Ladies leave Winchester in a good bill of health
By Mark Rozzier
Three points, two goals and a clean sheet from the visit to The Simplyhealth City ground.
On a bitterly cold and windy afternoon, Woodley United Ladies put in their best performance of the season to take all three points and keep a clean sheet at the Simplyhealth City stadium where they had conceded nine games earlier in the season to Winchester in a league challenge cup tie.
Playing into the wind, United sought to play much of the first half in the hosts half of the pitch putting pressure on their defence and forcing them to kick long and often seeing the ball go out of play thanks to the assistance of the wind.
With wingers Holly Wilkins and Jodie Penny enjoying space on both flanks and Maddie Sawyer prominent in midfield were creating chances that went into the side netting or through to home keeper Millie Peake during the opening twenty minutes.
Thereafter, City started to enjoy greater possession with Katie Johns lively up front but often forced to play alone due to lack of support and the defensive play of Ellen Surtees and Charley Evans. Even with corner kicks and free kicks Winchester were unable to trouble Nicole Haines as United defended well.
The opening goal came in the thirty fourth minute. Penny chased a back pass to Peake which the keeper only succeeded in kicking against the winger and for the ball to rebound goal wards from twenty yards into an empty net.
Five minutes later Haines made a good save when faced with a one on one situation to ensure the visitors went into half time still leading.
Woodley again started the half well but City gradually got left winger Sarah Butterworth into the game where her pace was becoming a threat. However, with United remaining concertation they were able on several occasions to play the winger off side including the move that lead to an equalising goal being disallowed on fifty five minutes.
Haines was required to make a save before the decisive second goal came in the sixty eight minute when Peake conceded a corner kick that Sawyer took and the under pressure could only parry the ball for Page-Smith to poke home from close range.
With Johns forced to leave the pitch through injury Flyers attacking threat was blunted allowing Woodley to safely see the game to a finish. The closest a third goal came was when Page-Smith fired a free kick low past Peake’s right post.
Haines, Hunt, Preston-Morris, Pearson (Measham), Surtees, Evans, Penny (Ward), Sawyer, Page-Smith, Stringer (Thompson), Wilkins (Lambourne) Sub not used: Cooke