Spring Series Review - May
Games played at Vicarage Road and Goodison Park as the Spring Series comes to a conclusion.
In our last look back at the FA WSL Spring Series, we see how May unfolded for the Golden Girls.
10th May – Spurs friendly at Vicarage Road
The Lady Hornets played at The Vic for the third time in just over two years as they took on the champions of the WPL South, Tottenham Hotspur Ladies.
With big fixtures ahead for both sides in the coming weeks, the game provided an opportunity to help with the preparation for those.
It took until the 20th minute for Watford to make the breakthrough. Charlotte Kerr’s set-piece delivery found its way through to Simona Petkova who sweetly connected with a volley that found the bottom left corner.
The advantage was doubled at exactly the same point of the second half. A burst from Rinsola Babajide into the box resulted in the forward being tackled by Eartha Pond, with the referee pointing to the spot. Pond appeared to get the ball and perhaps had right to feel aggrieved at the decision.
Cherrelle Albert stepped up to take the spot kick for Watford and emphatically powered it low and to the keeper’s right, leaving Chloe Morgan in the Spurs goal with no chance.
The margin of victory perhaps should have been greater, with a couple of glorious chances being missed by the Golden Girls. It remained 2-0 at the full-time whistle as Watford Ladies won at Vicarage Road for the first time.
14th May – Everton (A)
While a trip to the league leaders was always going to be a difficult test, Watford headed into this game having taken seven points from the last three league games.
It was a big occasion for the home side with the match taking place at Goodison Park. The Lady Hornets couldn’t spoil the party as Everton showed their class to win by a four goal margin.
After a tight opening Everton took the lead just before the midway point of the first half. Georgia Brougham’s looping header found its way in despite Tyra Poole’s best efforts to keep it out.
The hosts introduced Aileen Whelan at the break and she had an immediate impact on the game, doubling the advantage early in the second half.
Goals from Olivia Chance and Simone Magill in the final ten minutes of the game gave the scoreline an emphatic look.
An injury to Jo Fletcher and all three subs having been used meant that Anneka Nuttall had to go in goal for Watford after Chance’s strike. The Watford captain produced a good save soon after donning the gloves but there was little she could do to prevent Magill adding further gloss to the result.
20th May – Millwall Lionesses (H)
Watford Ladies’ Spring Series campaign came to a conclusion with a cruel 2-1 defeat at home to Millwall.
The deadlock in this game wasn’t broken until the 65th minute, Billie Brooks’ header giving the away side the lead. The task facing Watford was then made even tougher when Danielle Puddefoot was given a second yellow card shortly after the opening goal.
However the response from Keith Boanas’ side was magnificent, the Lady Hornets equalising with a quarter of an hour left to play. It was Merrick Will who got the tying goal, the midfielder’s third of the season.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Watford had a couple of chances to take the lead. Otesha Charles had caused the Millwall defence problems after coming on as a substitute and came so close to putting her side ahead, however her effort agonisingly clipped the post.
All of the efforts would ultimately prove to be in vain as Millwall won it in the first minute of stoppage time, their captain Ashlee Hincks getting what turned out to be the winning goal.
While it was a tough way to end the Spring Series, there was plenty of signs during the campaign that things are on the way up at Watford Ladies.
There was a couple of encouraging developments in May. It was announced that Watford FC would be providing investment to improve the pitch at Kings Langley and the Watford FC Girls Academy was launched.
There was also trial dates at the end of May and in June as the club looked ahead to the new season starting in September.
Plenty will be announced here at watford.fawsl.com during the upcoming months as we continue to build and prepare for the 17/18 season.
(Photo by AW Images)