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Whyteleafe 2 Maidenhead Utd 0
Whyteleafe, leaders of the London & South East Regional League, progressed to the Third Qualifying round of the SSE FA Women's Cup with a convincing 2-0 win over FAWNL Division One South West opponents Maidenhead United at Church Road.
Two early goals gave Leafe an advantage which they rarely looked like relinquishing despite the best efforts of a spirited visiting side who have endured a difficult start to the season but kept battling to the end against a fine home team performance.
Whyteleafe set off with good attacking intent and were rewarded in the 8th minute when a low cross from the right deflected in off a defender. Nycha Dyett added a second with an excellent run and shot when played in by Shauni Griffiths on 21 minutes and the hosts looked capable of adding to their advantage in a dynamic first 30 minutes.
Maidenhead had a better spell around the half hour when two well delivered Alex Dover corners tested the Whyteleafe defence but they were grateful to skipper Ellie Parker for a super save just before the break, beating away a Dyett shot at the far post after Hayley Halford had a shot cleared off the line to keep the Magpies in the game at the break.
Parker was again on hand to save from Kat Clifton when the midfielder was played in on goal on 49 minutes Whyteleafe continued to create the better chances but a decisive third goal eluded them due to resolute defending and very good work from Parker.
At the other end, Leafe's defence did an equally good job of protecting keeper Charlotte Ferguson and when. finally, another Dover corner was met with a goalbound header on 80 minutes, the Leafe keeper reacted well to turn the ball wide of goal.
Maidenhead created a couple more half chances late on but equally the hosts were very close to sealing the win with a third as both teams battled with good intensity right to the final whistle.
Whyteleafe have moved rapidly through the pyramid and it was easy to see why with players of experience, pace and strength all over the pitch and well organised in defence. They will be formidable opponents for whoever they meet in the third Qualifying Round draw after this fine win.
Charlotte Ferguson, Morgan Parnell, Mercedes Bromfield, Shauni Griffiths, Stephanie Mann, Elizabeth Berkeley, Kat Clifton, Katie Butts, K'shaela Burch-Waldron, Nicha Dyett, Hayley Halford. Subs: Giorgia Dunne, Amanda Hollidge, Lauren Armstrong, Ashlee Armstrong, Rachel Innes.
Ellie Parker, Amber Langston-Lloyd, Sophie Modak, Gemma Bloor, Nat Barnes, Shylla Carty Duhaney, Simone O'Brien, Aine McKeever, Kat Mace, Alex Dover, Lucy Casey. Subs: Sarah Lowden, Grainne McNally, Abi Canvin, Kirsty Matthews, Sinead Thompson, Louise Ekins.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Kat Clifton slides in to tackle Gemma Bloor
(middle) Elizabeth Berkeley is challenged by Aine McKeever
(bottom) Simone O'Brien takes on Shauni Griffiths
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