Woodley United Ladies made the most of their reprieve in the SSE Women’s FA Cup to defeat Alton and progress for the first time into the third qualifying round where a trip to FA Women’s Premier League Division One South East leaders AFC Wimbledon awaits on Sunday 8th October 2017.
Despite the closeness of the score line against Alton, United should have been comfortably in the lead before Alton’s Maddie Shuff equalised in the seventy seventh minute before May Hamblin scored the decisive winning goal with two minutes remaining.
The start of the game saw the home team have a scare when the visitors shot over the cross bar before their pace and pressure forced Alton on the defence that saw Rosie Page-Smith have an effort cleared for a corner and Hamblin see a shot saved by Chelsea Fox and cleared, both in the opening five minutes.
Alton found attacking difficult being caught off side on a number of occasions and Meg Lebbern shooting over as Woodley United continued to look dangerous through Page-Smith and May with Natasha Master bring strength to the midfield.
The opening goal came on twenty six minutes with Page-Smith receiving a clearance on the half way line before beating her marker to run unchallenged at goal and slot the ball pass the advancing Fox into keeper’s right hand bottom corner.
Fox prevented any further score before the break with a fine save from Hamblin.
The second half started with the visitors’ Nicola Moore shooting across the Woodley goal before United started to dominate but failing to score. Mollie Haines was involved in much of the play down the right flank but efforts went wide, eluded advancing players or saved by Fox, who was enjoying an excellent game. The best of attacks saw Haines find Page-Smith whose low cross was agonisingly put wide of an open goal by the stretching Hamblin in the sixtieth minute.
Despite this pressure Alton continued to compete and were rewarded when a cross from their left found Shuff unmarked in the host’s penalty area on the right hand side to fire into the roof of the net to level.
United’s heads did not drop and Page-Smith showed good skill in the Alton penalty area to beat a number of players only to be denied by Fox. Haines continued to be dangerous on the right wing and her persistency of putting low crosses into the penalty area paid off with May steering the ball past Fox for the historic victory.
Woodley United: N Haines, Edwards, Wilkins, Master, Surtees, Ward, N Haines, Burgess, Page-Smith, Radountcheva (Lowes), Hamblin Subs not used: Clarke and Hayes
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