Watford Ladies manager John Salomon has described the support of The 1881 as “unbelievable” after the group’s vociferous backing at the Continental Cup defeat by Millwall Lionesses on Sunday.
Beaten 2-1 by Millwall, Watford cannot progress to the knockout rounds but Salomon and his players were grateful for the support of the Watford supporters’ group.
“It’s the second time they’ve come down and it’s unbelievable to be honest,” admitted Salomon. “It’s really quite special for us and the girls to have that kind of support.
“It’s great for them; it’s nice for them to hear their names being sung. You could tell they were picking up on some of the stronger players and singing about them and after the game all the girls were on Twitter thanking The 1881 and all saying in training how good it was, because they are not used to it.”
Salomon added: “I’m sure it’s interesting for the opposition too, because it’s quite different and not what they would have experienced before.”
Watford's final Continental Cup tie at Reading on Saturday has been postponed and Salomon admits the tournament has prevented his side from putting together a consistent run of results in the Women’s Super League 2.
“It’s been very broken up because we have had three Super League games, then three Continental Cup games, three more Super League games, then a break and then another two Continental Cup games,” explained the Golden Girls’ manager.
“We’ve had quite a tough start in the Super League because we’ve had Sunderland and Doncaster and they were always going to be two of the toughest teams in the league.
“We always said we wanted to finish as strongly as possible and we are looking forward to getting back to a run of league games and hopefully winning some of those.”
After a cagey first half in which Millwall hit the crossbar through Lillie Billson and Meghan McKeag, it was Watford who took the lead after the restart.
In the 62nd minute, a throw in from Emma Beckett found Megan Wynne, who shot beyond Sarah Quantrill to hand the Hornets the advantage.
The lead was short-lived though, as the visitors equalised when Kim Stenning fired home six minutes later.
Beckett then saw a couple of good chances go astray for Watford; first denied following a fine counter-attack before sending a free-kick wide of the target.
With just six minutes left on the clock, Millwall struck the decisive blow, Stevie Lamb racing onto a ball over the top and beating Shayla Burgess one-on-one.
Watford had one last chance at the death but Jo Wilson could only place wide from Wynne’s pass.
However, there was success for both Watford Ladies Harts Under-12 sides, who finished first and second at the Maidenhead Under-12s girls’ tournament.
The two Hornets sides – the Yellows and Reds – met in a dramatic final which needed penalties to separate them, with the Yellows emerging victorious.
Placed in different groups, the Reds won their pool and the Yellows finished third in theirs to reach the quarter-finals.
Watford Reds progressed with a 1-0 win, whilst the Yellows needed a golden goal to seal their passage to the last four, where both won on penalties.
Spot-kicks were again used in the final, with the Yellows beating the Reds in sudden death.