LOUGHBOROUGH FOXES 4 DENHAM UNITED 0
FA WOMEN’S NATIONAL LEAGUE CUP
LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY STADIUM, SUNDAY 2nd SEPTEMBER 2018
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Loughborough Foxes opened their FAWNL Cup campaign with victory over Denham United on Sunday. The visitors play in South East Division One, a level below the Foxes, and the home side showed that extra quality in a scrappy game which took their run of successive home wins to 22 matches in all competitions.
The game was largely frustrating for the Foxes, despite dominating possession and territory. In the first half they were mainly restricted to long range efforts by a determined defence, with Laura Steele clearing the crossbar twice and just clipping the top of it with a third effort.
Most of the Foxes best work was down the right wing with some good interplay that saw right back Pip Cassidy playing a prominent role. It was from that side that the breakthrough finally came just before the half hour mark. Eva Rogers tricked her way past a defender, only to be brought down for her trouble. Laura Steele took the free kick from just outside the box and Rogers was first to react, getting across her marker to head home firmly from close range.
Steele had earlier played a defence splitting pass that led to Becky Matlock firing at the keeper, and she played a similar ball to put Rogers through two minutes before the interval. The striker delayed her shot a fraction too long however and could only find the side netting.
The Foxes made a quicker start to the second period, doubling their advantage within a minute. The ball broke to Laura Dexter in a central position on the edge of the penalty area and she smashed it into the net off the foot of the post.
The rest of the game was a similar story to the first half with Foxes failing to create many clear chances despite some tidy approach play. Denham meanwhile continued to pose little attacking threat with debutant Foxes keeper Laura Parsons not having a shot to deal with until the 68th minute.
The Foxes added some gloss to the scoreline with two late strikes. Two of their substitutes combined when Ria Acton sent Charlotte Cooper away with a lovely through ball, and Cooper slid the ball under the onrushing keeper.
Captain Shauna Chambers then got the fourth with a long range effort that struck the underside of the bar and came down over the line.
Despite the scrappiness of the performance, the scoreline was still fully deserved and the Foxes will look to continue their run of victories when they return to league action next Sunday, 9th September, as C&K Basildon visit the University Stadium.