Wycombe Wanderers Ladies overcame Newbury by five goals to one to reach the Chairman's Cup semi-final on Sunday afternoon.
The Chairgirls set out their intent from the start. Some early passing phases created early chances for Tara Woodward who saw two chances saved. Newbury pushed back hard and proved their competitive and technical credentials when they missed a good opportunity which flashed across the face of the visitors' goal.
It took 14 minutes for the deadlock to be broken when a good pass from Sam Jackson found Woodward, who finished well. The game deteriorated in terms of good quality as did the weather which was making conditions difficult for some players whose choice of footwear seemed inappropriate for the surface. A Katie Hudson effort lit up the latter part of the half when she found herself in space following a corner.
As the second half started, the weather improved and the persistent rain easing off but the Chairgirls hunt for goals to kill the tie did not. They took all of three minutes to extend their lead with Woodward getting on the end of a Jackson corner. But Newbury’s never say die attitude saw them score a minute later with a well executed build up and smart finish to reduce the arrears. The game was being contested all over the pitch with some heavy challenges flying in from both teams but the players by and large got on with the the game.
The 65th minute saw the first change for the Chairgirls as youngster Rachel Southby replaced Chante Inniss. She made an instant impact when an astute pass provided a chance for the surging run of Charlotte Bagshaw into the penalty area but her shot was blocked and cleared. On 69 minutes, Jackson took her chance and fired a welcome fourth goal to provide more of a cushion for Wycombe.
A final change saw Sarah Harrison replaced by Alicia Povey with about 12 minutes remaining. More fresh legs on a sapping surface were welcomed and after having created a couple of good chances, Bagshaw found Woodward who created a bit of space for herself to score her third of the game and take the tie beyond the hosts who had worked relentlessly to make the game difficult for the visitors.
A competitive game, well marshalled by Wycombe in spite of a very lively Newbury team. The back four and keeper Cox remained calm under pressure and provided a sound platform for their team mates to build. The Chairgirls now progress to the semi-final stage of the competition and will face either New Milton Town or Southampton Women’s reserves.
This coming Sunday sees a third visit to Abingdon United for the fourth meeting of the clubs this season, this time with league points up for grabs. Details for the game are: Abingdon Utd FC, Northcourt Rd, Abingdon OX14 1PL ko 14.00 hours. Hope to see some of our supporters there!