|Newbury Ladies FC started 2015 by enduring a cruel injury time defeat by a single goal at the hands of Oxfordshire side, Mansfield Road Ladies.
The first half was a very even contest, although the visitors struck the Newbury post on 25 minutes from a good free kick, but the rebound was cleared. Then just five minutes later Caroline Harkness had a long range effort cleared off the line by a covering Mansfield defender. Both sides had chances from corners, but neither side could break the deadlock and the game remained goal-less at the half time break.
Newbury’s goalkeeper, Chloe Hunt, was called into action straight after the re-start, when the Mansfield striker was played through for a one-on-one chance. But Hunt was off her line very quickly and she saved well to her left, to keep her side in it.
The second half was played at even higher tempo than the first period, with both sides looking to break quickly. The play was very much end-to-end and finely balanced. As the clock ticked down, it looked as if a 0-0 draw was on the cards, which the Newbury would have welcomed. But it was Mansfield Road who were finishing strongly. Newbury defender Leanne Saunders made a last gasp clearance on 83 minutes, as Newbury continued to soak up more and more sustained Mansfield pressure. A foul was given away by Newbury right on the edge of their penalty area in the last minute of normal time (90th minute), but the resultant kick was blazed wide by the Mansfield Captain.
As the match moved into time added-on after the 90 minutes, Newbury were hoping they had surely done enough to earn a clean sheet and a draw. It wasn’t to be however, as Mansfield surged forward again, with an unbelievable shot sent in from the far right, some 35 yards out. The ball sailed high over the keeper’s head and sadly for Newbury, it found the far top corner. The deadlock was broken and Mansfield Road had stolen the lead in the 93rd minute of the contest. It was such harsh luck for Newbury, who had battled valiantly throughout, but Mansfield had done enough to earn a very slender one-nil victory.
|Players: Chloe Hunt, Leanne Saunders, Laura Ainscough, Gemma Povey, Nicole Beesley, Lorna Parr, Caroline Harkness, Rakel Gunnlaugsdottir, Kendall Gilmour, Leanne Creese (Capt), Bex Walker, Lauren Hanson, Maria Rodrigues.