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Brentford 2 Walton Casuals 4
Brentford and Walton Casuals played out a thoroughly entertaining Greater London League Premier Division encounter at a windy Bedfont Sports FC.
Walton Casuals have been the outstanding team in this stop-start league season and hold a massive lead over the other clubs as the competition draws towards a close with twelve matches to be completed by each team.
It was easy to see why Walton Casuals are champions after a dominant first half had left them three goals to the good, but Brentford fought back well after the break to leave a final score of four goals to two in favour of the visitors.
Brentford had the first sight of goal when Kaitlyn Spencer-Dempsey forced a fine save from visiting keeper Stacey Bishopp but it was Walton who took the lead on 16 minutes through Nikki Saunders, who broke clear to beat the advancing Emily Boycott.
Brooke Garcia drew a good save from Boycott on 22 minutes but Allana Ashmeil was on hand to turn the ball home at the far post for Walton's second. The Bees keeper then denied Saunders a second with a strong hand to turn a shot round the post. However the Walton skipper was not be denied and added a third on 31 minutes when another slick move left her with a run on goal.
Boycott brought off a fantastic double save to prevent further damage before the break, blocking a first shot before flying across the goal to somehow keep out an apparent tap in at the far post.
The second period as a much more even affair as Brentford, with Amber Langston-Lloyd marshalling the defence, managed to keep Walton at bay. Nadia Peters was a lively hard working presence down the right and it was her persistence in attack which led to the Bees opener, her run and cross leading to a foul on Spencer-Dempsey who converted the resulting spot kick on 74 minutes.
Encouraged by this, Brentford dominated the next ten minutes but, with Walton's Jodie Weller excellent in defence, they were unable to reduce the deficit. In fact, a break saw the visitors add a fourth with Tarran Williams having a shot saved and Weller hitting the bar before Lauren Nicholson netted the rebound on 88 minutes.
There was still time for Spencer-Dempsey to break clear and finish well past Bishopp to give the hosts a positive finish to a good match.
Both sides tried to play out from the back, pass and move whilst keeping the ball on the floor which led to an enjoyable contest played in a good spirit. Above all, it was great to see players back out on the pitch.
Brentford: Emily Boycott, Nicole Goolab, Nadia Peters, Chloe Webb, Amber Langston-Lloyd, Eilidh Short, Mollie Holmes, Molly O'Reilly, Jodie Reid, Kaitlyn Spencer-Dempsey, Sophie Troth. Subs: Regan Graver, Daisy Baranowski, Gemma Goodwin, Luna Dalton, Tilly Penfold.
Walton Casuals: Stacey Bishopp, Jodie Weller, Jodie Barker, Nikki Saunders, Brooke Garcia, Lauren Nicholson, Bernice Tully, Allana Ashmeil, Jess Drage, Tarran Williams, Nikki Ferris. Subs: Ellie Stalley, Isabelle Johnson, Victoria Linehan, Jess Roberts.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Jess Drage battles for possession with Nadia Peters;
(middle) Kaitlyn Spencer-Dempsey is challenged by Bernice Tully;
(bottom) Luan Dalton tries to win the ball from Jess Drage;
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