Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies progressed to the final of the Bostik Football League Women’s Cup after thanks to a 4-2 victory over Charlton Women’s at the Robert Parker Stadium on Thursday night.
The Tangerines had to come from behind after Charlton took the lead early on (5). The travelling side were awarded a free kick and dispatched this well to go ahead.
Ashford Ladies regrouped and after a cagey ten minute spell with little goal mouth action, Ashley Cheatley broke free of the Charlton defence and rounded the goalkeeper, only for a last ditch goal line clearance to prevent the forward from finishing.
Cheatley wasn’t done there and moments after intercepted a back pass to the goalkeeper, this time the forward made no mistake sliding the ball into an open net (25).
With seconds remaiming on the referees watch, Alissa Down delivered in a corner which The Addicks failed to clear. Lavana Neufville rose the highest and headed in (45). With the referee blowing the halftime whistle as The Tangerines ended their celebrations, that goal appeared to be a crucial one in the tie.
Both teams returned unchanged at the break and began the second half with the same intensity as the first half ended.
Charlton continued to dominate possession but to only be snuffed out by the impressive Laura Huse and Charlotte Baker who were at the heart of the home sides defence.
The away side were awarded a succession of corners only to be shut out by the Ashford defence and this time almost found themselves chasing a larger deficit when Cheatley broke free on the counter attack, slid in Holly Isaacs who saw her golden chance miss the target by he narrowest of margins.
Charlton made Ashford pay and broke free on the right, delivered in a teasing cross that was expertly met at the back post and guided in (60).
Sofia Carpenter was introduced to the game and made an instant impact, feeding in Cheatley who’s early cross saw Neufville arriving into the box to tap in and restore the home sides lead (71).
Cheatley seemed to seal the nail in the coffin for Charlton after remarkably manipulating the ball away from two defenders just before stroking the ball into the far corner, out of reach of the goalkeeper (80).
The WSL Development side still had time to claw themselves back into the game but Gracie Perkins pulled off a remarkable save to ensure the scoreline remained the same.
Charlton continued to dominate the possession and urge more players forward.
Ella Dodd and Harriet Freeman we’re introduced late on and restricted Charlton to long range efforts that Perkis dealt with before seeing a free-kick late on from The Addicks’ captain cannon back off the crossbar and fortuitously fall to an Ashford defender to clear.
LINEUP: G Perkis, L Huse, C Baker, N Peters (H Freeman 60), R French, H Pearson, A Down, P Head, H Isaacs (S Carpenter 55), L Neufville, A Cheatley (E Dodd 70).
SUBS: L Restel, S Carpenter, E Dodd, H Freeman
Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies now face a challenge away against Watford Ladies Development at Leggatts Green, Herts on Sunday 14:15 kick-off, as The Tangerines return to Greater London Women’s Football League Premier Division action.
The in-form B Team travel away to Westside Ladies in GLWFL Division 3 action.
Updated 22:43 - 25 Jan 2019 by William Boye