Watford (A) 18/19
The Red and Green Girls’ lead in the FAWNL Southern Premier Division is up to 6 points as Coventry United Ladies round out 3-0 winners at Watford.
With second placed Chichester City inactive this weekend, this was a golden opportunity for Coventry to extend their advantage over their closest rivals, and it was an opportunity taken against the Golden Girls. A line up unchanged from the 9-0 victory over Gillingham was selected, and midfielder Maz Gauntlett replicated her Gills performance with another double.
Watford goalkeeper Weronika Baranowska was put in a high pressure situation as the ball was returned to her with Gauntlett dangerously close. Gauntlett charged down the attempted clearance and slotted the ball into an empty net with just 5 minutes on the clock. A back and forth half saw few chances, although United looked comfortable, edging the midfield battle. Helen Dermody came close to doubling United’s lead, with a low hit towards the bottom corner, but a stunning save from Baranowska sent the ball flying over the crossbar. From the resulting corner, Tash Merritt scored in the closing minutes of the first half, chipping the ball over Baranowska as Hattie Kettle attempted to clear the ball.
Top scorer Amy Wathan was denied her 20thgoal in league and cup by Baranowska’s boot in the second half, diverting the ball for a corner following the striker’s tight angle effort. Watford’s main threat came from Helen Ward, with the Golden Girls’ attempting to play her in behind the United backline with lopped passes and through balls. But despite finding a way around United keeper Sue Wood, Watford still couldn’t find the net, with Nikki Miles, Erin Riden and Chenise Austin holding the Golden Girls at bay. Gauntlett would put the game beyond all doubt with a near post header from Amber Hughes’ corner in added time.
United now lead by 6 points to Cardiff City, who leapfrog Chichester with a 3-0 triumph at Portsmouth.