Haywards Heath Town
Sunday 1st October 2023 | KO 3PM
Robert Parker Stadium
Ashford Town 1
Haywards Heath Town 3
Ashford Town hosted Haywards Heath in the Women’s National League Plate.
The first chance fell to the away side in the 7th minute. An Ashford free kick deep in their own half was intercepted by Bethany Creese. Creese spotted Sophie Shults off her line and shot from the right wing. Shults recovered and expertly cleared the ball off the goal line. In the 13th minute Ashford created a good chance from a set piece. Alissa Down, on her return to the side, delivered a free kick from just outside the Haywards Heath box on the right wing and found Ania Koscielska. Koscielska’s header went just wide of the near post.
Just shy of the half hour mark the visitors took the lead. Haywards Heath won a free kick just inside the Ashford half after a foul by Jess Johnson. Izzy Franklin’s deep free kick went towards the goal and in an attempt to catch the ball, Shults parried into her net. Haywards Heath doubled their lead seven minutes later from the penalty spot. The ball was played low in behind the Ashford defence and found Mae Goulden. Goulden went round Shults but was fouled in the process. The penalty was cooly slotted into the bottom right corner with Shults sent the wrong way.
Just before half time Ashford were able to halve the deficit. There was good build up play which resulted in Susan Fagbohun being slotted in and finishing through the legs of Libby Kingshott in the Haywards Heath goal.
Into the second half and a much improved Ashford started to take control of the game. A throw in on the left wing from Nicole Leys found Lavana Neufville. Neufville found Aimee Durn who switched the ball to Jess Johnson who made a darting run into the Haywards Heath box. Her first time effort went wide of the far post.
Ashford produced four fantastic chances in the space of ten minutes. The first of these coming from a corner taken by Durn on the left hand side. Durn’s corner found Fagbohun whose diving header went wide of the near post.
Brogan Moore almost scored the equaliser with her first touch after being subbed on for Fagbohun. Durn won possession just outside the Ashford penalty area and carried the ball into the Haywards Heath half. Her pass found Neufville who then played the ball in behind to Moore but her first time effort went narrowly wide of the right hand post. Neufville almost scored the equaliser herself after receiving the ball in behind. Her first touch took the ball past the Haywards defender before her shot was cleared off the line by Georgia Young. Ashford thought they had their equalising goal that there second half performance had merited after Anya Kinnane scored from an Aimee Durn corner on the left however the referee had blown his whistle for a handball by an Ashford player.
After a 50 minute delay, due to an off-field medical incident, play resumed. With Ashford still pushing for an equaliser it was Haywards Heath that scored a decisive third goal. Haywards Heath worked the ball out to the left wing and delivered a low cross. The ball was flicked on at the near post and driven in by Goulden from six yards out.
Full time and a 3-1 loss for Ashford Town ends their run in the National League Plate. Ashford will look to bounce back when they host Cambridge United in the league.
After full time this is what the manager Adam Frailing had to say:
“We welcomed back Alissa and Kayleigh from injury and I’m pleased that they got some minutes. I also made various other changes from last week and wanted to see a reaction to them. In the first half it didn’t happen for us. We looked lacklustre, made individual mistakes, our passing was poor and deservedly were down 2-1 at half time. It was a shame as Susan scored her first goal for the club.”
“We were a much different side in the second half, playing on the front foot and pressing and probing at every opportunity. It’s a shame we just couldn’t finish as we had some great chances. Haywards Heath deserved the win and to progress into the next round and I wish them well”
“I would like to thank the management and medical staff for their help and professionalism with the incident that happened during the game. I am pleased to say our goalkeeping coach Marco made a full recovery.”
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
This week’s Player of the Match is Aimee Durn. Introduced after 25 minutes in place of Kayleigh Currivan, Durn was a key figure in midfield helping to retain possession. Durn created a number of key chances as Ashford pushed for an equaliser and played an important role defensively. Well done Aimee!