It was not my fault I was sent off in the semi-final of the All-Counties Ladies Soccer Cup. I did not make contact. She dived, and got a penalty. We lost 1 – 0, and they went through to the final. Wembley! I’ll never have another chance to play there. That was it – blown it. Maybe me saying, ‘You got a tenner on them to win, have you, Ref?’ didn’t help, but, well… I mean.
I got all the blame. ‘You’re dropped,’ said Aoma Ngogo.
‘You can’t do that,’ I was full of protest. That’s sheer jealousy because your husband keeps trying to chat me up and slink into the changing rooms.’
But she could, and she did, even though I was the best player Bay County had. The cleanest and fairest, anyway.
Local antipathy reached a high point three weeks later, when Cheats United flew off for the final.
‘It would have been Bay County, if you hadn’t given that penalty away, Doreen Duckworth.’ Some people didn’t phrase it so politely.
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