For the 2nd week in a row The Golden Girls had a home match on Sunday, this week we welcomed Oxford United back to Kings Langley for an FA Women’s National League Plate 2nd round match with a 3 pm kick-off.
After what seemed like hours of what kit shall I wear, Lindsay was finally ready and we made our way to the car at lunchtime.
We arrived at the ground at 1 pm, I was quite surprised to see a few Watford fans there already. One lad Ross had brought a drum, borrowed from Hemel Hempstead Town FC, to give the place some atmosphere.
The usual handshakes with Paul (steps, he never fell over this week!), Sam and Luke the other volunteers, also GM Grace and of course a big hug with Charlie!
Onto the usual pre-game jobs, I waited in the car park and welcome the opposition on arrival, Lindsay jumped in the turnstile to help out Sam, she loves it in there, Sam will be looking for a new job soon.
Grace handed me some of her old kit from last season, tracksuits, polo shirts etc to give to the kids. A lovely gesture, although it might now take Lindsay even longer to get ready!
The players arrived, so I sneaked in a quick cheeseburger before the next job of finding some mascots! As usual, the smiles on the kid’s faces were massive when asked. I love this part of the day. We get some children with anxiety and other issues who aren’t ready for it, but they build themselves up for the next home game, then we get them on.
After the rain we’ve had over the last week, half the pitch was perfect, the other, a pigsty. Big thanks to Oxford for warming up on the good half!
Lindsay joined the mascots as they got to come out with the players, she got to hold her favourite player, Danielle Scanlon‘s hand. She’ll be happy for weeks now!
The game started and Oxford looked well up for the fight and started extremely brightly. They would have been up for some revenge after Watford 5-2 victory the other week and had won 32-0 last week, you’ve gotta be buzzing after that! Watford’s keeper Chrissie Wiggins looked good in the sticks, replacing Nina Wilson.
Oxford took the lead on the brink of half time, from a corner, Gemma Sims headed back across goal for Cat Beaver to smash home.
Half time and it was the children’s time to shine with some penalties on the pitch. I went in goal. There was definitely some stars of the future on show.
Onto the 2nd half, Oxford looked dangerous and could have doubled their lead on a few occasions. Watford desperate for a goal brought on top scorer Helen Ward, Megan Chandler and Ryah Vyse.
It was the late show for The Golden Girls, they finally equalised in the 85th minute, a fine run from Adekite Fatuga-Dada, releasing it to Andrea Carid, who crossed it for Captain for the day, Emily Hill to volley in at the far post.
With extra-time looming, The Hornets finished off Oxford with minutes remaining, again Adekite was causing trouble, laid the ball to Wardie on the edge of the box who curled it in, ‘top bins’, off the post and in.
A good win for Watford against a very physical and organised Oxford side. The girls showed great determination and team spirit to keep going in a game that could have easily been lost.
After the game, as usual I got the youngsters into the pitch for autographs and selfies with the players. Lots of smiles as usual with plenty more young girls who want to come back and now know there is a path for them to play football well into adulthood.
Next week The Golden Girls are away to Keynsham Town in The Women’s FA Cup 2nd Round. I’m sure Keynsham aren’t gonna be letting Watford have it easy after last weeks 7-0 loss to Watford. Unfortunately, I can’t make the game and with the Christmas break my next first-team game won’t be until January, although The Under 23’s are at home a couple of times, so I’ll pop up and get my football fix!