The FA Women's Premier League Cup
Watford and Coventry play out draw
Watford LFC pick up first point of WPL Cup campaign.
Watford LFC 1-1 Coventry City LFC
The FA Women's Premier League Cup
2pm, Sunday 12 September
Northwood Park, Northwood FC
Watford Ladies hosted Coventry City Ladies in their second group game of this season’s Premier League Cup. The home side was able to name new signing Rachel Pitman in a squad that was missing Paige Logie and Megan Wynne after last week’s match against Sunderland. Goalkeeper Lauren Davey was unfortunately injured in the warm up, so Chloe Crook came in for her second appearance of the season.
The first half was a fairly even affair of few clear cut chances as both defences were on top, although Watford were enjoying more possession and looked the more comfortable of the two sides.
The first chance came from good link-up play from Sarah Wiltshire, who found Cally Rowell on the left-hand side and her cross was met by Georgia Kearney Perry at the far post, and her header forced a reaction stop from Netty Manca even though Kearney Perry was flagged for offside.
On 20 minutes, Rowell managed to pick out Kearney Perry with a pass to set her free on the right-hand side but with Wiltshire and Kate Owen well set in the area, her low cross couldn’t make it.
Coventry were rarely threatening and only Natalie Wilcox’s jinking run and shot came close but she hit her shot straight at Crook. Both Wiltshire and Rowell had efforts from 25 yards saved from Manca but the first half was to finish goalless.
Half-time saw Pitman replace Kearney Perry who had picked up a slight muscle strain. But it was the away side who threatened first, when Kirsty Robson was put through and brought down outside the area by the onrushing Crook. But as Cori Daniels was covering and Robson was going away from goal, the punishment was only a yellow card.
A slick move after 52 minutes saw Pitman put in a cross that found Rowell who set back for Owen on the edge of the box but her rising shot cleared the bar. There was to be another one-on-one with Robson for Crook to deal with shortly after, but this time Crook won the ball well.
Coventry kept pressing; Helen Dermody’s cross was cleared by Cori Daniels but it fell kindly to Emma Allen who could only fire over and Crook cleared at the second attempt well from yet another one-on-one with Robson.
Watford were weathering the pressure and managed to reassert themselves in the game to open the scoring.
Wiltshire picked up a Georgie Adams knock-down and showed attacking intent cutting in from the right onto her left foot, taking the ball across the face of the box avoiding a defensive challenge before unleashing a left-foot strike from 25 yards over the helpless Manca.
Pitman tried to double the lead with a shot from the edge of the box but her shot lacked enough venom to take it past Manca. However, with seven minutes left, Coventry was to draw level. Millie Durrant latched onto a through ball and took advantage of the freedom to poke the ball past the unfortunate Crook who was advancing to narrow the angle.
Vicky Wotton immediately tried to fight back with a long-range effort that was saved high by Manca and Wiltshire ran onto an under-hit back pass but Manca rushed out quickly to narrow the angle well and the resulting kick ran wide. There was just time left for Wiltshire to shoot just wide with another left foot effort from the edge of the box but it wasn’t to be.
Both teams had to be satisfied with a point as the group continues to the last round of matches to see which teams go through, with every one of the four teams still in with a shout.
Watford Manager Neil Hart said afterwards: “We were unfortunate not to win the game but I’m pleased overall as we are making ourselves a very difficult team to beat and if we can take these positives into our final group game and gain a win against Aston Villa it should be enough to see us through.
"We looked comfortable in defence in this game and I’m confident these draws will be turning into wins before too long.”