On a very cold but fine winter’s day, Wargrave Ladies Reserves travelled away to meet Newbury Development Ladies in the League on a large pitch in excellent condition considering all the recent rain.
Wargrave start well from the kick-off, passing the ball, keeping possession and hemming Newbury into their half. Newbury were resolute in defence but Wargrave kept them chasing the ball. After ten minutes Emily received the ball on the left wing and crossed into the box where Katie Edwards controlled it and shot forcing a save from the keeper; Wargrave’s first shot on goal. Eight minutes later Annie playing in defence on the right sent a ball down the wing to Izzie who ran hard past the Newbury left back and crossed into the box. Again Katie was first to it but couldn’t quite get the ball from under her feet and her eventual shot was blocked by the keeper. Shortly afterwards Izzie made the same penetrating move this time Hannah running into the box to receive, control, turn and shoot at goal, the ball deflecting off a defender near the line for a corner. After nearly forty minutes of dominating possession with nothing to show for it Wargrave didn’t slow down but kept up the pressure and were finally rewarded. Annie drove up-field from the back through the centre and attempted a long range shot which was blocked by a Newbury defender. The ball fell to Katie Eaton who passed the ball through the Newbury back-line to Katie Edwards. Finding herself one-on-one with the keeper she kept her head and slotted the ball neatly past into the net.
From the restart Wargrave closed Newbury down and Tilly regained possession quickly, feeding Izzie who was now playing on the left. She sent a low, firm cross into the box which Katie Edwards hit first time. The keeper saved, pushing it wide and Hannah pounced onto it first to bury it high into the net only to see the linesman flag for offside. Surely she had run into the box from an onside position when Katie shot at goal? Wargrave was winning the ball in midfield regularly with Katie Eaton and Tilly feeding Izzie and Katie and Hannah often reaching her crosses, going close with their final shots. In the last minute of the half, Katie Eaton won the ball in midfield, cut inside her marker and launched a high looping shot which strayed left in the wind but Katie Edwards followed it ahead of the Newbury defender and skilfully fired low and hard with her left foot past the keeper into the net.
HALF TIME – Wargrave had dominated possession and having created a number of good chances were happy with their two goal lead but thought they could score more in the second half.
Wargrave started the second half as they’d finished the first but again despite pressurising the Newbury defence couldn’t seem to find the final piece of good finishing to beat the keeper. Hannah worked hard and created a number of good chances, shooting just wide on a number of occasions. Despite having to do up her laces nine times in the second half, Katie was also tying the Newbury defence in knots and often with Izzy performed a number of one-twos which enabled them to slice through the Newbury back line but often a poor final touch was just enough to enable the keeper to protect her goal. With seven minutes to go the move of the match produced the last and decisive goal. Bella picked up a long ball sent forward by the Newbury midfield and calmly passed it to Annie on the right. She passed it in-field to Katie Eaton and raced up the wing receiving it back at half way on the run. Annie sent a perfect cross into the box just behind the Newbury defensive line and Katie Edwards running into the box at pace met it perfectly and fired past the keeper into the net.
A good result from a game which was dominated by Wargrave who were the better team on the day and with a bit more calmness with their finishing could have scored even more goals. Newbury never really threatened the Wargrave goal, testament to the great work made by the mid-field and defence.
Player of the match went to Hannah Holt who worked very hard, won the ball often, nearly scored, did score but had it disallowed and performed a delightful piece of skill where with her back to goal flipped the ball in the air over her marker with her right foot, turned and shot with her left, the ball sailing inches wide of the post.