The Chairgirls safely navigated their FA Women’s Cup 2nd Round Qualifying tie to book a place in the 3rd Qualifying Round with a trip to Herne Bay FC on 24 October.
Wycombe started the game positively and gave the small band of supporters some early cheer when a driving run and shot from Chante Inniss was parried by the visiting keeper and fired home from close range by teenager Kiyana Fryer for her first FA Cup goal on 4 minutes. This reversed the trend of the previous 3 games where Wycombe have conceded in the opening 5 minutes.
Sport London looked to exploit their pace and started to find their central striker more often with some accurate long passes that caused the Wycombe back line some problems. However, the reliable Amy Whale in the Wycombe goal dealt well with what few opportunities that fell to their opponents. Wycombe’s midfield gradually took control of the game with 2 excellent chances being created for Kern and Fryer who both saw their respective shots very well saved by Jaramillo in particular Fryer’s close range effort. Harrison and West were at the heart of most of Wycombe’s best attacking moves threading passes into the wide players as well as picking out the energetic Fryer who always had Sam Jackson in support of her. One of those excellent passes was delivered by Harrison to pick out Emma Kern who made no mistake once clear of her defender, striking firmly past Jaramillo to extend the hosts lead. Both Inniss and Kern posed problems for the Sport London back 4 often getting into good areas to either get shots off or to pick out team mates with well placed passes. Howes and Newberry pushed forward from their defensive roles to provide a solid platform to allow Wycombe to press further up the field with the reliable Hudson and Leach axis centrally ensuring sound defensive interventions when required.
It took a further 7 minutes for Wycombe to extend their lead when Felicity West worked some space after a passing interchange with Harrison and unleashed an unstoppable finish from 35 yards into the top corner.
Half time: Wycombe 3-0 Sport London e Benfica
The second half saw the hosts continue to control the game for the most part with their defensive unit looking comfortable having found a solution to the pace of the lone striker for Sport London. However, Sport London showed tremendous spirit to try to get something from the game and on 59 minutes , Amy Leach conceded a penalty for a foul which also drew a yellow card from referee Bennett. Up stepped Minors to take the penalty. Her strike down the middle did not catch out Whale who stood firm to parry away the shot for a corner to maintain her and her team mates clean sheet. That minor setback behind them, Wycombe dictated the game for long spells limiting their visitors to scraps that caused little of any concern to Whale and her back 4. However, chances were going begging at the other end as Wycombe tried to extend their lead with Kern, Fryer, Jackson all having good efforts either blocked or saved. Sarah Harrison came closest to extending the lead when her header from a West corner was fired to safety by a defender on the line.
It was encouraging for manager Dave Ward and his coach Ashley Murphy to see the progress this group are making when considering that only 4 players in the starting line up played for the club last season. Overall, the team looked better in possession and created many good openings from which they could have extended their margin of victory. They also worked hard individually and collectively for each other throughout the 90 minutes, determined not to concede victory a quality that will be needed in every game this season.
Wycombe were good value for their first win first clean sheet of the season and earned their place in the draw for the next round. Next up for the Chairgirls is a visit to Woodley United in the league on Sunday 10 October at Bulmershe Pavilion, Woodlands Way, Woodley where supporters are most welcome.
Full time: Wycombe 3-0 Sport London e Benfica
Wycombe line up: Whale; Newberry; Hudson (capt); Leach; Howes; Inniss; West; Harrison; Kern; Jackson (Nazif - 80 mins); Fryer (Parrett - 74 mins)