|The First Team of Newbury Ladies FC travelled to take on Ascot United Ladies in the Southern Region Premier Division. Despite Newbury having the kick off, it was the home side who soon took control in the early stages, when they forced the game’s first corner after six minutes. And they converted well from that set play to open the scoring and take a one nil lead.
This stung Newbury into life and they started to create some scoring chances of their own, first though Gemma Burnett and then through Shelley Forster, who had the license to get forward more in this game. But the Ascot keeper was assured and quick off her line and she saved well on both occasions. The first half then became very stop, start, with several treatment stoppages for both sides. And as half time did approach, it was Ascot who were now enjoying another spell of sustained attacking pressure. Newbury’s keeper, Kat Brown, making one outstanding one handed save at her near post.
Ascot did breach the Newbury back-line however in the 44th minute, when an Ascot midfielder intercepted a pass and immediately played her ball into the feet of her centre forward. She had space to turn and shoot and fired high into the far corner to give Ascot a strong two nil lead going into the break. There would be another blow for Newbury right on the stroke of half time when they lost the influential Ruby Oliver, to a serious knee injury. She needed to be stretchered from the field of play and was replaced by Imogen Gibbons.
After the re-start, the home side were able to quickly extend their lead to three goals in the 55th minute and so it was turning into a miserable afternoon for Newbury. Around the hour mark, Newbury shuffled their personnel, with Captain Ellie Reed pushed further forward and Ayala Truelove also brought out of defence and into a striking role. Truelove’s switch almost had an immediate impact when she put a defender under real pressure and won the ball just on the edge of the Ascot penalty area. She shot quickly and strongly, but the effort was marginally too high, with the ball landing on the top of the roof of the net. Another good Newbury move, playing out of defence, saw them work the ball nicely up to Burnett. As she was surrounded by Ascot defenders, she sensibly laid the ball back into the path of the advancing Reed, but her shot was just wide of the far post.
That was to be the last bit of encouragement for Newbury’s players however, as within two minutes, Ascot had scored a fourth goal without reply. The match was well and truly over, with the three points going comfortably to Ascot United Ladies.
The stand out player for Newbury and who was awarded their Player of the Match accolade was Ayala Truelove, as she was both adept and composed in defence, but then just as sharp and strong when moved into an attacking role.
Match report by Sue Hewett
|Players: Kat Brown, Lauren Hanson, Becky Anderson, Leanne Saunders, Lorna Kinder-Parr, Ellie Reed (Capt), Shelley Forster, Ruby Oliver, Gemma Burnett, Ayala Truelove, Jo Walsh-Perks, Imogen Gibbons.