|24/09/2023||14:00||Southern Region Women's Football League - Premier Division||2023-2024|
|Racecourse Ground 3G 11-a-side|
|Sunninghill and Ascot, Ascot, Windsor and Maidenhead, South East, England, United Kingdom|
YELLAWOMEN WIN AGAIN
Ascot beat Baggies to maintain perfect start
Ascot United Women came from behind to win 5-2 against newly-promoted Badshot Lea Women on Sunday afternoon, preserving their 100% record in the Southern Region Women’s Football League. The Yellawomen responded immediately to going behind just before the half-hour mark and raced into a 3-1 interval lead, before doing just enough in the second half to keep their spirited opposition at bay and move top of the table.
Changed starting line-up but plenty of firepower
The match saw the return of striker Sarah Leonard from long-term injury, and she went straight into the starting eleven alongside Nicole Brown – a fearsome front two – whereas Farrah Yewing, Erin Huntley and Chloe Connor also got the nod.
Yellas bounce back after slow start
Both sides battled for possession in an opening twenty minutes devoid of clear-cut chances, but after that the opportunities rained down in an action-packed quarter.
Erin Huntley’s long-range strike clattered the crossbar after 24 minutes with Brown only able to fire the rebound straight at visiting ‘keeper Jody Gray-Piazzo, before both Brown and Dom Carrington both shot straight at Piazzo in the 25th and 27th minute respectively.
But the visitors also looked dangerous, particularly so when left-winger Emily Foss was in possession, although it was Lucy Cook who gave Badshot Lea a 34th minute lead when she wriggled through the home defence and fired into the bottom left from around twelve yards.
However, their lead lasted barely 30 seconds as Ascot turned the game on its head before the break – firstly Carrington’s cross-shot sailed over Piazza and into the left-hand corner after impressive player-coach Alix Todd had played her in, before substitute Amelia Kimble scored twice more before the break. Before that, Cook’s cross-shot for The Baggies struck the inside of a post before being scrambled away, but Kimble’s shot into the bottom right from Laura Spark’s ball over the top made it 2-1 before she swept home again with the last kick of the half after Georgia Luckhurst-McCord and Carrington had superbly linked up in the build-up.
Sadly for Badshot Lea, Piazza injured her shoulder in attempting to claw Kimble’s second goal away and would eventually leave the field after a lengthy spell on the deck; inevitably playing no further part in the game.
Badshot battle well as injuries mount
The visitors reshuffled after the loss of Piazza, but even replacement Rebecca Ansell – who came on at right back – would herself hobble off.
Home ‘keeper Nicole Spittle acquitted herself well as the visitors huffed and puffed; good hands thwarted Foss’s rising shot after Cook had picked her out on the left with 54 minutes played.
Ascot made a raft of rolling changes amongst which Phillipa Holden raced onto Kimble’s through ball and drove home to make it 4-1, but the goal of the game arguably belonged to The Baggies’ Emma Gregory-Barns who hooked a sweet left-footed volley into the top right-hand corner following an 83rd minute corner to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Spittle then stood up well to save from Cook with four minutes of normal time remaining, thus avoiding any nervy finale, before Brown came back off the Ascot bench to make it safe at 5-2 in the 90th minute.
What’s next for Ascot?
After recording their third league win in three games, the Vitality Women’s FA Cup trail now begins with the visit of Wycombe Wanderers next Sunday; the Yellawomen having already beaten Wanderers in the league this season.
Ascot United: Spittle, Killick-Bird, Spark, Todd, Carrington, Holden, Yewing, Brown, Huntley, Leonard, Connor. Subs (rolling, all used): Luckhurst-McCord, Fox, Cruickshanks, Kimble, Skinner
Reporter’s Star Player: Alix Todd (Ascot United). The player-coach led by example in the middle of the park, showing tenacity and good distribution.
Attendance (estimate): 55