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Women's Football News
Woking Ladies 2 Abbey Rangers 1
Two early goals were just enough to see Woking through to the Second Qualifying Round of the Vitality Women's FA Cup at the expense of local rivals Abbey Rangers after an exciting match in the best traditions of the competition.
Both teams compete in the Southern Region League Division One with Woking having been promoted from the Thames Valley Counties League and the contest was very even throughout. Abbey pulled a goal back before the break and had several chances to draw level but the hosts prevailed.
Jo Harfield-Brown may well have scored the first goal in the 2021-22 competition with a composed finish after breaking clear of the Abbey defence in the first attack of the game. Woking looked dangerous with every move in the opening stages and doubled their lead with a very similar finish, this time from Kaitlin Howard on 15 minutes.
Abbey keeper Carla Hobbs was very busy, moving quickly off her line to sweep up through passes and gradually her team played their way into the match, creating their first real chances just after the half hour, Isobel Saunders and Gemma Martin having shots just over the bar.
Hobbs made a fine save from Howard who had again got clear on 41 minutes and Abbey reduced the deficit right on half time when Saunders chased down and blocked an attempted clearance which rebounded into the net.
Encouraged by this, Abbey started the second half well. Woking keeper Teri Harfield-Brown made a fine save to deny Saunders on 55 minutes and Melissa Anders went close with a header from the resulting corner.
Both teams pushed hard for the crucial fourth goal of the match, Woking forcing several corners and brought the best out of Hobbs with powerful shots from distance. At the other end, Abbey worked a number of fine openings with good passing moves to release wide players. The clearest chance fell to Martin on 85 minutes but her effort from ten yards flew wide of the Woking net.
The hosts saw out time very effectively to seal their progress after a well contested match at the Kingfield home of Woking FC. Both teams lived up to the setting and the enthusiastic support given throughout.
Woking Ladies: Teri Harfield-Brown, Kate Davies, Jade Barclay, Megan Vincer, Ellie Butterwick, Trudy Bryan-Kerr, Sian Hardaker, Kaitlin Howard, Gemma Luke, Jo Harfield-Brown, Hester Benham. Subs: Louise Withers, Sophie Burgess, Ella Smith, Mia Dempsey, Shelley Hankins.
Abbey Rangers: Carla Hobbs, Farrah-Lilly Yewings, Georgina Mudd, Shannon Byrne, Melissa Anders, Steph Sale, Rebecca Burtenshaw, Bethany Easterman, Lauren Timbrell, Isobel Saunders, Gemma Martin. Subs: Bethany Anders, Heather Heade.
(REPORT BY PATRICK HIGGINS)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Isobel Saunders is challenged by Hester Benham;
(middle) Bethany Easterman battles with Kaitlin Howard;
(bottom) Sian Hardaker up against Abbey duo Bethany Easterman and Heather Heade;
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