Maidenhead United Women take the positives from Pompey defeat

Photo: Neil Maskell

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Maidenhead United Women were back in action last Sunday, taking the positives from a very useful run-out against FA Women’s National League Southern Premier side Portsmouth Women.

Third-tier Pompey – who were in the running for promotion to the FA Women’s Championship before the 2020/21 season was abandoned due to the COVID 19 pandemic – hosted the match and ran out 4-1 winners after the Magpies had taken a surprise lead.

However, Portsmouth boss Jay Sadler did have the luxury of fielding almost an entirely different squad for the second half after the first period was tied at 1-1.

Maidenhead settled well into their first 90-minute match since a friendly with Oxford in April and – although mainly on the defensive – shocked the hosts by taking the lead after 27 minutes.

Rachel Okoro got a shot away from the right wing which was parried by the Pompey ‘keeper as far as Chrissy Nazif, who rose to nod home into the unguarded net.

Unfortunately for Nevin Saroya’s side, the lead lasted barely a minute as Hayley Bridge was allowed to cut inside and defeat the Magpies’ on-trial goalkeeper.

Emma Jones – the welsh international signed by Sadler in midweek – missed a chance for the home side before the break and Sadler’s team redoubled their efforts with nine half-time changes.

Even then it took a special strike shortly before the hour mark for Portsmouth to establish a lead as Tamsin De Bunsen took aim from range and found the top corner.

The same player took advantage of some defensive uncertainty to score midway through the half against the tiring Magpies and the fourth goal came deep in stoppage time as Evie Gane’s free-kick was recycled at the far post which allowed Jade Widdows to tuck the loose ball home to put some gloss on the result.

Saroya’s team are back in training again this week ahead of Sunday’s friendly test at Kent Football United.

Any player wanting to trial for the team is warmly welcome to contact the Magpies manager via nev@maidenheadunitedfc.org.

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