Brentford WFC were knocked out of the John Greenacre Memorial Trophy on Sunday after a 3-1 defeat to Ashford Town but there was better news for Brentford Development as they began their Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy campaign with a 3-0 win at home to Actonians Development.
At the Robert Parker Stadium, Ashford, it was the home side, who had failed to win just two of their 14 games in all competitions this campaign, who started the stronger. Bees keeper Naomi Swift made two smart saves to deny their right-winger during an opening ten minutes which Town dominated. However, as the half went on Brentford grew into the game. Dana Johnson’s pace was causing the home side issues and she nearly opened the scoring on the quarter hour, but instead fired wide of the near post from a tight angle.
Ashford were still creating the better of the chances and they took the lead midway through the half: Swift made an astonishing save to tip a fierce drive onto the bar but Holly Isaacs reacted fastest to crash home the rebound. The Bees were then architects of their own downfall for their second as Ashley Cheatley latched onto an under-hit backpass to coolly slot home moments later.
Away at the team second in the league and without a win in eight, The Bees’ heads could have dropped but they responded in excellent fashion and pulled one back before the interval: Johnson angling a low shot in off the foot of the post from a tight angle.
The second period started in a similar vein to the first with Ashford threatening: captain Sophie Lee twice clearing from inside her own six-yard box to prevent a third in the opening minutes. And, as with the first-half, The Bees then went about growing into the game as it progressed. Carmela Garcia could have levelled ten minutes into the half as her tame shot from a corner was missed by the goalkeeper and struck a post.
The two sides continued to trade blows as the half went on. Swift tipped a fierce Isaacs’ shot over the bar while at the other end Johnson was close to a leveller as her lobbed effort beat the home keeper but bounced agonisingly wide. Ashford’s winger then drilled an angled shot across the face of goal before Lee made another crucial defensive contribution, bravely throwing herself in front of Isaac’s fierce drive.
From the resulting corner, Ashford did grab a third to make the game safe, Charmaine Benham glancing home a header from six yards out. To their credit The Bees continued to press forward in the closing stages. Garcia shot off target twice in quick succession while Kelly Mackay’s cross-cum-shot drifted narrowly past the post in the dying seconds but the home side held on to advance.
At Lampton School, Emily Boycott and Brentford Development kept their fourth straight clean sheet as they won their opening group game in the Sue Sharples Memorial Trophy against Actonians Development. Naomi Totten and Shannon Read netted the first-half goals before top-scorer Read made the game safe with her second of the game, and 15th of the campaign in total, after the break. The victory means that it is now seven wins in eight games in all competitions for Justin Ali and Nathan Mobey’s side.
Next Sunday sees Brentford Women host Clapham United in the Greater London Women’s Football League Division One at Lampton School, kick-off 1pm, while Brentford Development travel to the South East Parakeets for their next Sue Sharples group game, kick-off 2pm at Downham Playing Fields, Bromley.