Slough Town Ladies 5-2 Newbury Ladies Development
Slough Town Ladies were drawn at home to Newbury Ladies Development in the first round of the Berks & Bucks FA Women’s Junior Cup, and progressed with this win at Arbour Park on Sunday.
The Rebels’ poor start to games haunted them again, as they found themselves two goals down inside the opening 10 minutes; two lapses in concentration gifted the Newbury striker with chances that she took well.
Slough dominated the game without creating too many goal scoring opportunities. The ball was kept in the Newbury half, as the Rebels tried to force their way back into the game. Time and time again Slough thought they had broken through the defensive line, only to be flagged offside.
Captain Shannon Daly lifted the Rebels, as she broke down the right-hand side, crossed to Alice Heady, and her first time shot hit the defender, which was followed by a goal mouth scramble, but Heady got there first to net from close range - the Rebels were back in the game.
Just five minutes later Heady scored her second goal of the game, with Charli Davies being the provider. Her through ball found Heady on the edge of the box, whose first touch took her away from the defender and she slotted the ball home from 8 yards out into the top right-hand corner to make it 2-2.
The Rebels were now playing with confidence. The midfield trio of Lucy Passfield, Nikhita Sangha and Sam McKenzie began to dictate the game and created chances for the front three, but centre back Leanne Gibson provided the spark, as she played the ball to Daly, who headed the ball on for Davies to chase. Davies outpaced the Newbury left back, drove into the box and her powerful shot hit the bar, but she followed up and headed home - the Rebels had turned it around to lead 3-2.
Just before half time Slough made it four. The Rebels were awarded a free kick 30 yards from goal and up stepped McKenzie, who floated her free kick straight into the top right-hand corner leaving the Newbury keeper no chance, making it 4-2 to Slough Ladies at the break.
Slough started the second half well and were in total control. Newbury had no answer to the quick passing and strong attacking play that the Rebels played, this was as good a display as the Ladies had produced all season.
Bonnie Messitt made her first appearance of the season, and she set up the Rebels’ fifth goal. As Daly timed her run superbly and was found by Bonnie's through ball, Shannon ran 15 yards before powerfully hitting home from the edge of the box, making it 5-2 to the Rebels.
In the remainder of the second half there were several near misses or bad choices in the final third, but Slough were comfortably through to the next round.
This was a good test for the Ladies team against an established team from Division 3 South. Several players put in good performances; Emma Gaywood was solid at right back, the versatile Nikhita Sangha was her usual 9 out of 10, Shannon Daly scored one and assisted two goals and Charli Davies ran until she dropped, but today's Player of the Match was Alice Heady.
Slough Town Ladies line-up: 4-1-2-3
GK - Chloe Hetherington
RB - Emma Gaywood
CB - Leanne Gibson
CB - Vicky Stanford
LB - Laiba Arshad
DM - Samantha McKenzie
CM - Nikhita Sangha
CM - Lucy Passfield
LAM - Alice Heady
RAM - Charli Davis
ST - Shannon Daly (capt)
Substitutes: Kym Stenson, Merreisha Waul, Bonnie Messitt.
Report: Declan Bonsor
Image: Philip Benton
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