Ladies Back To Winning Ways
Ladies Topple Second Placed Taplow
The Ladies travelled to Taplow United on Sunday, a side sitting in second place in the league with just one defeat to their name.
After some early home pressure Wantage began to take the game to Taplow and were unlucky not to take the lead on 11 minutes when Jade Wilkinson’s shot was deflected over from a Ky West corner.
Wilkinson was then denied a clear cut penalty ten minutes later as a grounded Taplow defender grabbed her leg to prevent her shooting, but the referee chose not to award it and instead showed Wilkinson a yellow card for protesting.
The decision fired up the whole team as Wantage continued to ask questions of a flat Taplow defence and on 26 minutes Wilkinson again broke free only to shoot straight at keeper Sam Barwood. Debutant Meghann Steptoe latched on to the rebound her shot drifted harmlessly wide.
Barwood’s resulting goal-kick went straight to Steptoe, but she rushed her shot and again it sailed wide.
The goal did eventually come on the half-hour, Ally Paton sending Sam Mundy clear down the left wing and with no covering defence the latter was able to steady herself before firing over Barwood and into the far corner.
And Wantage doubled their lead on 36 minutes when Kat Boylan’s through ball allowed Wilkinson to break free again, and this time she finished with composure over the stranded keeper.
With Taplow already looking a beaten side they were hampered further by the loss of one of their players through injury. And with no-one on the bench they had to play out the rest of the match one short.
Wantage capitalised when Ashleigh Wilcox jinxed down the right wing before finding Steptoe who took advantage of the keeper being off her line to make it 3-0 in the 39th minute.
A rare break by Taplow two minutes later saw Holly Hussey-Burd make progress down the right before unleashing a shot that looked goal-bound all the way until Shanlayer Cordon stretched out an arm and tipped it onto the bar to make a fantastic save, and with no Taplow players pushing in support Wantage could clear the danger.
Any chance Taplow had of getting back into the game disappeared four minutes into the second half, Sarah Farndon threaded a great ball through for Steptoe who again finished over the keeper for her second of the day.
Taplow were now offering very little going forward and Wantage’s defence restricted them to long-range efforts that barely troubled Cordon.
Georgina Ash came close to adding to the score when Boylan’s diagonal pass found her, but the shot just went the wrong side of the post on 66 minutes.
Then Wantage were themselves caught flat on 75 minutes, allowing Naomi Littler to break clear and finish well to make it 4-1. But it wasn’t long before Wantage restored their 4-goal advantage when Barwood brought down West in the area on 79 minutes, and the latter picked herself up to fire home from the spot to make amends for her miss earlier in the season.
Wilcox was on hand to bravely block a Taplow shot in the 84th minute before Wilkinson had the ball in the back of the net right on the 90 from a West pass. However the referee ruled it offside without even looking at the Taplow linesman who, when the ref did look over, told him she was on-side. However the goal still did not stand.
Wantage did make it six a minute later though, Wilkinson drawing Barwood before squaring to an un-marked West to slot home.
A fantastic performance from the whole team today, and one that has been coming. Hopefully that will give us the impetus to push on now and gain some ground on the teams at the top.
A great debut from Steptoe, who deserved the Player of the Match accolade, and our other debutant Sophie Edwards also showed she will be an asset once her fitness improves.
This Sunday we are home to Barton Rovers reserves, 2pm kick-off at Alfredian Park.