Maidenhead United Women edged through to the next round of the Berks and Bucks Cup against very worthy opposition in the shape of Woodley United from the Southern Region Women’s Premier League, enjoying a fine 3-1 win from an exciting match at Bulmershe Pavilion.
Maidenhead were ahead inside the opening sixty seconds – winger Simone O’Brien finishing with typical composure when put through one-on-one with the goalkeeper – but if they thought that this would be a walk-in-the-park against lower ranked opposition then the Woodley side gave our Women other ideas. Maidenhead did come close to extending their lead however when Kate Le Cumbre drilled over from the edge of the box following a corner and a great run from right back by the impressive Sarah Thompson earned a corner which was punched away by the home goalkeeper. Simone O’Brien’s excellent cross from the left flank was met with a looping header from Steph Nelson which the Woodley ‘keeper did well to push onto the crossbar and then O’Brien’s chip when released through on goal landed narrowly wide of the near post.
Maidenhead however were not having things all their own way. The centre-back partnership of Gemma Bloor and Sophie Modak worked excellently in unison and ‘skipper Alex Dover made a crucial interception to break up a promising attack. Ellie Parker was alert in taking a number of crosses at her near post and from one threatening Woodley corner the ball came back off the near post, a let off for Maidenhead. Making the most of their fortune, the visitors doubled their lead right on half time; there was a foul in the box and dead-ball specialist Alex Dover hit an excellent penalty to the top right hand corner. The home side however came right back into it in the early stages of the second half; a left wing cross just evaded a telling touch in front of goal, then Sarah Thompson had to head an in-swinging corner off the line before substitute Rosie Page-Smith buried a superb header at the far post from another Woodley corner to halve the deficit just before the hour.
The Woodley ‘keeper performed a heroic double-save to deny first Steph Nelson and then Shylla Carty-Duhaney before a third Maidenhead goal re-established the two goal lead. Sarah Thompson swung the ball in from the right and the ball crashed off the far post and into the net, a deserved stroke of good fortune for the hard-working Maidenhead defender. Back Woodley came and Ellie Parker had to be alert to deal with a free-kick at the far post before the Maidenhead ‘keeper was called into action once more to deny Page-Smith with a good save. Maidenhead’s commitment and team-work saw them come out on top in this cup tie and the team will be looking to enjoy a good run in the competition.
MAIDENHEAD: Parker, Sarah Thompson, Halfacree, Dover, Modak, Bloor, Carty-Duhaney (Sub Reid ’68), Striepiecke, Nelson, Le Cumbe (Sub Nazif ’70), O’Brien.
Sub not used: Sinead Thompson.
SCORERS: O’Brien (1’), Dover (45’ Pen), Thompson (71’).