Ladies Reserves win 8-0 against Ruislip Rangers to take Thames Valley League crown
Ascot United Ladies Reserves produced a stellar second half display to power their way to the Thames Valley League Division 3 (East) title on Sunday afternoon. The hosts were restricted to a 1-0 lead at half time courtesy of a resolute Ruislip rearguard, but ran away with it in the second half before the celebrations began.
Ascot might have been ahead early-on only for Darcey Young to fire a penalty wide after Kat Webb had been tripped in the box.
The dangerous Freya Johnson then picked out Clodagh Farrell with an equally dangerous left-wing cross in the eight minute, although Farrell was well-tackled as she shaped to shoot on the turn.
Visiting ‘keeper Amy Gibson then did well to deny Johnson when clean-through, and when the visitors finally got out of their own half Cara O’Brien was alert to Kirsty Young’s dangerous corner into the six-yard box.
But that was only a brief respite for Rangers as Johnson was unable to capitalize on the impressive Courtney Gibbons’ left-wing cross before the same duo linked up for Johnson to force a superb diving save from Gibson, who clawed her shot away for a corner.
Ruislip’s Aurela Gashi fluffed her lines when clean through in the 27th minute in a rare counter-attack, and they were punished moments later when Johnson raced clear and fired over Gibson via the faintest of deflections; 1-0 is how it stayed as the teams changed ends.
The Yellawomen created daylight three minutes after the restart when Young converted Gibbons’ corner from close range, before Gibbons’ super low finish made it 3-0 from substitute Amy Cogdon’s intelligent through ball.
At the other end, O’Brien was alert to deny Olivia McAndrew’s rasping shot and preserve her clean sheet as the hour mark approached, before Gibbons danced her way through the defence and fired home a fourth.
Another substitute – Jess Dixon – capitalised on Gibson’s error from Dixon’s cross to make it five before an own-goal made it six, although Lou Pullen’s arrowed volley from Gibbons’ 80th minute corner was arguably the goal of the game to make it 7-0.
There was still time for Johnson to rifle into the bottom right hand corner after her first touch had taken her clear of the defence – 84 minutes played – and after the game the visitors sportingly lined up in a guard of honour to join the rest of The Racecourse, which also included Men’s first-team captain Louis Bouwers and Boys U14 manager Bjorn Dunkley, in applauding John Swallow’s women off the pitch.
There are still two league games and a cup semi-final to play, but whatever happens this team have represented Ascot United Club in style, and will enjoy their moment.
Ascot United: O’Brien, Swallow, Slimm, Webb, Lindsey, Young, Gibbons, Linge, Pullen, Farrell, Johnson. Subs: Cogdon, Dixon
Reporters WOM: Courtney Gibbons. 2 goals and several assists, a real handful.
Scorers: Johnson (2), Gibbons (2), Dixon, Pullen, Young, O.G.