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Larks soar above Maidenhead United Women after closely contested clash at Holloways Park

Neil Maskell

Larks soar above Maidenhead United Women after closely contested clash at Holloways Park

Maidenhead United Women 0, Larkhall Athletic Women 2

Maidenhead United Women were beaten 2-0 by Larkhall Athletic at Holloways Park on Sunday in a game that was far more even than the scoreline suggests.

The Magpies sit ninth in the FAWNL Division 1 South West league with only six points to their name from 10 games, but this was a result that got away from them.

Maidenhead started on the front foot in a competitive, end-to-end encounter with Vicky Carvill going clear only to be denied by Larkhall keeper Nicki O’Connel.

The visitors responded well with Emily Harrington striking the crossbar with an effort from just outside the box before Adele Hooper turned and fired just wide of the target.

Megan Halfacree got across smartly to cover as Harrington looked to sprint through on goal before Carly Bryant served notice of what was to come from the visitors as she sent a glancing header from a Mel Sartane free-kick just wide.

The Magpies had a big appeal for a penalty when Annika Striepecke had a shot blocked inside the box, but the home side fell behind when Hooper lobbed the ball over Ellie Parker after a swift Larkhall counter.

They might have made it 2-0 before the break when Kat Mace made a rare mistake to let in Harrington but she screwed the ball wide of the post with Parker exposed.

The Magpies made a bright start to the second half, but O’Connel pulled off two smart saves in the matter of moments to deny first Simone O’Brien and then Alex Dover.

The sucker punch then came just after the hour mark when Hooper whipped in a free-kick and Bryant headed past Parker from six yards out.

The Maidenhead management team made changes in an attempt to get back into the game but they made no further inroads. While, at the other end, Parker made a superb save to touch Amanda Blakeley’s strike onto the crossbar.

Coach Nev Saroya was philosophical after the final whistle: “We did much, much better today. We were just lacking a bit attacking-wise but we are building a firm base at the back at this time.”

The Magpies now travel to basement side Poole Town on Sunday, a side the Magpies defeated at York Road back in September.

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MAGPIES: Parker, Mace, Halfacree, Dover, Bloor, Modak, La Cumbre (Sub Langston-Lloyd ’51), Carvill (Sub Chhokar ‘65), Carty-Duhaney (Sub Nelson ’78), Striepecke, O’Brien. Subs not used: Reid.

LARKHALL: O’Connel, Sartane, Bryant, Skrivens, Blakely, Osborne, Krystal German (Sub Briscow ’79), Kate German, Hooper, Harrington (Sub Barratt ’57), Brown (Sub Robins 65’). Subs not used: Williams, Colley.

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