Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting BWNNEWS to 80360 or email us »
Rachel sets up ladies' win
2:53pm Wednesday 5th September 2012 in Local Sport
BRENTWOOD TOWN 5 CAMBRIDGE WOMEN 2
RACHEL Armstrong’s first two goals for the club helped Brentwood Town Ladies to defeat Cambridge Women 5-2 at Chadfields.
Lucy Faraday, Nikita Whinnett and Carla Rose were also on target for Blues as they recorded their biggest victory in the South East Women’s Combination.
Cambridge retaliated thanks to strikes from Laura Baker and Sophie Thompson during the second half, but it always appeared Town had enough in reserve to emerge triumphant from their third match of the season.
Armstrong replaced an injured Leah Cowan and Nicole Manning returned to make her first start of the season instead of Sophie Lovell in the only two changes to the starting line-up from the previous weekend, when Brentwood were beaten by Chesham United.
Although this was generally the same squad, it was a very different Blues team in terms of mentality.
They looked busy from the outset with Helen Alder glancing a Rose corner across the face of goal in just the second minute.
Ten minutes later, Rose herself waltzed through the midfield and drove a 25-yard shot into goalkeeper Liz Pamplin’s gloves before Whinnett emulated that run, exposing an opportunity to break on the right-hand side, to smash over from the edge of the penalty box.
After 17 minutes, Layla Prior had to be alert to sweep the ball off Thompson’s feet when she latched on to a misplaced pass, but by the mid-point of the first half, Blues were ahead.
Rose delivered a corner to the near post, where Pamplin spilled the ball under pressure from Whinnett. Tuffen also got her boot to the loose ball before it ran into the path of Armstrong, who fired in clinically from close range.
It could soon have been 2-0 as Faraday drew a fine save from Pamplin with a curling 25-yard free-kick, but there was a warning for the hosts seven minutes before half-time when Carrie Bennett cut inside on to her right foot to deliver a cross for Baker, who hooked over at the back post.
Town would soon be celebrating as they doubled the lead in stoppage time. Whinnett was brought tumbling to the turf by Bennett and Faraday stepped up to swing the 28-yard set-piece over Pamplin and inside the left-hand post.
Prior, saving Richardson’s long-ranger, and Pamplin, gathering a Whinnett header, traded saves in the opening stages of the second half, before Cambridge – who had initially appeared disjointed after the interval – gave themselves a lifeline.
Richardson angled a pass in behind the Brentwood defence and Baker shot cleanly from the right touchline to beat Prior.
The reaction from Town was good, with Dannielle Robertson coming close to immediately restoring the two-goal advantage. Unfortunately her header from Whinnett’s right-wing cross was pushed out brilliantly at point-blank range by Pamplin.
Cambridge were enjoying a little more possession at this stage, but it was still Blues who appeared more threatening and Rose saw a forceful shot well blocked by centre-half Nicola Geoghan.
Rose was involved again in the 78th minute when Blues did net their third. The skipper controlled Alder’s pass and then released Whinnett, who danced past a defender before decisively thrashing a close-range shot beyond Pamplin.
Whinnett and Armstrong epitomised Brentwood’s spirit as they fought hard for the ball on the edge of the penalty area in the hosts’ next attack, and Robertson was unfortunate her slide-rule finish was disallowed for offside. Cambridge scored next, Thompson latching on to the ball down the right-hand side of the penalty area to round Prior and slot home.
Town were not to be denied. They did not allow their opponents a sniff of goal, and added a fourth themselves a minute into injury time when Faraday sent a deep free-kick into the penalty area and Armstrong guided a header into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
There was still time for Brentwood to provide some added gloss when substitute Danielle Butler was upended by Geoghan in the area and, in the absence of Lovell, Rose stepped up to stroke the spot-kick home to give Blues plenty of confidence ahead of next week’s trip to old adversaries Arlesey Town.
Brentwood Town: Layla Prior, Lucy Faraday, Nikki Allen, Kelly Walker, Jess Tuffen, Nicole Manning, Nikita Whinnett, Rachel Armstrong, Dannielle Robertson (Danielle Butler 90), Carla Rose, Helen Alder (Kerri Thomas 90+3). Substitute not used: Izzy Vian.
Goals: Armstrong (23, 90+1), Faraday (45+1), Whinnett (78), Rose (90+4pen).