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Watford Ladies extend undefeated run with late winner against Coventry City
A last-gasp winner saw Watford Ladies extend their unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions after their 1-0 victory over Coventry City yesterday.
Super sub Zoe Teasdale scored with her first touch to give the Hornets all three points in a game that could have gone either way, leading to praise from manager John Salomon.
He said: “The performance against Coventry says a lot about the character of the players we have at the club.
“Credit to Coventry, they were well organised, played good football and were resilient in defence.
“Scoring so late in the game shows the perseverance and belief that this team has, but it also highlights how important our Christmas schedule is, because for the second year in a row we have scored important late goals to secure the result we needed, following additional training and a friendly during the winter break.
“It’s a great way to kick off 2013 and I’m delighted with the result.”
Coventry started brightly and Helen Dermody saw an inswinging free-kick just sail wide of the post.
With a quarter of the match gone, Watford began to settle and a through ball from Emma Beckett found Jo Wilson who cut inside and teed up Sarah Wiltshire on the edge of the box. She took a touch and saw her goal-bound strike deflected away for a corner.
Wiltshire then turned provider for Wilson from the resultant corner kick but the striker’s flick header was just not powerful enough and slipped the wrong side of the post.
Coventry managed to stem the Watford tide and began to work their way back into the match, with Jade Formaston poking an effort wide and Nicole Dale striking an effort over the bar.
With the half drawing to a close, Fliss Gibbons forced a good save from Susan Wood in the Sky Blues goal as her stinging volley was heading for the back of the net.
Wilson saw another shot fall just the wrong side of the post, following good right-wing play by Kate Natkiel as the opening period ended goalless.
The second half began with a much greater tempo and within a few minutes Watford went close again. From a flicked header, Josie Green let rip with another volley which just whistled over the bar.
Within seconds, Hornets keeper Lauren Davey was called in to action as she reacted alertly to save at the feet of the Coventry striker to keep the game goalless.
With Watford starting to press the Coventry back line more and more, they went close again when Beckett headed over the bar after meeting Wiltshire’s corner well.
Gibbons then saw another super strike narrowly drift past the post as the Golden Girls went in search of a winner.
Coventry replied with a long-range effort that dipped and fell just over the bar and Davey then pulled off the save of the match from point blank range to stop Coventry taking the lead as Watford fell foul of an excellently worked set piece.
With just seconds to go before injury time, Watford put a dagger through the hearts of the Coventry players.
Wiltshire managed to get half a yard on the excellent Emma Hollingsworth in the Coventry defence with a great burst into the area and let fly with a rasping shot across goal. Wood pulled off a smart save but could only parry the ball straight to Teasdale, whose first touch bundled the ball in to the back of the net.
Watford survived a late flurry of corners but Salomon’s side put more pressure on high-flying Sunderland at the top of the league and continue their unbeaten run.
The Golden Girls now have a week off due to international call-ups for Wiltshire and Green for Wales and will next face Charlton Athletic in the League Cup round of 16 knockout stage at home on Sunday, January 20.
Meanwhile, the Hornets have been drawn away to Derby County in the third round of the FA Women's Cup. The tie is due to be played on February 3.
Watford Ladies: Davey; Mays, Hector, Horwood, Gunn; Beckett, Gibbons; Natkiel (Rowell), Wiltshire, Green (Martin Garcia); Wilson (Teasdale).