Maidenhead United Women now carry the flag for the Royal County in the Berks & Bucks Women’s Senior Cup, making their way through to the semi-finals having avoided being on the receiving end of an upset at the home of high-flying Southern Region Women’s Premier outfit Newbury Ladies.
On a crisp autumnal afternoon at Donnington Recreation Ground, in-form Maidenhead made a bright start and led after only 8 minutes play. Right-back Sarah Thompson passed infield to the impressive Annika Striepecke who threaded a neat through ball to Kate Le Cumbre who squared for top-scorer Simone O’Brien to tap in.
Hard-working Steph Nelson saw her instinctive effort touched wide by agile Newbury ‘keeper Erin Davis-Donne after Magpies ‘skipper Alex Dover had demonstrated her usual commitment by winning back possession. But any thoughts that this would be a walk in the recreation ground for United were checked as the home side enjoyed a spell of possession and chances.
Ellie Reed was denied by her namesake Ellie Parker in the Maidenhead goal and a matter of minutes later Parker was called into action again, making a quite exceptional reaction save from Gabrielle Da Silva at point-blank range to keep the away side ahead. The half ended with Maidenhead on top again with Le Cumbre dragging her shot wide after the intelligent Striepecke again picked an excellent pass.
Maidenhead made a bright start to the second half. The lively Shylla Carty-Duhaney saw her cross bounce back off Davis-Donne’s crossbar and Steph Nelson’s shot on the turn was well dealt with by the Newbury custodian. A chip from Le Cumbre drifted narrowly off target but the Magpies were two goals to the good just prior to the hour mark as Striepecke took aim from range and beat Davis-Donne for a richly deserved goal.
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A third and final goal came with a little over twenty minutes playing time remaining when Nelson expertly chipped the ‘keeper but at the other end Ellie Parker was called into action again to make another very good save to deny Reed. Magpies substitute Sarah Reid had an exciting cameo role, twisting and turning before shooting wide and later forcing Davis-Donne into a good save.
The luckless Le Cumbre slotted a late effort against the base of the far post but whilst Maidenhead thoroughly deserved their victory the hosts fought hard and were full of commendable commitment until the last. Maidenhead will now wait to hear whether it is Chesham United, MK Dons or Wycombe Wanderers who they will face in the semi-final.
Newbury: Davis-Donne, Anderson ©, Saunders, Atkins, Beverley, Forster, Hull, Reed (Sub Beesley 83’), Rodkis (Sub Baker Baker 76’), Perks-Walsh, Da Silva. Subs not used: Pearce, Hunt.
Maidenhead United: Parker, Thompson, Langston-Lloyd, Dover © (Sub Nazif 62’), Modak, Bloor, Carty-Duhaney (Sub Vietz 73’), Striepecke, Nelson, Le Cumbre, O’Brien (Sub Reid ’54). Subs not used: Mace, Halfacree.