Last Sunday, the First Team of Newbury Ladies FC entertained Gloucestershire side, Frampton Ladies Rangers in a friendly fixture. On a hot day, Newbury kicked off the match and they made a good, positive start with attacker, Gemma Burnett in a hungry mood. The opening stages were fairly even however, although there were no real clear cut openings created on either goal. It was a cagey and interesting battle of wills in midfield in particular, with both keepers only called upon to tidy up behind their back fours, but not really being tested. Then in the 23rd minute, Burnett and Becky Anderson combined well on the right to earn a corner for Newbury. Ayala Truelove rose well to meet the corner with a thumping header, but it was cleared off the line. Thankfully for Newbury, Anderson was on hand to slam home the loose ball from six yards into the roof of the net, finding the spot where the Frampton keeper just could not reach. It had been a long wait this season, but Anderson was delighted to score her first goal for the Club and it proved a useful opener in a match that was to have plenty of drama and goal-mouth action. That said, this wouldn’t have been predicted, as Newbury took their one nil lead into the half time break.
With the temperature rising to 22 degrees Celsius, the second half began with Newbury giving a debut to midfielder, Jo Walsh-Perks, who came on for Bec Walker, and Sam Atkins was replaced by Amie Barnard. Frampton started the second period with renewed purpose and they were rewarded for their efforts in the 53rd minute when they converted a tap-in from a corner to give them an equaliser and make it one goal apiece. Newbury reacted well however, with an Anderson pass forward finding Barnard, but she was fouled and brought down just outside the right hand edge of the Frampton box. Molly Baker took the set play and her in-swinging cross was met well by Truelove, but this time her header was just off target. Newbury fell behind however right on the hour mark, after a defender was adjudged to have fouled a Frampton striker inside the area and a penalty was awarded. The spot kick was very coolly converted and Frampton took a 2-1 lead with half an hour remaining.
Newbury’s players reacted superbly to this set back and they were not behind for long, as they went straight on the attack and forced their own corner, just two minutes later. The initial cross was cleared to the edge of the area, where an un-marked Burnett connected to send the ball back towards goal with some venom. It’s possible that Burnett’s shot was not quite on target, but that didn’t matter as it headed towards Ellie Reed and she instinctively re-directed the ball in a split second and her shot did beat the keeper to give Newbury an equalising goal for 2-2.
Just four minutes later and Newbury had regained the lead. This time, an Ellie Reed corner was met well by Truelove, who directed her header over the keeper and inside the far post. 3-2 now to Newbury after 67 minutes. Bec Walker was re-introduced soon after, and she was asked to play in a more central role in place of Burnett. Her impact was almost immediate, as she got herself on the score sheet in the 73rd minute, after a strong run and cross from Barnard, was converted at the near post by Walker for 4 goals to 2.
In the closing stages of the match, Frampton were able to add a third, but Newbury Ladies were not to be denied victory, with the 4-3 score-line in Newbury’s favour when the Referee blew for full time. It had been an enthralling contest, which was a credit to both sets of players.
Player of the Match for Newbury Ladies FC was the lively and creative Gemma Burnett
Newbury Ladies First Team Squad vs Frampton Ladies Rangers:
Nicky Isted, Sam Atkins, Leanne Saunders, Ayala Truelove, Lauren Hanson,
Becky Anderson, Bec Walker, Ellie Reed (Capt), Lorna Kinder-Parr,
Molly Baker, Amie Barnard, Gemma Burnett, Jo Walsh Perks.
Newbury Ladies First Team Goal Scorers:
Newbury Ladies First Team Player of the Match: