Wiltshire fires Golden Girls to friendly win over Bristol Academy

Sarah Wiltshire nets the only goal of the game for Watford Ladies against Bristol Academy. Picture (c) Andrew Waller
Sarah Wiltshire nets the only goal of the game for Watford Ladies against Bristol Academy. Picture (c) Andrew Waller

Watford Ladies put in another impressive friendly display at Berkhamsted, winning 1-0 against last season’s second place side in the WSL, Bristol Academy.

Sarah Wiltshire got the only goal of the game with a stunner from 25 yards on a glorious Mother’s Day.

It was an encouraging performance from the Golden Girls, the result no less than the team deserved for their efforts throughout the game.

The hosts started brightly, Sarah Wiltshire testing Mary Earps in the Bristol Academy goal early on.

Earps’ opposite number, Shayla Burgess, also had to be alert in the opening 15 minutes, saving from Angharad James and Laura Del Rio.

It was a half of many chances but little of the clear cut variety, Jo Wilson and Kate Natkiel not converting difficult opportunities.

The best chance of the half fell to the visitors. Bristol Academy committed a number of bodies forward on 43 minutes, which led to Loren Dykes being presented with a glorious chance from 10 yards out but she fired over.

Watford like in the first, started the second half well, however Earps was having a good game in goal and kept the score goalless.

Then on 70 minutes the deadlock was broken, with a moment of true quality. Wilson played the ball to Wiltshire on the right hand side, she cut inside and her left footed strike from outside the area arrowed into the top corner.

Bristol Academy had a chance to hit back almost immediately but Keka Vega sliced her effort wide.

The last 15 minutes saw little in the way of attempts on goal, while Burgess’ handling was superb to deny any opportunities for The Vixens.

Even in a friendly, the work rate of the team never dropped throughout. The players celebrated a deserved victory at the end of the game.

Manager John Salomon was happy with the efforts from his players: “That was more like it from us, that’s what we want,” he said.

“It’s another good example of where we are at the moment. We still want to be better, we’re still going to be working hard over the next two and a half weeks but it’s a good place to be right now.”

Shayla Burgess had another good game in goal and she was pleased when assessing her performance: “I think I did very well,” she said. “Definitely my distribution and kicking was a lot better. Generally I’m very proud of the girls because they were great.”