A devastating second half spell of eight goals in just 32 minutes saw Argyle to this huge win in London much to the delight of manager Dave Leonard. After a goal less first half Leonard said: I think it was something I said at half time, the match was like a training session attack against defence but it was a devastating second half performance. They (Maidenhead) defended like Trojans as we dominated from the first whistle to the last.’
Playing at York Road, reputed to be the oldest football ground in the world used continuously by the same club, Argyle dominated the game from the off and should have taken a 15th minute lead when Kayleigh Brown saw her thumping shot crash back off the crossbar after getting on the end of an Ezme Wells cross. Chances came thick and fast as the home side defended with their lives with Argyle having a Natasha Knapman 34th minute goal ruled out for offside. The players trooped off at half time wondering how they managed to squander enough chances to win a couple of games.
Whatever Leonard said at half time seemed to have worked as they came out for the second half with all guns blazing. Their task was made easier when Maidenhead were reduced to ten players through an injury. The home side continued to defend well until the 58th minute when after Knapman’s fierce shot was spilled by goalkeeper Eleanor Parker the alert Amber Pollock reacted the quickest to prod the ball home. This goal was the prelude to an avalanche of goals as five minutes later Brown played in a low corner to Ebony Dover who helped the ball into 6 yard box for Becky Atkins to finish with a cheeky back heel. The third goal came within two minutes courtesy of a Katie Middleton penalty after Pollock cut into the penalty area from the left wing and was tripped.
What was pleasing for Argyle was their relentless approach to adding to the total. The lively Pollock was also involved in the fourth goal ten minutes later when she was again tripped on the edge of the penalty area which resulted in Ezme Wells free kick to the near post being headed into the net by a Maidenhead defender.
The goals kept coming as a great team move in the 80th minute ended with Knapman turning sharply to fire in from the edge of the penalty area. A minute later Wells scored the goal of the game with an unstoppable shot from fully 25 yards to make it 6-0. Knapman then made it seven in the 89th minute when she was set up by Atkins leaving Wells to fire in another unstopable drive in time added on to complete the rout.
Leonard concluded: ‘This was a scintillating display and just what we needed after last week’s performance. What impressed me was that they could have sat back on their laurels but they pushed on relentlessly to score more goals.’