Maidenhead United Women (1) – QPR Women (6)

FA Women’s National League Plate

Team: Pope, Grieve, Lewin, Redhead-Ling, Searle, Petit, Hennessy, Blodgett, Hall, Nygaard-Parsons, Moore

This was my first visit to Maidenhead’s historic ground. A plaque outside reads: ‘York Road is believed by the FA to be the oldest senior football ground used continuously by the same club. Maidenhead FC played their first game on this ground on 16th February 1871.’

The players were wearing the new kit, I believe for the first time this season, with the sponsor’s name, NNR, emblazoned on the front of their shirts and my improved choice of red numbers on the back.

As for the starting line-up, without a recognised keeper available, in goal for the R’s was Erin Pope and slotting in at right wing-back was Kasha Petit.

It was the Magpies who created the opening goalscoringopportunity of the afternoon when a dangerous cross from the right was aimed at an unmarked team mate in the box, but they were unable to connect with the ball.

However, almost immediately it was the away side who took the lead through an own-goal when Megan Halfacree sliced the ball into the net.

Rangers doubled their lead soon after when Jo Blodgett let fly from fully 25 yards.

Maidenhead replied with a free kick from a similar distance, which ended up just over the crossbar. Then, an angled shot was belted straight at Erin Pope.

Vicky Grieve provided some lovely play when she broke up a Maidenhead attack by taking the ball out the box and beating an opponent in the process.

After the home side were awarded a free kick, the Magpiesplayer’s low strike came off a QPR defender and whizzed just past the post for a corner.

The Rangers goal continued to be under pressure. On 38 minutes, a lob hit the far post and Mr Crowhurst awarded a penalty for hand-ball from the resulting corner.

Erin Pope made a very good save from Vicky Carvill’s spot-kick but couldn’t keep out Kirsty Matthews’ follow up. At half-time the score remained at 2-1.

The R’s began to take control after the interval and on 59 minutes Steve Quashie brought on Alice Curr at the expense of Emilia Nygaard-Parsons. This change was quickly followed by Danielle Maloney coming on for Merle Redhead-Ling.

Rangers added a third goal when Laura Hennessy banged the ball in the back of the net from close range following a goalmouth scramble.

The R’s came close to scoring a fourth goal following a very good run down the right-wing to the bye-line. Mel Hall belted the ball straight at the keeper who then managed to save the follow-up.

It was no surprise when Brogan Moore scored Rangers’ fourth goal. The Magpies keeper managed to get a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out.

Steve Quashie made three further changes within a six-minute or so period. Taken off were Georgina Lewin, Ellie Searle and Kasha Petit and on came Lauren Jordinson, Ailish Carolan and Eshe Davies respectively.

Mel Hall added the R’s fifth goal after killing a lofted ball stone dead and then striking it low into the net.

Some excellent defensive play from Lauren Jordinson averted a Magpies run on goal when she timed her tackle superbly from behind to break up the danger.

Rangers didn’t ease up in the second-half and close to the final whistle Mel Hall scored her second goal of the afternoon.

Next up for the R’s is the FA Cup tie against Caversham United on 24th October at the Powerday Stadium.

Steve Russell