Sun 16 January The Crucial Environmental Stadium

The cup-tied duo of Katie Cooper and Emily Linscer returned to the fold in the form of a start and a sub respectively. Lucy Apps and Shawna Harvey kept their places after coming off the bench against Crawley Wasps, while CaptainHannah Hewlettcommenced proceedings as one of the replacements for the first time this season. Keavy Price, Sara Tubby and Amy Critchfield were the only absentees.

It took just four minutes for the hosts to go in front, when Ella Newman floated a left-sided corner over goalkeeper Amy Jenkins for Harvey to stoop and conquer from close range.

Sophie Humphrey soon tested Whyteleafe’s number one with a low, driven effort from the edge of the box that the netminder held without alarm by the base of her near post.

Harvey then had an opportunity to double the advantage midway through the first forty-five, following a tremendous run down the right by Chloe Lelliott, who picked out the striker in the penalty area. Jenkins though was equal to her attempt.

Worthing’s dominance continued unabated and six minutes later, they did make it two.

Once again, Lelliott’s delivery caused the visitors problems and Cooper volleyed home, just inside the eighteen yard box, to register her maiden strike for her new club.

A little more than half-an-hour had gone by when Becs Bell changed places with Lelliott but the outcome was the same, as her cross saw Apps denied by Megan Smith’s defensive block to concede a flag-kick.

Tenacious play by Newman led to Humphrey getting clear though the inside-left channel and advancing towards the penalty box, where she set herself before curling narrowly over the angle of crossbar and upright around twenty yards out.

Roles rapidly reversed thanks to Humphrey nicking the ball off Echo Barrett’s toes and evading the challenge of Smith to set her sights on goal again. However, on this occasion she slipped in Harvey who could only watch as Jenkins parried her shot and Amy Reader completed the clearance, at the expense of a corner, to prevent Bell from snaffling the rebound.

The half-time oranges awaited an impressive Reds outfit, although not before Humphrey deservedly got her name on the scoresheet in stoppage time.

Linking up well with strike partner Harvey once more, it was the latter’s turn to tee-up the former to get there ahead of Jenkins, who got caught in no man’s land outside her area, then enjoy the luxury of having a gaping net to calmly slot into and surely put the game out of ‘Leafe’s reach.

Unrelenting in their pursuit of further stamping their authority on the match, the dynamic duo refused to give the visitors a moment’s peace as Humphrey, in space on the left, picked out Harvey over on the far side of the eighteen yard area. A delightful dummy by half-time substitute Hewlett saw her stake a claim for an assist, only for Shawna to calmly create room for an effort that she flashed across the face of goal and out the other side.

Jenkins versus Harvey continued unabated, with the home centre-forward stinging the palms of the guest’s custodian, at the end of a powerful run that culminated in a perfect parry to divert the danger well away from any increased risk.

Charlie Carter sent Becky Simmons – also on as part of a double change at the break by Manager John Donoghue – racing clear down the right wing, with a little less than twenty to go.
Her drilled delivery into the centre never actually made it there though, thanks to the outstretched leg of Skipper Hannah Duncan deflecting it onto the far stick and away to safety.

One of those red shirts hoping to benefit from Becky, Harvey was prevented from doing so via an excellent tackle by replacement Kaitlyn Lewis. Leaving Holly Currier breathing a huge sigh of relief after her misplaced pass had given the ball straight to the ever-alert number nine.

Unfortunately, Harvey had to hobble off after that but the home supporters wouldn’t have to wait much longer for a fifth.

More accuracy emanated off the right boot of Simmons, when her corner resulted in Jenkins calling for it, only to come out and fail to collect, gifting a gap that the incoming Katie Young missed as she headed frustratingly wide of the back post.

They say if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. A sentiment ringing in the ears of Simmons but soon laid to rest by her hooking home Jenkins’ airborne semi-stop of Worsfold’s front upright attempt, following Young setting the recently re-introduced Gemma free with a long, accurate range-finder.

The host’s showcased a growing strength in depth through the introduction of recent signing Linscer, who admirably auditioned for this year’s Winter Olympics, by slaloming her way through a sea of luminous yellow to make her mark on affairs and stroke her first in red past the luckless Jenkins.

One regret centered around the Surrey side’s best/single chance of the game; missed by this match reporter, tweeter (separate entity) and the cameraman. A smack against the woodwork- far post to be precise – and a brave block, by an unnamed home defender, to keep out Olivia Gregory concluded a late afternoon-cum-early evening the travelling team will want to forget.