Emily Allen’s double wasn’t enough as United Women registered their second defeat of the season with a 5-2 away loss at Watford this afternoon.
United started the game off brightly but it was Watford who had the first shot on goal when Ryah Vyse burst into the area, but the Hornets defender could only sting the palms of keeper Aimee Watson, who made a good save after coming out quickly to smother the danger.
The U’s had the best opportunity to break the deadlock on 17 minutes when forward Cheryl Williams showed good tenacity to win the ball back in the opposition area before picking out Georgia Timms in the area, but the forward couldn’t find the target.
Lauren Haynes then sent a dipping strike from 30 yards just over the bar as the U’s continued to push their opponents back, but it was the hosts who took the lead when Katie O’Leary received the ball on the edge of the area and curled her strike into the bottom corner to open the scoring.
United came again though through Allen who worked space for herself on the edge of the area and tried to replicate O’Leary’s strike with her own curling effort. This time however, the ball went on the wrong side of the post and behind.
Just as United were beginning to find their way into the game Watford doubled their lead moments before half time when Adekite Fatuga-Dada made it 2-0 with a smart finish inside the area to give the U’s plenty of work to do going into the interval.
Seven minutes into the second half, Watford grabbed their third when more tricky footwork from Fatuga-Dada saw the midfielder square the ball unselfishly to Leanne Bell who tapped in from close range.
In a frantic start to the second period United hit back minutes later through Allen; the forward finished well against the Watford goalkeeper but United were undone again with one of the unlikeliest goals the side are likely to see this season direct from the resulting kick off. After regrouping from Allen’s strike, Emma Beckett elected to shoot from kick off for the Hornets, seeing her effort sail beyond Watson and into the net for the hosts’ fourth.
United regained their composure and were better from there on in, with Allen doing all she could to get the U's back in the game. She grabbed her second of the match on 63 with another well taken strike as United pushed to salvage something from the game.
Allen continued to cause problems for the Hornets but as United pressed their opponents, Watford came forward and won a free kick 25 yards out. Beckett’s strike cannoned off the crossbar and fell kindly for Fatuga-Dada who headed in her second of the afternoon
Watford took their chances where United didn’t and that was the difference on the afternoon.United Women now have three home games on the bounce at Court Place Farm, starting on Tuesday with a home fixture against Hounslow (19.45) and a chance to get back to winning ways in the Women’s National League.
UNITED: Watson, Clifford, Beaver, Sims, Searle, Hines, Haynes, Williams, Johns, Timms, Allen
SUBS: Sercombe, Lancaster, Baker, Kirby, Hayes