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Women's Football News
Watford came from behind to beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2 in a well contested and enjoyable match at Northwood on Sunday, their second home win in a row.
A remodelled Hornets team had trailed at the break to a superb Katie Anderton goal, but stormed back with strikes from Faye Marsh and two from Sarah Wiltshire. A late rally from the northerners brought a goal for Karen Burke but they ran out of time in their attempts to snatch a point.
Blackburn started well, although Annie Barrett went close for Watford with an early near post header from a corner. Katie Anderton was in fine form and when Nat Preston dropped a through ball over the Watford back four she instantly lobbed Marie Hourihan from 25 yards on 18 minutes.
Watford drove forward and shots from Wiltshire and Georgie Adams went close to equalising before the half hour. The match became scrappy before the break but Watford sprang into life within two minutes of the restart. A twice-taken free kick was met wth a lovely glancing header by centre back Marsh for the equaliser. The Golden Girls now hit a purple patch as they bombarded Krystal Parker's penalty area. The talented young Rovers keeper made a fine save from a Wiltshire shot but was glad to see Katie Owen head the rebound over the bar on 53 minutes.
Watford went ahead when an inviting through pass from Adams was half cleared but Wiltshire's pace allowed her to tuck the loose ball home on 63 minutes. Sam Pittuck was having a fine second half on her home debut, full of good movement and clever flick ons to keep the Rovers defence under pressure.
Bonnie Horwood went close from 30 yards before the crucial five minutes which sealed Watford's win. Firstly, Hourihan made an excellent diving save to turn away Anderton's goalbound effort, then Wiltshire won a free kick 35 yards out and sent in a powerful effort which evaded Parker for a 3-1 lead.
Rovers kept going forward but the match was almost into injury time before Burke converted a fine move with a powerful far post finish. There was time for Parker to deny Pittuck the goal her performance deserved with another fine save in a one on one before the referee brought a good contest to an end.
Blackburn will be disappointed to have let their lead slip and to have conceded twice from set plays but have a nice blend of youth and experience, with good reinforcements this season. Watford will point to a number of fine performances from young players like Kelly Bingham, Wiltshire, Marsh, Owen and Adams as well as the experienced Sally Wade, Holly Miles, Horwood and Hourihan, who all contributed to a pleasing comeback win.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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