|Newbury Ladies 1st team opened their league season with a repeat of the FA Cup match 3 weeks ago against Abingdon. This was clearly going to be a difficult game but there were many encouraging points about the game.
Newbury kicked off but it was Abingdon who were on the attack immediately. However the Newbury defence looked solid and Abingdon only amanged a few long shots. However on Newbury's first venture into the Abingdon half after 6 minutes following a nice series of passes Gabriely Da Silvea was somewhat cynically fouled about 30 yards out dead central. Da Silva took the free kick herself and with devastating accuracy placed the ball in the top left hand corner of the net giving the keeper no chance to make the score 1-0 to Newbury.
This clearly encouraged Newbury and some more neat interplay between Jo Walsh-Perks and Da Silva was dealt with eventually by the Abingdon defence.
However Abingdon were now beginning to dominate the attacks but the Newbury defence was working well in support of goalkeeper Kat Brown. Captain Becky Anderson making one excellent clearance off the line.
When Newbury did have the occasional break it was Da Silva who was causing the trouble. On one occasion it was 4 Abingdon players need to get the ball off her. Brown in goal was having an excellent game making several saves on the ground and over her head. Abingdon were getting frustrated and resorting to long shots either easily saved or high and or wide of the net. Unfortunately after 33 minutes Newbury conceeded a penalty which was put away confidently to level the score.
It was now all Abingdon but apart from one opportunity 5 minutes before half time they didn't look likely to score.Newbury then had another free kick when Da Silva was agin brought down but a bit to far out to repeat the previous scenario. A minute later Da silva was brought down yet again but this time Leanne Saunders put the ball dangerously into the area but it was well dealt with by the defence. So at half time it was a very creditable score of 1-1 particularly considering the amount of Abingdon possession.
Unfortunately the second half got off the the worst possible start when after 1 minute what appeared to be a cross from the right curled in just under the bar at the far post to give Abingdon the lead. The second half was a continuous series of attacks but the defence was holding up well. To counter this Abingdon resorted to longs shots. Unfortunatly these were accurate and high just below the bar which was very difficult for Brown. The 3rd goal was atthe perfect height dipping just under the bar.
5 minutes later Newbury were reduced to 10 when Anderson had to go off with a foot injury. This raised the pressure. Brown was working hard making several spectacular save on the floor and tipping the ball wide and over the bar
Newbury did have the occassional opportunities, A Newbury free kick hit the wall, Da Silav and Sam Richards combined well and when Walsh-Perks was brought down Saunders free kick was save by the keeper.
With 12 minutes left on the clock the score was still 3-1. But as often occurs in football Abingdon were to score 3 more. It is fair to say these were all well taken, 2 of them coming from long shots which sneaked in under the bar.
Player of the match
Match report by Jack Harkness