Match Report – Maidenhead United Ladies vs Plymouth Argyle Ladies

A Natasha Knapman double helped in form Argyle Ladies to continue their impressive start to the season with this comfortable victory in Berkshire.
With manager Travis Rowland and second team assistant manager Simon Parnell attending a UEFA ‘B’ course, assistant manager Marc Bonney and Director of football Trevor Rodd took charge. Rodd knew that after a four hour journey the players legs may be a bit tired, so Bonney put them through a strenuous warm up routine which seemed to work as Argyle came out of the blocks on the front foot.
On a superb York Road Stadium surface Argyle moved the ball around with confidence as they were up against a defence of five players along the back. It took Argyle 25 minutes to break down the hosts when they forced a corner. Kayleigh Brown’s well struck corner was only cleared to captain Katie Middleton who promptly volleyed the ball back into the bottom corner of the net.
Five minutes later Knapman scored a rare goal from outside the penalty area when she smashed a 25 yard low drive into the bottom corner of the net.
The third goal came six minutes before half time when Knapman raced on to a pinpoint Zoe Cunningham through ball to smash the ball into the roof of the net from eight yards.
The half time instructions were to deny Maidenhead from getting back into the game by closing them down all over the pitch.
With Cunningham, Brown and Becky Dandridge dominating the midfield and playing the ball around at will it was no surprise that Argyle nullified any chance of a fight back and deservedly increased their lead when after Amber Pollock had been fouled Cunningham stepped up to curl her 56th minute free kick into the bottom corner of the net.
Argyle continued to dominate but unfortunately they seemed to leave their shooting boots behind as numerous chances went begging.
With Argyle in total control it was decided to ring the changes. Kayley Lane came on for Pollock on the hour mark to keep up the pressure on the home defence.
And eight minutes later 16 year old Cornish youngster Faye Ivall replaced Dandridge and had a dream start in her first team debut. According to Rodd the youngster looked as if she had played their all her life and displayed neat and tidy touches in midfield.
Argyle then replaced Knapman in the 71st minute by another Development team player Lucy Solloway who again showed tremendous promise and created herself some good chances.
Unfortunately despite their best efforts Argyle failed to increase their lead. Director of Football Trevor Rodd was delighted with the teams performance saying: ‘On another day we would have scored a hat full of goals but we will settle for a win any day.’ Adding: ‘It was a good day by all, to spend four hours on the road – with some having to travel further from Cornwall was a testament to the girls for their professionalism and exemplary conduct.’ Continuing: ‘I was approached after the match by a home supporter who said I have been coming here for eight years and that Argyle were the best team he had ever seen
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