Women's Report | Cards slip to first league defeat in five months
1:05pm, Mon 5th Feb 2024
Woking fell to their first league defeat since September 17th, as they lost down by the south coast. Despite a better showing in the second half, the Cards came away with nothing against Havant & Waterlooville at Westleigh Park.
The first chance of the game went to Sheena Nichol just two minutes in, as her shot from outside the box was saved by the goalkeeper. Havant’s first chance came shortly after from some good build-up play, but the eventual shot was well saved by Amy Jenkins.
Woking had a chance to take the lead around the 20-minute mark when Helen Ogle won possession high up the pitch and managed to find Kaitlin Howard, but her looping effort on the edge of the ‘D’ went just over the crossbar.
The early opportunities squandered were punished soon after as the hosts took the lead. A loose ball from a corner landed into the feet of a Havant player who tucked the ball home. No more than five minutes later and they had doubled their lead from a quick counter-attack. The Hawks had regained the ball from a Woking corner and broke away in numbers, before curling an effort past Amy in goal.
Kaitlin Howard was forced off just over half an hour into the game with a small knock that she picked up and was replaced by Hayley Giles. Woking’s last clear chance of the first half came when Efrosyni Theocharous played a great pass into Hayley, but the former's shot went just wide of the post.
HT: Havant & Waterlooville 2-0 Woking
Three changes were made during the break, with Gracie Price, Trudy Bryan-Kerr and Kaitlin all replacing Hayley, Charlotte Keenan and Nichola Marr, who had subsequently made her first appearance for the First Team this season.
A much brighter half still came with its frustrations and no more so than when the Cards should have been awarded a penalty. Helen was blatantly fouled by the ‘keeper after getting her body in front of the player and was pushed to the ground, but the referee waived away the claims.
The visitors were winning the ball up a lot higher and were forcing all sorts of saves from the opposition number one, but a lapse in concentration allowed Havant to counter once more and despite an initial great save by Amy, the rebound was followed up to give the hosts a comfortable lead with 30 minutes to play. A real kick to the teeth.
Two of the half-time substitutes in Trudy and Gracie linked up really well to create a one-versus-one chance and the best moment of the second 45 minutes, but the young midfielders' shot was kicked straight at the ‘keeper before being cleared. Sian Hardaker replaced Gracie shortly after.
Woking kept battling away to create new ways to score but it just wasn’t to be on the day. Kaitlin had a powerful effort go wide of the woodwork and Charlotte had two efforts in the space of a minute saved right at the death to sum up a frustrating afternoon.
FT: Havant & Waterlooville 3-0 Woking
Of course it’s a tough pill to swallow and on the complete opposite end of the scale to last week’s jubilation, but there’s no time to dwell as the Cards look set to retain the SRWFL Chairmen’s Cup with their First Round fixture against Caversham United next Sunday at the College. Tickets are available online.
Woking Starting XI: Jenkins, Marr (46), Cotter, Mitchell (81), Underhill, Theocharous, Nichol, Ogle, Howard © (32) (46), Hobday, Keenan (46) (81)
Subs: Bryan-Kerr (46), Price (46) (71), Hardaker (71), Giles (32) (46)
Player of the Match: Efrosyni Theocharous