After Watford saw off MK Dons and Wolves defeated Nottingham Forest on penalties, the two sides faced each other in the 3rd Round of The FA Cup.
Watford made the one change, Katie O’Leary taking the place of Helen Ward who is on duty with The Welsh National side. Wolves themselves had a strong side after going 120 minutes last week.
I should of known it was going to be a bad day for Watford and their supporters, after a faultless stream last week on YouTube, this week it was awful! Constantly going down, especially for a good few minutes near the beginning, thankfully the Wolves channel was working so an occasional change of channels was needed!
Watford started brightly (from what I saw in between YouTube channels!), Emma Beckett driving a shot across goal. There was a nice move too, but Adekite Fatuga-Dada had strayed offside.
Watford probably got too confident. Making many mistakes trying to play out from the back. One lead to Wolves first goal, a under-hit passback was chased down by Jade Cross, keeper Wiggins not getting it clear and Jade putting the ball in the net. Watford never learnt from this, time and time again being extremely sloppy and this suited the Wolves attackers, who were excellent at closing down and chasing the loose balls.
Wolves put the pressure on too, a ball was pumped into the box and headed at goal, Wiggins got a hand to it, putting it onto the post, but it wouldn’t of counted as the flag was raised! Another defensive error and Nyah Edwards struck straight at the keeper.
Watford’s Emma Beckett started to get into the game, some impressive skills out wide and crossing in on two occasions, for Megan Chandler and Leanne Bell, Chandler who fired over and Bell had a couple of shots blocked by Wolves sturdy defence.
A funny moment not long after. Wolves had a corner, the headed effort was well wide, all the players ran off expecting a goal kick, but it hit the corner post and stayed in, which resulted in a mad dash!
A Wolves player was then booked, apologies for not knowing which one, after bringing down Anne Meiwald she argued with the ref and was the 1st name in the book.
Watford scored on the 40th minute, with a passage of play that you would normally associate with them, Fatuga-Dada played it inside to Francesca Ali, who in turn crossed for Katie O’Leary to fire home.
You would have thought this might of been the lift Watford needed, actually, it got Wolves going more! Alisha Miller played the ball across for Tammi George, whose effort clipped the top of the bar.
Wolves then had a shout for a free-kick, which looked a foul, Watford’s commentator though said ‘No Tom Daly’s today!’ In honesty, Watford may have been lucky with that and on the break, Fatuga-Dada was brought down, the Wolves player booked for the pullback.
Into the break they went, all square and after their 2nd half performance last week, Hornets fans were confident.
The confidence didn’t last long, Wolves coming out stronger again. The impressive Cross hit a Cross-shot, which was saved by Wiggins. Shortly after Wolves took the lead again, a free-kick was drilled in from wide, Kelly Darby finishing beautifully. Wolves brought on their first sub a couple of minutes later, Kate Evans came on.
Stream troubles again and according to the notification on my phone, Ryah Vyse had a shot, straight at the keeper.
On the hour, Anne Meiwald came off for Alysha Stojko-Down, the impressive Emma Beckett, dropped to center back, Beckett was Watford’s most influential player up to this point, pushing her back really affected Watford in the rest of the game.
Fatuga-Dada had a good mazey run at the Wolves backline, but struck wide. Orla Conlon came off the bench for Nyah Edwards seconds after for Wolves.
The bust Franny Ali, took a knock for Watford, holding her ankle, a good tackle on an opponent but she fell on Franny. She got up and played on though, which you always expect from Franny.
The mix-ups in the Watford defence continued in the 2nd half, Jamila Palmer shooting wide after one error.
Wolves then won a penalty, Megan Chandler deemed to of brought down a Wolves attacker. It looked like a good tackle, but the lino flagged and without numerous camera angles it was a hard one to tell if it was or not. Anna Morphet put it low to the keepers left, it looked like she injured her foot/ankle taking it too.
Watford had to go for it and Head Coach Clint Lancaster brought off full back Ryah Vyse for striker Anaisa Harney, but a minute later it was 4-1, a corner was cleared, it came to Palmer outside the box who fired at goal, keeper Wiggins mishandled it and the ball trickled under her body and over the line.
At 4-1, it was great over, Watford tried for a bit, but knew they were going to be short, so some minutes were given to youngsters Rubie Smith and Holly Holt.
Hornets midfielder had a late long-range effort, loop onto the roof of the net and in injury time more mistakes from the Watford backline!
A fantastic result for Wolves, who again proved that they need to be promoted, after the null and void seasons. Hopefully the FA Womens National League will see sense. Wolves got everything right today, they had done their homework and fully deserved the victory. They go on to play Blackburn Rovers at home in the 4th Round. I’m sure the rest of the FA WNL join me in wishing them the best of luck in the tie.
As for Watford, season over!