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Najar and Gooch fire Ladies to success

22 February 2016

Captain Charlotte Bagshaw recalls a superb 2-0 win at Andover.

On Sunday 21st February, Wycombe Ladies made the long journey south to face Andover New Street in what would be the team’s first game in six weeks as a result of the poor weather of late. Only 12 players travelled for the Blues, with many absent due to injury, so everybody was guaranteed a good a good run out against the side sitting bottom of the league.

Wycombe began brightly and started to create chances – but nothing too troublesome for the keeper just yet. Still Wycombe maintained possession with the ball rarely leaving Andover’s half. Midway through the half Wycombe were awarded a dangerous free-kick just outside the area for a late tackle on Ellie Searle. Hannah Banyard stepped up and curled a shot towards the top left corner but the keeper did well to turn it over the crossbar.

However Wycombe’s hard work and determination did pay off moments later as Gemma Najar scored a rather scrappy goal after Rebecca Gooch’s corner was unsuccessfully cleared several times. From that point on it was a sea of blue as Andover struggled to get a touch on the ball at all in the run up to half-time. Much to Blues keeper Casey Dunford’s relief, the referee blew for half-time shortly after allowing her to run into the changing rooms to keep warm!

After the break Andover appeared to have upped their game slightly as they looked to break through Wycombe’s defence, however the Blues backline stood strong and held their line well to prevent Andover having an attempt at goal.

It didn’t take long for Wycombe to get back into their stride and put Andover’s defence under more immense pressure. Lauren Head came excruciatingly close on several occasions but couldn’t provide a clinical finish. Ellie Searle also hit the woodwork shortly after as she crashed a shot from a tight angle, so the team could sense another goal was on its way if they kept up the pressure.

And eventually it did as Rebecca Gooch volleyed home from 25 yards out after Ellie Searle found her with a clever cross-field ball in what was a swift counter-attack from the Blues.

The two goals looked to have sealed all three points for Wycombe but there was just time for Dunford to have her say in the game as she saved a shot magnificently from point blank range in the 90th minute

Just seconds later the referee signalled the end of the game meaning the Blues have climbed a place into sixth position in the League table.

Tomorrow Wycombe host Ascot United at Bell’s Hill Recreation Ground and will be looking to carry on their winning ways. Wanderers sit sixth in the league with 14 points from 11 games.

Team: Dunford, Bagshaw (c), Banyard, Bignall, Gooch, Head, Hussey-Burd, Kirk, Najar, O’Connor, Searle.

Sub: Stopforth.

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