SUPER YELLAWOMEN HIT CITY FOR SIX

#WeAreAscot.

Ascot United Women triumph 6-2 in Oxford

Ascot United Women rounded off 2023 at the top of the Southern Regions Women’s Football League with a 6-2 win at Oxford City Women on Sunday. The Yellawomen showed great character in fighting back from an early deficit and oozed class to effectively put the game to bed by half time.

Early kick off for title challengers

This was a rare 11am kick off for the two teams, and manager Will Blithing had told his title-challenging side they needed three points heading into the Christmas break; anything less and 2nd-placed rivals Bournemouth Sports would have the championship pendulum swung further in their direction. However, City – seven points behind Ascot but having played two more games – had beaten fourth-placed Woodley 3-0 last weekend and were looking to avenge defeat against the Yellawomen in September’s reverse fixture.

Yellawomen still sleeping as City take early lead

The game was only 90 seconds old when the home side took the lead. Ascot were napping from a left wing short-corner routine, although it was nonetheless a fine finish from Emily Harris who rifled a long range shot over Roz Markham and into the net.

The Yellawomen might have levelled in the 12th minute only for Amelia Kimble to clatter the crossbar after Sarah Leonard had dinked a cross into her path, but they were almost immediately undone at the other end when Markham and her defence dithered over a through ball; City wasteful with a chance to make it two

Fantastic, devastating response from Yellas

But in the 22nd minute the proverbial lights went on, curtains came up, and Ascot were on their way to a commanding half time lead. Kate Fox’s perfect ball over the top set Leonard free on the inside right channel, and after showing a clean pair of heels to the home defence she drilled low into the bottom left; 1-1.

Leonard then turned provider in the 25th minute with a bamboozling cross after Maddie Robertson had picked her out on the right, and this time Kimble nipped in between ‘keeper Holly Jenkins and her defence to slot home number two.

Phillipa Holden then played in Leonard who saw Jenkins save well but when Leonard got onto the end of Laura Moss’s booming through-ball just before the half-hour mark the end result was predictable, 3-1 after the livewire striker drew Jenkins and slotted into the left.

Holden then scored directly from a corner to make it 4-1 as the relentless pressure continued, and there was still time for Jenkins to turn Leonard’s rasping left-footed effort onto a post for what would surely have been the final nail in Oxford’s already half-buried coffin.

No let-up in second half

The visitors might have been forgiven had they taken their foot off the gas in the second half, but hungry for goals they added to their tally just three minutes in. This time, it was half time substitute Tiff Skinner who was in the right place to convert at the near post after Leonard’s trickery and cross had teed her up.

Leonard then saw another effort tipped over but it was six then Alix Todd nodded home a rebound after Jenkins could only turn Moss’s direct free kick onto the crossbar.

Jenkins then made a fine double save to thwart Skinner and Dom Carrington before tipping over Maddie Robertson’s free kick shortly afterwards, but it was Oxford who would score next when substitute Amelia Alves Martins kept her composure to fire into the bottom right in the 72nd minute; 6-2 at this point.

A busy Jenkins then palmed Holden’s effort wide in the 79th minute – a second goal for her would have been more icing on a wonderful display from the midfielder – but the scoring was complete for the impressive visitors.

What’s next for Ascot?

It’s a well-earned Christmas break and a wait until the 2024 fixtures are released.

Entertainment: 4

Reporter’s Star Player: Philippa Holden (Ascot United). A real engine room in midfield, strong in the tackle and at the heart of most things good.

Ascot United: Markham, Luckhurst-McCord, Drage, Moss, Fox, Holden, Robertson, Todd, Couzens, Kimble, Leonard. Subs (rolling): Huntley, Skinner, Richardson-Taylor, Killick-Bird, Carrington

Attendance (estimate): 70 (10 away)

Scorers: Leonard 22’, 29’, Kimble 25’, Holden 34’, Skinner 48’, Todd 54’

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