Report By Gareth Nicholas
Sophie Humphrey returned from injury and Hayley Bridge retained her starting berth meaning Katie Young joined the sub’s bench, while Maddie Hotson was rested.
Both sides took time to really get going in the early stages, Quayle and Humphrey had long-range attempts comfortably held while Dolbear had to be quick off her line to reach a Summer Roberts through ball ahead of it’s intended recipient Georgia Heasman.
The best move saw Roberts break free on the left and work the ball inside to Heasman, who teed up Lois Konan to fire a deflected effort wide.
Nearly half-an-hour in and the Reds created their first serious attempt on goal, when Humphrey surged past Cottagers Captain Mary Southgate and drove a low delivery towards the back stick, which Chloe Winchester returned agonisingly close to the opposite upright.
‘Winch’ came close again moments later, thanks to Quayle providing Rachel Palmer with an opening to pick out the visitor’s top scorer; missing the stretching striker’s head by a matter of inches.
A long Humphrey pass down the centre was latched onto by Skipper Gemma Worsfold who could only lob narrowly the wrong side of the post, before the same player saw her own dangerous-looking delivery diverted clear of danger by the outstretched leg of netminder Libby Stratton.
At this juncture, the travelling Seasiders were enjoying their best spell of the game and Worsfold exchanged a neat one-two with Bridge along the right flank, prior to turning Foreman and firing just a tad off target, to emphasise this much.
The home team escaped another close call less than sixty seconds further into a keenly-fought affair, courtesy of Stratton going full Superwoman to punch a Tibble teaser marginally off the radar of the incoming Winchester.
Finally, six minutes after the break, another ’Super’ in the form of recent addition Super Sammy Quayle ensured the deadlock was broken. Palmer finding her in space in the ‘d’ where she proceeded to sidestep Becky Stormer and drill into the bottom corner.
Tibble and Humphrey then linked-up to near devastating effect, with the former allowing the latter to drift inside off the left though flash her attempt inches wide.
Immediately a rapid counterattack, ignited by Alex Hayman sending Megalie Mendes charging through the middle of the park, concluded via Heasman’s efforts at causing concern in the penalty area being ended by the intervention of Bridge.
A free-kick offered Worthing an alternative avenue of approach, thanks to Quayle’s quick thinking. Surging down the left wing and coming out on top in a fifty-fifty tackle with Foreman, the in-form forward spotted Katie Cooper ideally placed a little over twenty yards out. KC unlucky not to see her shot greeted by a band of sunshine.
Midway through the second-half, even a mini-Alamo couldn’t break the White’s resistance.
Tibble swivelled and played in Quayle, drawing a terrific block out of Mendes at the expense of a corner that soon had regular taker Tibble testing the reflexes of Stratton to equally brilliant effect. Becs Bell, introduced a minute or two earlier, eventually closing this particular chapter as Quayle came within a hair’s breadth of nodding home her cross at the far stick.
Set-piece precision caused Cooper to suffer at the hands of Stratton, when the custodian frustrated her at close quarters, following Tibble’s flag-kick.
Recovering from that episode, the South Londoners responded in identical fashion. Foreman’s deep delivery producing a superb low parry from Dolbear to keep out a goal bound glance off the unfortunate dome of Worsfold.
Full-time loomed large on the horizon but not before Winchester had sealed three more precious points. Spinning around, moving Stormer out of her way and calmly slotting in a killer second strike.
However, any thoughts of that being that were instantly dismissed, twice, in a lengthy period of stoppage time, due to replacement Keavy Price having to leave the action a mere nine minutes after joining it.
‘Loz’ earning her third successive shut-out with a tremendous reaction save to keep out Mendes, then standing tall when substitute Buchele bore down on goal.