04:33PM, Monday 06 December 2021
Photo: Andrew Batt
One hundred years to the day the FA banned women's football for the best part of half a century, Maidenhead United gave a terrific illustration of how the women's game is now flourishing as they thumped Larkhall Athletic 4-0.
The Magpies women came into Sunday’s game a little ring-rusty, following four weeks of postponements and inactivity, however, their hunger and desire was undimmed as they leapfrogged the Larks in the FAWNL Division 1 South West table.
An early two-goal salvo set up this convincing win, with top-scorer Nicole Barrett finding the net in the fifth minute with another special strike.
Barrett won back possession as the visitors attempted to spread play from the back and let fly with an unstoppable effort which flew into the top left corner of the net.
There was a let off for the hosts when young goalkeeper, Gemma Harvey, was forced into a hurried clearance under pressure but the visitors Lydia Newton's first time shot sailed wide of the target.
They made the most of it in the eighth minute when Kirsty Matthews rolled home their second at the far post after good work from Barrett and Natalie Barnes to unlock the Larks' defence.
The dangerous Rhian Robbins might have halved the deficit when she ran through on the Maidenhead goal, but her chipped effort just beat the crossbar.
That profligacy was punished once again on the half-hour when Matthews netted her second, Simone O'Brien flicking on Barrett's cross to set up the chance which Matthews gleefully took.
Maidenhead continued to dominate in the second half, with Megan Halfacree clipping the crossbar with a well-struck freekick, but a fourth goal eluded them until second half stoppage-time when substitute Tina Brett controlled Vicky Carvill's pass and curled the ball beyond a busy Abi Footner in the Larkhall goal.
United will look to build on this fine display when they host Portishead at York Road on Sunday, 2pm kick-off. Admission is priced at £3 adults and £2 concessions.