Ladies battle to the end but lose 4-0 to Chichester and Selsey
Ascot United Ladies produced a battling performance as their Vitality Women’s FA Cup run came to an end against step-three Chichester and Selsey Ladies on Sunday afternoon. Two goals in each half – including a hat-trick from Natasha Wild – saw the visitors advance to the second round, although Darrel Evans’ side will take pride from his team’s performance in front of a crowd of around 100.
Before kick-off, both sides stood in silence on Remembrance Sunday (pictured), but unfortunately for the home side they made the worst possible start when – with just two minutes on the clock – Laura Clark picked out Wild who checked back onto her right foot before curling a precise shot past Lisa Phillips and into the right hand corner.
But Ascot showed tremendous character with their response, and for twenty minutes they pushed, hassled and fought their way back into the game. Indeed, Nicole Brown almost drew them level in the eighth minute when Sarah Leonard’s pressing forced the visiting defence into disarray; Brown bringing the best out of visiting ‘keeper Izzy Foster who was at full stretch to turn her shot around a post.
Sarah Davern – who worked her socks off on the left wing – then fired a direct free kick over as the home crowd got behind their side.
At the other end, Beth Roche was on hand to cut out Wild’s dangerous cross and Phillips stood up well to deny Gemma Simmonds when clean through from Wild’s pass, but Wild would soon double her side’s advantage when Phillipa Holden escaped down the right and delivered an inviting cross that Wild clipped first time past Phillips.
But The Yellawomen refused to buckle. Katie Vince’s inviting cross looked for Leonard only for covering defender Sophie Phelps to cut out with an exquisite cushioned header, whereas Leonard herself was unable to make the best of another opportunity on the edge of the area.
Chichester finished the half strongly and Phillips raced off her line to deny Wild before producing a stunning save to thwart Clark in the 38th minute after Ascot had lost possession trying to play their way out from the back.
Into the second half, and Wild completed her hat-trick eight minutes after the restart with a neat lob following a fast break down the right culminating in Simmonds’ delivery, and from that moment on it was the Lisa Phillips show as she thwarted the team in green time and time again.
First, she beat away Simmonds’ powerful shot, then Holden’s effort, and substitute Laura Da Silva late-on.
In between all that, Davern came closer with another free kick for Ascot that fizzed narrowly over, but Phillips produced probably her best save in the dying embers of the game when she got down superbly to keep out Simmonds’ cross-shot, only for substitute Sarah Saunders to smash home the loose ball and add gloss to the 4-0 scoreline.
But The Yellawomen take great credit for their performance against a National League outfit, and fully deserved the applause for their performance as they walked off at full time.
Ascot United: Phillips, Townsend, Roche, Robertson (Thraves), Rideout, Todd, Vince (Cruickshanks), Woods, Leonard, Brown (Woollard), Davern. Subs unused: Luckhurst-McCord, Last, Spark, Hutton
Attendance: 100 (est)
Reporter’s home MOM: Lisa Phillips – strong of fantastic saves from the captain
Reporters away MOM: Natasha Wild – scored a clinical hat-trick and was equally creative