Holders into last four with Woodley win
Holders Ascot United edged into the semi-finals of the Southern Region Women’s Football League Cup with 2-1 victory over local rivals Woodley on Sunday. The Yellawomen bossed possession and led at half time, but were pegged back early in the second period before Amelia Kimble’s late penalty avoided what would have been a third consecutive shoot-out.
Tight first half but Ascot have edge
In a well-contested first half, the home side were deserving of the half time lead they carved out. Early-on, Erin Huntley’s precise through-ball picked out Sarah Leonard, although the pacey striker hesitated and failed to make the most of her opportunity.
Leonard then turned provider with a fine left-wing cross to Katie Vince at the far post, although visiting ‘keeper Sophie Measham stood up well to make the save from last week’s player of the match.
At the other end, Alex Ayckbourn’s left-footed effort drifted wide of the right-hand post as Woodley threatened for the first time, but it was Ascot who scored with their next chance.
This time, it was Dom Carrington’s defence-splitting pass that picked out Leonard, and she fired home from a tight angle through Measham’s fingers; tough on the latter who had an otherwise fine half between the sticks.
Impressive defender Charley Evan then thwarted Kimble on the edge of the area after Leonard had picked her out in search of a second, but it was just a single goal that separated the sides at the break.
Woodley peg back Ascot early-on
As they had done the week before, Ascot rotated goalkeepers with Roz Markham replacing Nicole Spittle at the break, although it didn’t start well for the former who saw Sarah Lawrence’s shot squirm through her gloves and into the net just two minutes after the restart.
Woodley then enjoyed a decent spell without ever really threatening again, but as Ascot regained control they fashioned a good move just before the hour mark when the impressive Echo Barrett’s through ball found Leonard, she in turn picked out Dom Carrington, but Carrington sliced her effort wide.
Yellas finish strongly
Evan produced another fine intervention to block Carrington’s 80th minute shot following Alix Todd’s cross, although Ascot were gifted a match-winning chance when substitute Diana Loghin’s cross struck Michelle Quinn’s upper arm two minutes later – penalty the result – and Kimble struck it hard and low into the bottom left for what transpired to be the winner.
Kimble might have had another in injury time but for another block from Evan – this time unwittingly when Kimble’s effort deflected off her back for a corner – but her side easily held possession into five added minutes to book their passage following shoot-out wins over Woking and Warminster in the previous rounds.
What’s next for Ascot?
The Yellawomen face their biggest game of the season next Sunday with a trip to fell title challengers Bournemouth Sports knowing that they will, in all reality, need to get something from their trip to Dorset if they are to finish top of the league.
Reporter’s Star Player: Charley Evan (Woodley United). Brilliant defensive display; covered the entire back line well, had good distribution and made at least three important goal-saving blocks.
Ascot United: Spittle, Moss (née Spark), Luckhurst-McCord, Vince, Todd, Holden, Carrington, Skinner, Leonard, Huntley, Barrett. Subs (rolling): Loghin, Richardson-Taylor, Robertson, Kimble, Markham
Attendance (est): 60 (15 away)
Scorers: AUFC: Leonard 22’, Kimble pen 82’. WUFC: Lawrence 47’.