Ladies Earn Another Three Points
Wantage Come Out On Top Against A Strong Newbury Side
Wantage earned a hard-fought three points against a strong Newbury Development side in a game that could have gone either way.
The visitors boasted 11 players in their squad with first-team experience this season, and fielded only 6 of the side we had faced in the return fixture at the end of November as they bellied their lowly eighth place.
And it was Newbury that started the strongest, keeping the hosts pinned in their own half for the first ten minutes and winning a string of corners. However Wantage stood strong with keeper Bells Rowan making some good stops.
Finally Wantage managed to cross the halfway linein the 11th minute, and in a quick break down the left Ashleigh Wilcox’s defence splitting pass allowed Jade Wilkinson through on goal and she calmly slotted past Carly Passfield who was between the sticks for Newbury thanks to their first team being without a game.
The goal gave Wantage a much needed shot in the arm, their confidence grew and the game became a more even affair. The hosts were defending higher up the pitch, and were now asking questions of the Newbury defence. Wilkinson combined with Harriette Titchener on 17 minutes only for Passfield to tip the final shot superbly round the post. And eight minutes later Georgina Ash was inches wide after Titchener crafted another opening.
Wantage’s second goal was more deserved on the balance of play, on 27 minutes Wilcox’s cross found Wilkinson who saw her first shot parries by Passfield but reacted quickly to stab home the loose ball.
But hopes of taking a two-goal advantage into the break disappeared with two minutes left on the clock, following the harsh awarding of a free-kick for hand ball on the right-hand edge of the area Newbury’s experienced skipper Kendall Gilmour curled the ball into the far corner.
Eight minutes into the second half Wantage restored the two goal advantage, Kat Boylan and Sam Mundy combining to set Wilkinson away again and she managed to squeeze the ball inside Passfield’s near post to complete a well-deserved hat-trick.
Titchener then saw her well-struck shot tipped round on the hour, before a lapse in concentration allowed Gilmour to reduce the deficit five minutes later, stooping low to head just out of Rowan’s reach.
It was now Newbury’s turn to rejuvenate and put Wantage under some pressure at the back. But much like the opening of the game the home side stood strong and rode out the storm to secure a vital three points from a tough, competitive encounter that was in the balance right to the final whistle.
Newbury will have left ruing the opportunities they had to get something out of the game, but as we know ourselves pressure and chances count for nothing unless they can be converted. That’s not to say Wantage weren’t deserving of the points, they put in a tremendous shift right across the pitch today and had opportunities of their own to add to the score-line.