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Women's Football News
Watford rounded off an excellent home campaign with their sixth home win of the season, sending the Golden Girls back to the top of the National Division.
In the bank holiday sunshine, Watford took the lead after just 70 seconds as Sarah Wiltshire broke on to Cally Rowell's through ball and produced a neat chipped finish to give Watford the best possible start. It was the Welsh international's 18th goal of the campaign.
Watford were quickest to every ball and they continued to press and after a Wiltshire corner was scrambled clear the ball fell to Rowell whose effort whistled past the post. Shortly after, Wiltshire went close again this time drilling a low cross that fizzed across the six yard box but no-one could apply the vital touch.
With just twelve minutes on the clock, Watford could have been out of sight after some tenacious play from Fliss Gibbons and Chloe Gunn saw the ball break forward for Wiltshire to cut inside and found Megan Wynne who let rip from the edge of the box. The strike looked destined to nestle in the back of the net only to crash against the post and be cleared to safety.
With Watford on top they continued to pile on the pressure with Rowell turning provider again only to see Gunn's header across goal pawed to safety by Sadie Blakely with Wiltshire about to nod home. Portsmouth gradually grew into the contest but with the game finally starting to settle down it was Watford that continued to look dangerous.
With a few minutes left on the clock in the half, Jo Wilson also notched her eighteenth of the campaign as she produced a lovely lobbed finished after Gunn slipped the ball into her path. Wilson's power and pace proved too much as she finished well past the advancing keeper.
Portsmouth had a half chance late in the half as Gemma Hillier's headed an effort over the bar but it was Watford who deservedly went in at half time with a two goal cushion.
Watford came out of the traps fast and looked to put the game to bed early as Wiltshire produced a superb cross that Wilson just couldn't turn into the back of the net as her effort went over the bar. Kate Natkiel was then involved as she got to the goal line and as her cross flashed past several players it finally dropped to Wynne who cut in and fired a shot that struck Blakely and Wiltshire and deflected over the bar. Wilson was the next to go close producing a clever strike on the turn from a throw in that just went the wrong side of the post.
Missed opportunities came back to haunt Watford as Charley Wilson reduced the deficit for Portsmouth. Pompey pressure finally paid off as Wilson produced a clinical finish to put the game on a knife edge.
With time running out a frantic last five minutes ensued with both teams going close but it was the Hornets who held on for the points sending them back to the top of the league.
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