|Newbury Development took on local rivals Thatcham Flames who are in second place in the division. What a game The Development Team had with emotions changing as often as the weather!
The game was even at the start but it was Thatcham who had the first shot but it was straight at keeper Hanson. However Newbury were getting more scoring opportunities with the really lively Chitolie getting lots of shots in. The Thatcham keeper saved a couple that looked goal bound but otherwise the ball was going the wrong side of the posts. Just over 30 minutes into the half Thatcham scored with what looked a slightly mishit shot over the Newbury keeper. Just before halftime Hanson kept the score at 1-0 with an excellent diving save.
All this meant that the home team were 1-0 down at halftime and in the 6th and 7th minutes of the second half Thatcham Flames managed to score another two goals the second being an excellent move down the left leading to a cross and a first time shot into the roof of the net. 3-0 did not seem to reflect the game based on the scoring opportunities that Newbury had had in the first half.
Newbury spirits remained high though and 17 minutes into the half excellent pressure by Dyerson, Bird and Rodrigues almost led to an own goal when a Thatcham defender desperately cleared for a corner. Beesley's near post corner was powered in by the head of Truelove. Newbury were now in the ascendancy but Thatcham were still getting opportunities which needed to be dealt with by the Newbury defence. Bird was unlucky not to score when she struck Chitolie's neat lateral pass against the bar.
35 minutes into the half Chitolie had a shoto deflected for a corner which lead to Newbury's second goal when the clearance fell to captain and defender Lambden who drove theball into the bottom corner of the net from 15 yards through the crowded box.
Three minutes later Chitolie was finally to get the goal she deserved when she was put through by a lovely ball from Truelove, giving the keeper no chance with a shot into the bottom corner of the net. The game was now back to an even playing field.
Both teams were still battling hard and Newbury were eager for another goal to claim a well earned 3 points! Things were still looking very promising and with 3 minutes left of the game Newbury won yet another corner. Chitolie took a short corner on the right and Nicole Beesley heroically scored the winning goal with an unstoppable left footed strike from outside the box which went into the top left hand corner of the net to make the final score 4-3.
Match report by Issy Cording and Jack Harkness