03:11PM, Monday 20 January 2020
Wycombe Wanderers Ladies 1, Maidenhead United Women 2
Maidenhead United edged their semi-final with Southern Regional Premier outfit Wycombe Wanderers Ladies to make it through to the Berks & Bucks Cup Final after a hard-fought fixture at Amersham & Wycombe College.
Maidenhead made a bright start on a cold but sunny afternoon but the home side had a gilt-edged opening early on when Samantha Jackson slotted wide when well placed.
The lively Kate La Cumbre had a shot very well saved by Chairgirls custodian Hannah Cox after at the end of an exciting run and midway through the half the Magpies forward gave her side the advantage. Following good work by the industrious Annika Striepecke, La Cumbre finished with aplomb but the lead wasn't to last long.
The Chairgirls were straight on the offensive from the restart and forced a number of corners, the last of which was struck into the back of the net at the far post by Tara Woodward. The home side were a threat from set-pieces throughout the first half and a matter of moment later Lindsay Pinker put the ball wide at the far post at the end of another Wycombe corner.
Maidenhead however - and Megan Halfacree in particular - were also demonstrating some excellent dead-ball proficiency and from one such delivery the energetic Shylla Carty-Duhaney was inches away from meeting Halfacree's wicked cross at the far post.
Chairgirls 'skipper Charlotte Bagshaw mis-kicked a presentable half-chance in front of goal before Maidenhead reclaimed the lead five minutes from half time. Inevitably it came from a Halfacree free-kick, this time from an acute angle as Megan whipped a ball in with pace which drifted over the head of Cox and nestled into the far corner of the net.
The sides exchanged shots on goal in the closing minutes of an exciting half as firstly Simone O'Brien was denied by Cox at the end of a lovely one-touch passing move before Lindsay Pinker had Ellie Parker at full stretch to brilliantly keep out a goal-bound effort hit from fully 25 yards.
In the second half, Maidenhead had to call upon all of their defensive composure as their hosts piled on some concerted pressure to save the match. Following a corner, the second phase of play saw a Wycombe ball into the box stabbed over by Chante Inniss and then Woodward toe-ended an attempted box well over the top of Parker's goal.
Inniss then span on the edge of the box and saw her shot comfortably dealt with by Parker and then at the end of a jinking run Jackson's cross-shot clipped the top of the cross bar. Magpies managerial duo Liam Vaughan and Nev Saroya made all three changes inside the final fifteen minutes as Maidenhead kept Wycombe at arms length and substitute Amy Saunders saw her effort blocked before Cox thwarted La Cumbre's drive at goal from the rebound.
A Halfacree corner came back off the near post and her follow-up delivery deflected into the side-netting as Maidenhead ended the match in the ascendancy with Saunders drilling an effort wide of the target and yet another dangerous Halfacree free-kick whistling narrowly over.
At the end of five minutes of time added on it was Maidenhead who could celebrate reaching a Cup Final against either Chesham United or MK Dons.
MAGPIES: Parker, Thompson, Halfacree, Dover, Bloor, Modak, Carty-Duhaney, Striepecke (Sub Carvill 84'), Nelson (Sub Saunders 75'), La Cumbre, O'Brien (Sub Langston-Lloyd 84').
Subs not used: Mace, Reid.
GOALS: La Cumbre (23'), Halfacree (40')
CHAIRGIRLS: Cox, Leach, Hudson, Woodward, Jackson, Barette, Bagshaw, Dean (Sub Povey 81'), Inniss, Lynch, Pinker.
Sub not used: O'Connor
GOAL: Woodward (26')
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