Watford Ladies First Team produced a spirited display on the road as they overcame a strong AFC Whyteleafe with a battling 2-1 victory.
The Surrey side, looking to complete a league double over Watford, made a fast start with plenty of early pressure. But it was the visitors who landed the first blow after 16 minutes following a handball in the box, with Summer Small stepping up and coolly slotting her penalty past the ‘keeper.
The lead didn’t last long in what was a gripping, end-to-end first half, as three minutes later Whyteleafe equalised. They then had a great chance to go ahead on the half hour mark with a penalty of their own, but the shot hit the post and Tia Ginn managed to save the follow-up. Shortly after Ginn made a crucial stop with her outstretched foot, while at the other end Rebecca Lovelace fired just wide seconds before half time.
The second half continued in the same vein and there were great chances for both teams, with player of the match Lola Meyer coming closest for Watford. Whyteleafe had more of the ball, but it was the visitors who regained the lead on 77 minutes, thanks to a fine finish from Lovelace. The Hertfordshire team managed the remainder of the game superbly to ensure no way back for Whyteleafe, whose cause wasn’t helped after having a player sent off.
The win means Watford can look forward to their final two matches of the season with some confidence, as they host the league’s top sides Dorking and then Brentford.
Manager Jordan Williams is relishing the challenge: “The last two games are going to be really difficult, but if we show that spirit and do the fundamentals right then I’m excited, it’s going to be enjoyable – two good sides, let’s go for it.”
In other news, the U14 Warriors wrapped up their own Junior Premier League season in some style, winning 7-1 at Rugby. There were six different scorers with Chase Bembridge finding the net twice.