Wycombe Wanderers Ladies' development side earned a 1-1 draw at Abingdon Town on Sunday afternoon.
The development team knew that the trip to Abingdon Town was going to be a very stern challenge. Abingdon won the Thames Valley Women’s League Division One last season and are now riding high in third in the SRWFL Division One this season. The pitch was heavy following the heavy rain, but the weather fine, on a crisp sunny autumn Sunday afternoon.
After a brief foray forward, Wycombe were pushed back by a powerful and aggressive Abingdon team. Loose balls were contested and Wycombe picked up three knocks in the first ten minutes, such was the competitiveness of the opening period.
Both coped with this pressure, well supported by a hard-working midfield in front of them. Unfortunately, it was one of these attacks from wide, which broke the deadlock, with a low cross into the penalty area, leading to a scramble in the box which was finally converted by an Abingdon striker.
Wycombe responded immediately and well, and following a spell of pressure on the Abingdon goal, Chloe Ball struck from outside of the box, with a clever, opportunistic, right foot effort, lobbing the keeper. All square 1-1 at half time, and the Chairgirls had been organised in defence, coping with significant amounts of pressure and looking capable of hitting Abingdon on the break.
The pattern and template of the second half was very similar but with Abingdon creating less, except for opportunities from set pieces. Jodie Whittle in Wycombe’s goal showed great composure through- out with some excellent handling and decision making, tidying up effectively and coming for balls at the right time, and both centre backs Yasmin Knock and Danielle Coward had busy but very effective games, tracking players, covering and making timely clearances.
Wycombe defended determinedly as a team, and had opportunities to counter attack, but couldn’t find the right pass or make the right decision when these opportunities arose. The slow pitch did not suit fast free flowing football.
The final score of 1-1 was well-earned, against an experienced and powerful Abingdon team. The game was another great development experience for the young Chairgirls team, in terms of its physicality and competitiveness, and hopefully one which they can build on for the rest of the season.
Team: Whittle; Wheller, Knock, Coward, Shah; Baker, Lennard, Poland; Southby; Ball, Day
Subs: Winfield, Chowdhry, Timmins.