Dazzling Display takes Yellawomen to Dizzy Heights
Ascot United Ladies repelled a spirited fightback from Abingdon Town Ladies on Sunday afternoon to win 4-2 and leapfrog the visitors into third place in the Southern Region Women’s Football League.
The Yellawomen produced a devastating first-half display to lead three-nil, although were left sweating when Abingdon scored twice to set up a grandstand finish, before Izzy Woods’ late thunderbolt extinguished any lingering threat.
Youngster Tia Johnson opened the scoring in the 16th minute when she found the corner of the net from just inside the penalty area.
Defender Beth Roche’s shot from outside the box four minutes later doubled her side’s advantage, before Sarah Leonard put her side in dreamland shortly before the half-hour mark she tapped in after the goalkeeper had spilled the ball.
But the visitors showed why they had lost just two of 12 games heading into the game as they set about Ascot early in the second half.
However, ‘keeper Lisa Phillips kept her side in it – firstly when quickly off her line to thwart lively striker Chloe Ball – and then producing a mesmerising double-save when it looked odds-on Abingdon would score moments later.
Abingdon were eventually rewarded for their endeavours when Tori Sinclair hammered home as the hour-mark approached to reduce Ascot’s lead to 3-1.
At the other end, Leonard was denied from a tight angle after Alix Todd’s slide-rule pass had played her in, although just after Nicole Brown had threatened for Ascot the visitors went straight up the other end with Ball ultimately firing over.
The two sides traded chances as Roche almost converted Leonard’s free kick in the 75th minute before Abingdon’s Sinclair rounded Phillips; Phillips doing just enough to force Sinclair off-balance and unable to slot home from a fairly tight angle.
Todd then thwarted Ball with a superb tackle as Abingdon turned the screw, and they were rewarded in the 84th minute when Charlotte McGrath’s dangerous cross sailed directly into the net.
But there would be no heroic comeback for the Oxfordshire side as the hosts regrouped, and when Leonard’s devastating pace took her away down the left as 90 minutes approached, her team-mates surged forwards ready for her-cut-back, which eventually broke for Woods to lash home an unstoppable effort from 12 yards.
The win was Darrel Evans’ side’s fifth win in six matches in all competitions and with three league matches remaining his side are oozing confidence. They most likely won’t catch runaway pair Abingdon United and Moneyfields, but with a league cup interest and a little daylight emerging above both Abingdon Town and Eastleigh in fourth and fifth, there is a real chance of this being the most successful season in the side’s history.
Picture: The Yellawomen on the attack at 3-2 up.
Ascot Ladies Reserves also won – 3-1 at Abbey Rangers Reserves on Sunday – John Swallow’s report is here