Dartford Women 4 v 0 Newhaven Ladies FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round
Newhaven Ladies exited the Women’s FA Cup to an impressive Dartford side at Princes Park on Sunday by four goals to nil.
The Dockers put in a gallant effort but ultimately injuries stretched the squad too far against opposition from the league above.
Dartford started the game strong and immediately pushed the visitors back and after 15 minutes had tested Annie Hills a couple of times before eventually breaking down the right and opening the scoring.
Newhaven began to come back into it slowly and Imy Sweeney making her debut in the centre of the park started to stamp her authority on the game. Lauren Smith worked tirelessly up front and pressed the Dartford defence winning the ball high up the pitch and racing through down the left channel with her shot just drifting wide of the far post.
It was a wake up call for Dartford and they pushed back again pushing players high up the pitch forcing the Dockers back. They forced Hills into a series of saves including pushing a header just round the post to keep the lead at just the single goal. Jas Godden then made a timely interception as it looked likely the lively Dartford striker would score as the ladies worked hard to stay in the game.
Going forward Newhaven threatened on the break and with Maddie Cannon and Katie Franks pressing on the Dartford midfield there were chances to break up play and as a loose ball found its way to Emily Salusbury she played Smith in down the left flank again but this time her deep cross just evaded Collier at the far post.
Smith again had another chance before the break as her run and shot was saved by the keeper.
Then right on half time as Dartford pressed for a second goal they pushed the Newhaven defence back and created an opening which finished with a goal into the far corner to make it 2-0 at the break.
The Dockers came out fighting in the second half and defended strongly trying to keep the Dartford attack at bay but they needed Hills to make a couple of very good saves .
A back injury then forced Chelsea Cook off as she was replaced by Allana Falconer and she immediately was in on the action preventing the dangerous left winger from getting her shot away.
The third soon followed however mid-way through the second half when a break down the Dartford right finished with a cross shot inside the area into the opposite corner (3-0).
Captain Godden then made a brilliant clearance off the line to stop a 4th soon after and from here shortly after a break at the other end saw Cannon play the ball to Salusbury who squared to Collier on the edge of the box but her shot was over the cross bar.
Another Dockers effort soon followed as Smith robbed the Dartford defender and with the keeper out of her goal Smith could not direct the shot on target from an acute angle.
The Dockers were now tiring and injury forced two more players off as Sweeney and Franks were replaced by Laszkiewicz and Fowler for the final quarter of an hour.
Newhaven carried on in vain the but the home side were too strong and another couple of brave clearances from Godden and Hills kept the score the same before Dartford eventually got the 4th goal late on.
Andy Cook (joint manager) reflected after the game; ‘It was a tough game today against a very good side and we had to work extremely hard. They were very good going forward, very quick and direct playing high up the pitch. It was a test but I cannot fault any of the ladies today they battled their hearts out and gave everything. We were up against it missing key players through the horrendous injury list we have currently and then picked up a couple more injuries during the game. We had players playing out of position but everyone gave it their all. We have no complaints about the result but I felt we deserved a goal at the very least especially to reward Lauren Smiths hard work up front. Special mention to Annie Hills in goal who was brave as ever making some crucial saves and Jas Godden at the back was immense. Imy Sweeney also did very well for her first game of the season and first game for quite a while in centre midfield where she has not played before. She was very strong in there and won loads of important headers. We need to get a few players back fit again and get going in the league now.’
Team: Annie Hills. Chelsea Cook (Allana Falconer), Paige Bashford-Robertson, Imy Sweeney (Paige Fowler), Jas Godden (c), Abi Turner, Georgia Collier, Maddie Cannon, Lauren Smith, Katie Franks (Natalia Laszkiewicz), Emily Salusbury