Saints inflict first defeat on United
By Mark Rozzier
Three goals in eleven second half minutes gives the visitors victory.
A first meeting between Woodley United and Southampton FC, who are a Tier 1 of the FA’s Regional Talent programme and part of the England Women’s Elite Talent Pathway, resulted in a win for the Saints who moved to the top of the Premier Division.
United enjoyed the better of a goalless first half twice being denied by Saint’s keeper Kayla Rendell and seeing Amie Benton and Jodie Penny have shots blocked by defenders
The second half go of the best possible start with Benton putting Rendell under pressure which saw the keeper’s clearance fall to Rosie Page-Smith to calmly slot the ball inside the far post from twenty yards within a minute of the restart.
In front of a large crowd United, while Nicole Haines was called upon to make a fine save, were in the ascendency and it was not until United had to substitute midfielder Eva Thomas on seventy minutes coupled with Saints’ changes that the visitors started to exert pressure which was rewarded with the equalising goal two minutes later when the hosts failed to defence a short corner that Georgie Freeland header into the goal from short range.
Centre back Eva Thomas required substituting on seventy four minutes and while United were getting use to the change Freeland scored with fifteen minutes remaining.
Woodley responded well and in an amazing melee following a corner twice saw the ball cleared of the visitors’ goal line and blocked before being scrambled cleared.
With eight minutes remaining the scoring was completed when Freeland crossed for Ellie Chaffe to head home.