Ladies: Watford 2-2 Yeovil Town
A second half comeback ensured the Golden Girls came away with a point from Sunday’s home game against Yeovil Town Women.
The visitors led by two at the break after Meesha Dudley-Jones finished off a quick counter-attack to open the scoring and then Sarah Wiltshire doubled the advantage.
Watford came out firing to begin the second 45 and had the game back on level terms before the hour, with Helen Ward getting a brace. Both teams then had opportunities to win it, but 2-2 is how it stayed.
With a busy recent schedule, Head Coach Clinton Lancaster opted to make three changes to the side that had won at Hounslow last time out.
Nina Wilson regained her place in between the sticks, while Ocean Rolandsen and Megan Chandler also returned to the starting line-up.
The Hornets had a couple of openings in the first five minutes. Andrea Carid narrowly missed getting on the end of Emma Beckett’s header, and then Ward’s shot was stopped by Bethany-May Howard.
A smart corner routine involving four players almost worked out for Watford, however they would be punished shortly after. Yeovil countered quickly, found Dudley-Jones in plenty of space and she beat Wilson to put her side in front.
A few minutes later Laura Williams was in a similar position for the Glovers, but she couldn’t double the away side’s lead, her effort going off target.
As the game approached the half-hour mark, Yeovil did manage to get a second goal. The ball found its way through to Wiltshire at the back-post and she netted her eighth of the season.
Lancaster’s side did have a few openings to pull one back before the break. Anne Meiwald’s shot went wide of the left-hand post and then Carid’s attempt was saved by Howard.
Watford almost made the perfect start to the second half, but Howard came up with a big stop to deny Ward in the opening minute.
The next chance that fell to the captain was put away. Beckett’s set-piece delivery was put into a good area and Ward looped a header over the Yeovil keeper to halve the deficit.
Five minutes later and the match had been turned around. It was some great play by Ryah Vyse to create the opportunity, the left-sided player picked out Ward at the near post and she headed the ball past Howard to make it 2-2.
After an excellent start to the half, the game then went quiet for a bit in terms of chances. That changed with a quarter of an hour left as Chandler turned and smartly got an effort away but couldn’t manage to find the target.
The same player then went even closer with only a few minutes of the 90 remaining. Chandler sweetly struck an effort from 30 yards out, but it hit the crossbar and went over.
In stoppage time it was Yeovil’s turn to go agonisingly close to getting a winner. Wiltshire curled an effort from the edge of the box and like Chandler before her, hit the bar with her attempt.
While it wasn’t the result that would have been wanted before the match, the second half performance to come back and gain a point will have surely pleased the coaching staff.
Next up for Watford is a trip to Chichester City on Sunday, where the Golden Girls will be looking to extend their unbeaten run, while also getting back to winning ways.
GOLDEN GIRLS | Wilson, Meiwald, Beckett, Richards (Hill, HT), Rolandsen (O’Leary, 87), Chandler, Kikomeko, Vyse, Fatuga-Dada, Ward (C), Carid (Stojko-Down, 78)
Goals | Ward (52, 57)
GLOVERS | Howard, Halford (Chubb, 56), Jones, Wiltshire, Heatherson (C), Williams, Aldridge, Carlton, Buxton, Dudley-Jones, Wood (Bloomfield, 66)
Goals | Dudley-Jones (16), Wiltshire (30)
Attendance | 98