After a break for inclement weather and the festive season, Maidenhead were finally back in FAWNL action at York Road on Sunday 5th January. A side lacking in match practice went down to a very disappointing 5-1 reverse to Brislington. The one highlight of a bad afternoon at the office was a second goal of the season for Sarah Thompson; signed as a centre-half the previous summer, Thompson impressed throughout the season with her positive displays as an attacking right back.
A fortnight later came one of the highlights of the season as the BBFA Cup final was reached with a hard-fought win against Wycombe Wanderers of the SRWFL Premier in the semi-final held at Amersham & Wycombe College. It was an even start to this fixture but Maidenhead edged ahead midway through the first half when on loan youngster Kate La Cumbre finished with aplomb after good work by the industrious Annika Striepecke. The lead however lasted barely three minutes as Tara Woodward equalised for the hosts who were proving very dangerous from set pieces. It was however a Maidenhead set piece that won this tie; just before half time, left back Megan Halfacree – one of the most improved players of the season – whipped in a free-kick left footed from the right hand side and the ball looped delightfully into the top corner for a worthy winner. Dogged defending from Gemma Bloor and Sophie Modak backed up by alert goalkeeping by Ellie Parker saw United through a goalless second period.
The highs-and-lows of football were in evidence the following Sunday when the Magpies crashed 3-0 at Exeter City, one of their longest journeys of the season bringing no reward. A ‘home’ game against Larkhall Athletic was up next, a fixture played at Holloways Park, Beaconsfield. A 0-2 score line fails to tell the true story of what was a very even encounter. Maidenhead started well when Vicky Carvill – returning from injury – was put clear only to be denied by the Larks ‘keeper but the West Country outfit went ahead on the counter attack following a United corner when Ellie Parker was skilfully lobbed. Simone O’Brien and Alex Dover were denied by good saves in the second half before Larkhall scored with a sucker punch goal from a free-kick to make the points safe.
To add to the frustration, the weather intervened once again and no football was possible for a month. When matches resumed at the start of March, Maidenhead had the hardest possible task with a trip to league leaders Southampton FC and a 7-0 reverse was the outcome. There was a much improved performance the following Sunday when Cheltenham were the visitors and another goal from Kate La Cumbre put United back into it before the Robins went on to secure a 3-1 win thanks to a pair of late goals.
That is where the story for this season ends. With the world responding to the COVID19 crisis the FAWNL season was brought to a sudden end. An improved season with plenty of ups and downs on the way, we now look forward to once again competing at the fourth tier of the women’s game when footballing activities are allowed to resume. If you are interested in having a trial with the team ahead of the 2020/21 season then please contact email@example.com