Posted: 21.09.20 at 22:02 by Nick Hudson
Bedworth United Ladies 1 Holwell Sports Women 2
BEDWORTH United Ladies suffered a dose of déjà vu in their FA Women’s National League opener yesterday.
It was a case of the ghost of seasons’ past for the Greenbacks as they failed to erase the memory of a 5-2 defeat in the last game of a Covid-truncated 2019/20 campaign against Leicester United.
Sunday saw a reincarnation of that side – reborn as Holwell Sports Women.
The mid-March encounter, which turned out to Bedworth’s last, saw striker Chantelle Robinson score the last two goals to destroy any hopes of an Oval revival.
The team was on standby to repel the threat of Robinson but the former Leicester outfit found another deadly destroyer in Katie Lowder who bagged a brace and could have had a hat-trick but for a fine diving penalty save from Bedworth keeper Chloe Quinn.
But in the end Holwell can count themselves somewhat lucky to have emerged 2-1 winners as Bedworth came close to snatching a late equaliser and were denied two legitimate penalty shouts themselves.
The game began with the continuing threat of Robinson who forced a fine stop from Quinn and somehow Natalie Hurst failed to put away the rebound.
It was Quinn to the rescue again– twice denying Lowder – before Bedworth retaliated with Kirsty Farnworth letting in Milly Miller. She hit a first time effort which was easily taken by Georgia Gibson.
It was the same combination that looked to have secured a penalty as Miller appeared to have been hacked down inside the area. The referee pointed to the spot then recanted and gave a free kick just outside which came to nothing.
The next Holwell attack saw the visitors get a spot kick after Natalie Hurst fouled Jodie Hunter.
But Quinn was the hero again – diving to her left to parry the Lowder penalty before denying the same player in open play.
But on 39 minutes the game changed irrevocably in Holwell’s favour with a double strike in the space of 40 seconds.
There seemed no initial danger as Lowder found herself in acres of space midway in the Bedworth half. But she spotted Quinn off her line and chipped exquisitely from 30 yards over her head for the first goal.
Next attack a poor clearance from Quinn ended with Lowder controlling the ball while surrounded by three Bedworth players – and still she managed to get a shot in past the despairing keeper.
Penalty shout number two saw Farnsworth bundled over in the box but the referee deemed insufficient contact to award a spot kick.
At the other end Robinson and Lowder combined well to set up Hurst who shot over from 12 yards out.
Then a major game changer brought Bedworth back from the brink of a two-goal deficit.
First there was a shocking late challenge by Holwell’s Lucie Mugride on Bedworth skipper Sophie Wilson which brought a straight red – and no complaints.
Then a handball save from a Holwell defender finally gave Bedworth a penalty. Up stepped a visibly limping Wilson to reduce the deficit by coolly sending the keeper the wrong way.
The 2-1 scoreline gave Bedworth Ladies new hope and Tiarna Gilkes set up Farnsworth on the left. Her shot drifted agonisingly wide of the right-hand post.
Then the last throw of the dice was an interception which left Xena Dhillon with a open goal wide right but Holwell keeper Gibson somehow managed to get back into position and palm the ball to safety – and inflict an unwarranted defeat on the home side.