SHOCK TASTES SWEET FOR SWALLOW’S TEAM
Ascot United Ladies Reserves caused a cup upset as they edged into the league cup semi finals on Sunday afternoon at the expense of Long Crendon. John Swallow’s invincible Thames Valley League Division 3 (East) side were made to work for it by the high-flying Division 1 outfit – who clawed themselves back from 2-0 down to level the tie at 2-2 at half time – before The Yellawomen nicked it in the final fifteen minutes to record a 31st consecutive victory.
Ascot opened the scoring in the 16th minute when impressive Lauren Knight pressed and regained possession near the half-way line, paving the way for Clodagh Farrell to rifle into the roof of the net from inside the area.
Tia Johnson then doubled her side’s advantage five minutes later with a speculative low shot that crept in at the near post.
But the visitors would claw their way back into the game and scored two goals in a lengthy period of stoppage time at the end of the half – both of them almost carbon copies of each other – as Michelle Bailey nipped in on both occasions to lob Cara O ‘Brien and level the tie at the break.
The second half was a tight affair with Darcey Young constantly asking questions of the visiting defence with her intelligent passes into the channels, and eventually they were undone when Johnson nipped in between defender and goalkeeper to flick home the winner in the 79th minute, only moments after signalling her intent with a long range effort that had fizzed over.
But it took a smart late save from O-Brien to deny Bailey a hat-trick when she stood up well to beat her effort away for a corner and seal Swallow’s side a place in the last-four.
And, as importantly, this was a good test for the already-promoted Reserves against higher-ranked opposition ahead of next season – and next week they get the chance to seal the title when second-placed Ruislip Rangers visit The Racecourse.