won’t want to play in the rain, this is what happens at the majority of our annual friendlies and usually everyone ends up not just getting wet but drenched through to the skin.  However, nothing will ever stop a group of mostly over 40s women (on both teams) get on that pitch and play their hearts out!   Fun, football and friends is what we live by and that is how the day went.  For the first game, the teams were lucky to enjoy a beautiful 30 minutes of sunshine and the conditions were perfect.  Then it happened….   Torrential rain, hailstones, driving wind and no escape!  The second 30 minutes was like the apocalypse but guess what, there were still smiles as the players left the field, followed by shivering!

For the third 30 minutes it was felt that as the last lot of players were soaking and still warmed up from playing that they should “go again” for the first 15 minutes, so they returned to the pitch only for it to come down again just as heavily.  If you were in the COGS Yellow team, our sympathies were with you all!  If you were in the COGS Black team, you were lucky to escape a single drop!

Finally, for the last 15 minutes of the third game, the rain disappeared and the sun returned, only for the team who played in the sunshine for the first game to do the same thing again and avoid even the slightest raindrop!  Those players who got soaked through were fantastic but very cold and wet when they’d finished, which possibly halted their ability to stay for longer and enjoy the hospitality.  Next year, we hope the heavens remain closed just for the whole afternoon!

We also scored 2 goals, which were captured below.   The first goal came from Emma Davidson who, after receiving a brilliant ball from Natalie Sopp, wove her way through the defence to put the ball in the back of the net.   Great stuff!

The second goal was from Kerry Tagg who picked up the ball outside the box, drove into some space inside the D and then released a right foot shot into the bottom left corner.

Despite the weather, the hospitality and friendliness was second to none and with Covid Guidelines still in place, we enjoyed a sit down (in groups of six) on the tables outside and the service from The Rook Inn was top notch.  They definitely completed over 10K steps to and from the bar to our tables and we were treated to an evening rainbow over “The Pan”!

We are so lucky to be able to do this and really appreciate that we can play 11v11 at The Dripping Pan, while raising money for charity.  Once the money was collected, both Lewes FC Women’s Vets and the COGS together raised £466, which was presented to Crawley Open House Director, Charlie Cooper, on the pitch.

Thank you to everyone who played and played in the spirit that Women’s Recreational Football is played in, it was certainly commented on that there was some great football on display, especially from those who hadn’t played an 11v11 match before.

Some additional COGS pics. from before the matches!

We also hired a professional photographer for the day, Jane Stotty of DJ Stotty Images, who has produced some great photos for us and we will be using these (with Jane’s permission) to promote Women’s Recreational Football in the future, especially in the run up to the WEURO2022 Competition, being held in England.  Jane has produced some fantastic images, a couple of which we have snipped here, as we are too impatient to wait for the high res. images!  Thank you to Jane for spending the afternoon, mostly in torrential rain!

Here’s to all our friends at Lewes (with a special thank you to Jenny & Saskia) and we look forward to next year, without the torrential rain… HOPEFULLY!