|Caversham opened the game positively looking much sharper than Newbury, but against the run of play it was Newbury who had the first corner which was played out of defence to full back Claire Turley to shot wide of the goal. Newbury seemed to wake up a bit and the game was more even but it was Caversham who had the first real chance following a corner. Goalkeeper Carly Passfield made a point bank save from a hard shot close in.
Both teams had free kicks far out but the goalkeepers were equal to the shots. 20 minutes in saw Newbury's first real opportunity when Nicole Beesley had a strong run down the left put in an excellent cross to Bex Walker. If Walker had managed to get any contact on the ball she would almost certainly have scored but the ball went across the goal. Moments later Walker was fouled and Beesley took the free kick but the keeper saved comfortably. Walker then made an excellent run down the right and crossed well to Natasha Carroll whose shot unfortunately was over the bar.
In the last 15 minutes of the half most of the opportunities for both teams came from free kicks and corners but both defences were coping well. Minutes before half time Caversham nearly scored but for some desperate defending by Newbury. The half closed with a corner to Newbury which was cleared to centre back Nicole Pearce whose shot went wide.
Initially the second half continued as the first with a series of free kicks and corners to both teams. but slowly Newbury seemed to be getting more of the possession. Sophie Papworth who had been introduced towards the end of the first half was getting in shots.
However it was another substitute, Megan Kirby, who was to change the game. Following an excellent corner from the left by Carroll to the far post the ball came back across to Kirby in the centre of the goal who headed home from possibly 1 yard.
This goal clearly encouraged Newbury who were now having much more of the game. Caversham were still having opportunities but Newbury were looking much more creative with both Walker and Papworth having shots which were either saved or wide. It was Kirby though who could have had a hattrick in the last 5 minutes when, first she headed just wide of the post, then after a nice move, involving Beesley and Papworth, Kirby shot just wide af the post. In the final moment of the game Kirby chased a through ball on her own. Under pressure from the keeper she managed to get in a shot while falling which crept just past the post.
This gave Newbury their first win of the season. On paper it looked like it might have been an easier game against the team at the bottom of the table but Caversham were well organised and certainly in the early stages were very competitive.
Match report Jack Harkness