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Wargrave Women 4 Caversham 2
Wargrave gained their first Thames Valley Counties Division One victory with a hard fought 4-2 home win over Caversham at a windswept Recreation Ground.
The conditions, with the strong breeze and slope favouring each team in turn, led to a game of two halves; Wargrave built a four-goal lead by the break but were under pressure for much of the last 45 minutes. Both teams played with skill and commitment throughout, but Wargrave had the slight edge in finishing and defending against the odds.
It took just four minutes for the hosts to lead with a superb 25-yard strike from wide left by Hannah Sheehan which flew in the top right corner. Only a good tip over by Caitlin Levy prevented Sian Bissett from immediately doubling the lead. Emily Ford nearly levelled on 19 minutes but Wargrave were dominant and Millie Bilcliff added the second with a low shot on 22 minutes.
Bissett scored the third just after the half hour with another crisp close range finish. When the same player added another just before the break, it seemed that the outcome was sealed, even with 45 minutes up the slope and against the wind to come for the hosts.
Caversham had moved the ball fluently at times in the first half despite the scoreline and they were soon putting pressure on the Wargrave defence on the restart. Amy Woodbridge in the Wargrave goal had to be alert coming off her line to intercept through passes and saved well from Dorothy Usher on 54 minutes. Sumaya Zayadi then went close for the Swans before converting a penalty on 64 minutes to give the visitors hope.
Usher soon raced on to a precise wind-assisted keeper's clearance to beat Woodbridge for Caversham's second and the comeback was on. Summer Lambden was giving the home defence a hard time with strong runs and Woodbridge was forced into action again, beating away a shot from Emily Ford on 84 minutes.
Wargrave tightened up in defence late on and were able to force Caversham back enough to see out the match for a well earned win. Both teams had impressed with their bravery on the ball and wholehearted approach to a good contest in tricky conditions.
Wargrave Women: Amy Woodbridge, Jess Lindley, Charlotte Maskell, Phoebe Rice, Sammy Nazif, Ali Richardson, Beth Williams, Jade Hunt, Sian Bissett, Millie Bilcliff, Hannah Sheehan. Subs: Polly Coombes, Zoe Richardson.
Caversham: Caitlin Levy, Charlotte Clarke, Shannon Hobson, Sumaya Zayadi, Sophie Ali, Emma Hopkins, Summer Lambden, Dorothy Usher, Emily Ford, Caitlin Davis, Isabel Davis. Subs: Lucie Slade, Sophie Wicks.
(REPORT BY PATRICK HIGGINS)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Sian Bissett under pressure from Lucie Slade
(middle) Charlotte Mackell tries to get away from Sumaya Zayadi
(bottom) Jess Lindley tries to challenge Sumaya Zayadi
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