Match Report

FAWC: Watford v Coventry United

Coventry United hang on to their place in the Championship through last minute wonder kick

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Coventry United Twitter

4 May 2022

Coventry United pulled off the great escape with a 1-0 win thanks to Mollie Green’s stunning long range free kick in the seventh minute of injury time. The result sees Watford relegated with one of the last kicks of the season.

Watford knew that a win for them or a draw would be enough to stay up, but it was Coventry, knowing they had to win, who started the more brightly of the two. They had the first effort at goal in the 6th minute but Green’s shot from distance went over.

Coventry came close to taking the lead in the 11th minute but Natalie Haigh saw her header blocked the on the line. Another Haigh header in the 18th minute was comfortably caught by the Watford goalkeeper Georgia Ferguson.

Watford’s first real attack came in the 26th minute which saw a Gemma Davison cross headed clear by the Coventry defence.

It was back down the other end two minutes later when a cross was met by Olivia Fergusson but she didn’t seem to get clean contact on her shot and it was easily saved by Ferguson. In the 31st minute, Green sent a free kick wide of goal.

Watford had their first attempt at goal in the 37th minute when Davison run forward but her shot was saved by Lucy Thomas.

Coventry had the last couple of chances of the half when in the 41st minute Natalie Johnson’s cross was missed by everyone and just went wide then two minutes later Katy Morris headed over.
Watford started the second half well and in the first minute of it, Corinne Henson saw her low cross claimed by Thomas.

In the 54th minute, it was Coventry on the attack again when Fergusson saw her low cross saved, and four minutes later Katie Wilkinson’s low free kick was again saved by Ferguson.

Watford’s Anne Meiwald met a free kick with her head but it went over in the 63rd minute.

Wilkinson had Coventry’s next attempt but her long-range shot was easily saved in the 71st minute and then Green saw her free kick blocked by the Watford wall four minutes later.

There was a scramble and Watford appealing for a penalty which the referee waved away in the 78th minute with Emma Beckett, who had just come on as a substitute, then seeing her shot saved.

A dangerous Coventry United cross was headed clear in the 82nd minute. Five minutes later they again came close to scoring when Wilkinson saw her header cleared from off the line.

Seven minutes of added time were signalled, and two minutes into that Coventry came so close to getting that vital goal but Grace Riglar saw her header hit the post.

Watford had a chance to take the lead themselves but Flo Fyfe sent her shot into the side netting.
Into the seventh minute of additional time and Coventry were awarded a free kick about 35 yards out. Up stepped Mollie Green and she hit it right footed into the top corner of the net to give Coventry the lead and spark mad celebrations on the pitch with some of the coaching staff and substitutes running on to join in.

There was still time for a long-range Watford free kick to bounce through everyone in the penalty area and hit the top of the crossbar before going behind.

The final whistle went seconds after that and Coventry could celebrate staying up after their 1-0 win whilst it was heartbreak for Watford who finished bottom of the league by a point and will be relegated back to the FA Women’s National League after one season in the Championship.

This really was a great escape for Coventry United who were minutes away from going out of business in January before being saved by Lewis Taylor, then after having 10 points deducted they caught Watford up and to stay up by scoring such a spectacular goal with seconds of the season remaining is really fairy tale stuff!

Line ups

Watford: Ferguson, Henson, Stobbs, Chandler (Humes 87’), Meiwald, Kmita, Legg (Beckett 78’), Georgiou, Ali, Davison (Fyfe 78’), Ward (Fatuga-Dada 57’)
Unused substitutes: Smith, Vyso, Hector, Rogers, Adebowale-Arimoro
Booked – Ali, Georgiou, Beckett

Coventry United: L. Thomas, N’Dow, Haigh, Hartley, Johnson (Toussaint 74’), Green, Morris, Estcourt, F. Thomas (Riglar 83’), Wilkinson, Fergusson (Orthodoxou 90’+9)
Unused substitutes@ Clark, Whiteman, McGrother, Colville, Mann
Goal – Green 90’+7

Referee – Georgia Ball
Attendance – 1.451