A sticky pitch on a cold December day was the setting for the Ladies' development team’s latest challenge in the Southern Region Women’s Football League, as they recovered from two goals down to draw 2-2 with AFC Bournemouth Development.
The visitors AFC Bournemouth arrived, with a score to settle after their previous 2-1 loss to the hosts earlier in the season. A tight game was promised.
The game didn’t disappoint, with both sides looking to attack and giving ‘no quarter’. Time on the ball was limited, given this intensity, as was possession for both sides. The pitch was not easy. Despite this, Wycombe were successful in getting Chloe Ball ‘in behind’ the defence on a number of occasions in the first half, only for her shots to be saved by the keeper. On another day Wycombe would have converted one or two of these opportunities.
Despite the two-goal deficit, the young Wycombe team, supported by the more experienced players, Lindsey Pinker and Sarah Harrison, came out for the second half on the front foot, and with a reservoir of determination, belief and some skill, began to press Bournemouth back. The Chairgirls were ‘asking new questions’ of their visitors back four and they were creaking.
A corner saw Wycombe get a goal back, with Lily Chowdhry providing a clinical strikers’ finish to a loose ball on the angle of the six yard box. Wycombe kept pressing, and a driving run from Harrison on the left, saw her slide and pull the ball back into a crowded area. The ball travelled through to Frankie Day at the far post, who calmly finished with a first time shot high to the keepers right. All square.
There were 10 more frantic minutes to play, as Bournemouth looked to respond, and in this time Jodie Whittle saved brilliantly from a header following a cross from the right, turning the ball skilfully over the bar. In truth Whittle hadn’t had much to do in the second half, but the save from the header secured the point for Wycombe.
A 2-2 draw was probably a fair result, and the Development squad, continue to grow as a squad.
Team: Whittle; Orchard, Knock, Coward, Lennard, Baker, Thorne, Pinker, Harrison; Ball, Day
Subs: Winfield, Chowdhry, Johnston, Shah