Golden Girls march on in the FA Cup

editorial image

Derby County Ladies 0
 Watford Ladies 4

Watford Ladies secured their place in the fourth round of the FA Womens Cup with a confident 4-0 victory away at Northern Premier League side Derby County.

On a challenging surface, the Hornets were in dominant mood and delivered the first blow in the fourth minute.

Sarah Wiltshire battled to win possession in the middle of the Derby half and found Irene Martin Garcia run on the left. The Spanish midfielder put the ball low across the box which found Wiltshire’s run and, under strong pressure from a defender, the ball was flicked into Megan Wynne’s path.

She made no mistake at the far post, smashing high past the Derby keeper.

The Golden Girls had chances to double their lead in the first 15 minutes – Jo Wilson ran through clear on goal but placed her shot wide and Wiltshire made space for herself to fire in a shot that was well saved.

The slow-starting home side were then able to enjoy a spell of possession and fashioned a chance of their own as England U23 keeper Lauren Davey was forced into a smart stop.

Fliss Gibbons went extremely close with a shot that was cleared well, before Wiltshire curled in a vicious cross that only just evaded both Martin Garcia and Wilson’s sliding efforts.

After 37 minutes, however, Watford got the second goal their performance had deserved.

Wiltshire linked up well again with Martin Garcia and the Spaniard’s clipped ball over the top was slotted home by Wilson.

The second half continued much like the first, with Derby threatening on the counter attack but the away defence dealing with it well.

It should have been 3-0 midway through the second half, when Wynne’s superb cross into the box was met by a volley into the far corner by Wiltshire, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

It did not take Watford long to make up for that, though, as Martin Garcia turned provider again for Wilson to add her side’s third.

The Golden Girls wrapped up the game in the final minutes when Wilson was felled from behind in the area, with the referee pointing to the spot. Cally Rowell stepped up to fire her penalty into the top corner.

Watford manager John Salomon said: “It’s encouraging that we can rotate our starting line-up and still record such a convincing victory, highlighting the quality of depth to this squad.”

The Golden Girls have been drawn at home to Leeds United in the fourth round. The match will be played on Sunday, February 24 at Berkhamsted FC.