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Wycombe Wanderers 1 Maidenhead Utd 2
Maidenhead United battled their way into the Final of the Berks & Bucks FA Senior Women's Cup after edging out Wycombe Wanderers by two goals to one.
The Magpies' third away win en route to the prestige final tie was a tight affair with the FAWNL Division One South West visitors claiming victory with a superb Megan Halfacree free kick after the sides had exchanged goals midway through the first half. The Southern Region Premier Division team, backed by the majority of a large crowd, put the pressure on for much of the second half, but could not find a second equaliser.
The Chairgirls had the first effort on goal through Samantha Jackson but the Magpies were soon threatening with Kate La Cumbre drawing a fine save from Wycombe keeper Hannah Cox, turning away a powerful effort on 17 minutes. However, La Cumbre was not be denied and, taking a low cross on the half turn on the edge of the area, the Magpies striker fired low and hard into the bottom right corner on 23 minutes.
It only took three minutes for Wycombe to level the score. The hosts forced a left side corner and then a second from which Tara Woodward was on hand to drive past Ellie Parker at the far post.
Wycombe continued to test the Maidenhead back line with early through passes to their lively attackers but it was the visitors who went ahead on 40 minutes.
Halfacree had already shown passing skills with her left foot, but the free kick from wide right was perfect, delivered with pace and bend to drop right in the top left corner of Cox's goal. Wycombe nearly equalised again with the last kick of the half but Parker reacted well to tip over Lindsey Pinker's 30-yard shot.
The hosts continued to press on the resumption, Chante Inness sending a half chance over then Woodward doing the same from a similar position. Jackson was a constant threat for the Chairgirls down the right with her best effort clipping the bar after a good run into the area on 67 minutes.
Both teams made changes but it was Maidenhead who managed to exert a greater measure of control as the match entered the final twenty minutes. La Cumbre saw another low effort well held by Cox while Halfacree sent a right side corner curling into the near post before having a follow up effort blocked.
Wycombe gave it their all with a penalty shootout the potential reward for a late equaliser but the Maidenhead defence was well organised and strong and with skipper Alex Dover leading by example in midfield, the visitors saw out the match with some comfort. The Magpies, in their first Final outing, will take on the winners of the postponed match between Chesham United and holders MK Dons.
Wycombe Wanderers: Hannah Cox, Amy Leach, Katie Hudson, Tara Woodward, Samantha Jackson, Natalie Barette, Charlotte Bagshaw, Emma Dean, Chante Inniss, Bobby Lynch, Lindsey Pinker. Subs: Christina O'Connor, Alicia Povey.
Maidenhead Utd: Ellie Parker, Sarah Thompson, Megan Halfacree, Alex Dover, Gemma Bloor, Sophie Modak, Shylla Carty Duhaney, Annika Striepecke, Stephanie Nelson, Kate La Cumbre, Simone O'Brien. Subs: Amy Saunders, Amber Langston-Lloyd, Vicki Carvill, Kat Mace, Sarah Reid.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Alex Dover takes on Chante Inniss
(middle) Tara Woodward in a chase for the ball with Gemma Bloor
(bottom) Charlotte Bagshaw is challenged by Alex Dover
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