With four wins from four in the league, Wycombe Wanderers Ladies were in the mood for a cup upset on Sunday afternoon – and that’s exactly what they delivered, seeing off Woodley United 1-0 in the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup.
Andy McIntosh’s side have been in sparkling form in the First Southern Division, and ran Premier Division side Ascot close in the FA Cup at the start of the season before bowing out with a 3-1 defeat.
On paper, the trip to Woodley was a bigger challenge, with the Berkshire club sitting top of the Premier Division, and Wycombe being out without top scorer Tara Woodward due to injury. However – galvanised by their recent form – Wanderers were more than up to the test.
Woodley started the game well, with Wycombe striving to gain a foothold in the midfield. Overall it was a fairly even affair, though it was the visitors who had the better attacking opportunities, just lacking quality in the final passes and composure in the final third.
The second half began with Woodley on top, dominating possession, until the Blues gradually fought their way back into it with more purpose on the ball.
The defence of Nicole Jacobs, Katie Hudson and Emma Dean were strong, nullifying the Woodley attacks, while Chante Inniss and Bonnie Messitt worked tirelessly as a front two to create an opening.
And it came on 77 minutes. Intelligent hold-up play from Inniss was maintained by 16-year-old Rachel Southby feeding captain Charlotte Bagshaw, who cut inside and drove a rising, fierce right footed shot into the top left corner of the net.
Woodley stepped up the pressure but the impetus and character of the Wycombe side managed the game out.
To have restricted a strong Woodley side to two shots with none on target is testament to the improvement in this team. A well-deserved victory which maintains a good start to the season.
Next up for Wycombe is another cup fixture; this time a League Cup game at home to Basingstoke, who they beat 6-0 in the league last month.
Kick-off is at 2pm at Flackwell College 3G pitch, Spring Lane, Flackwell Heath, High Wycombe, Bucks HP10 9HE. Admission is free with plenty of parking.
Squad: Batkin, Hudson, Jacobs, Dean, Barette, Newberry, O’Connor, Bagshaw, Todd, Messitt, Inniss, Southby, O’Neill.