Ladies 1 narrowly lose out to strong Maidenhead side
South Division 3a
Banbury 1st – 3 Maidenhead – 4
On a freezing Sunday morning after a late pitch change to Bloxham school due to the normal pitch being frozen solid they prepared to play a strong Maidenhead side. Maidenhead are fourth from bottom but have been involved in some tough close games which have resulted in them narrowly losing matches in the past.
Banbury seemed to be in high spirits at the start of the game and with a full squad available to play the girls seemed ready to consolidate after last weeks sterling win against league leaders Witney.
Banbury were out of the blocks fast and after some neat interchange play between Vic Coombs and Sadie Lapper, Tasha Nunneley slotted home the first goal in emphatic style. Banbury were on top and Maidenhead looked sluggish but Banbury struggled to play their normal passing game and the visitors made a break down the middle and scored a deflection by Ellie Wheeler. This seemed to fuel Maidenhead and they went on to score two more goals in quick succession, one being a cracking strike to the near post on a short corner. Banbury kept fighting and after an excellent interception by Serena Goodhart, the ball found its way to Tasha Nunneley who was fouled right in front of the goal. A penalty flick was awarded which Sadie Lapper put away calmly. Banbury trailed only by a goal at half time.
After some motivating words by Rob Gardner at half time the girls pressed on and scored an early goal making the game open and equal at 3-3. Banbury were on top of the visitors but just failed to create anything and after a mistake down one flank Maidenhead put away their fourth goal by Louisa Turley. Banbury still had loads of time left on the clock and worked hard but Maidenhead defended their lead well and Banbury struggled to find the space in behind the strong defensive line.
It was a poor performance by the girls, the usual style of flair and control was not apparent, the hosts seemed to be suffering from the very cold conditions but this should be no excuse. Banbury will have to hope that Witney slip up in their final five matches as they are now two points clear at the top of the table. Next week Banbury face Chiswick at home.