09:00AM, Tuesday 15 September 2020
Maidenhead United Women completed their warm-up matches with an assured 1-0 win over FA Women’s National League Division 1 South East outfit Actonians LFC on Sunday.
The Magpies limited their hosts to half chances from range with Sarah Thompson a composed figure in the centre of the defence. They made a lively start to this one, forcing a corner in the opening minute from which a shot was miscued wide of the post.
Two minutes later sleepy defensive play from Actonians was punished when the ever-alert Simone O’Brien nicked the loose ball from a defender and sprinted through to tuck home the only goal of the game, finishing with aplomb.
Goalkeeper Nina Merritt was called into action after a rare moment of hesitancy from Kajal Malhotra, but she got down well to make a smart save. The cross bar then came to her rescue when an effort from Actonians took a wicket deflection off Nicole Barrett.
Maidenhead had the ball in the net once more later in the half when Natalie Barnes headed in Barrett’s quality set piece, but the goal was ruled offside.
There were fewer openings for both sides in the second half, but Maidenhead’s best chance came when the hard-working Barnes screwed an effort into the side-netting after more quick-thinking from the impressive O’Brien.
Merritt was brought into action twice, saving well with her feet at the far post and dealing with an effort from the edge of the box which might otherwise have crept into the bottom right corner.
However, despite the usual raft of substitutions made by Saroya to give all his players game-time, Maidenhead held out to secure a morale boosting result ahead of the serious business starting at Larkhall next weekend.
Magpies: Merritt, Barrett, Halfacree, Thompson, Malhotra, Mace, O'Brien, Dover, Carvill, Chhokar, Barnes. Subs (all used): East, Bloor, Saunders, Nelson, Thorne, Carty-Duhaney, Johnston, Reid.
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