Rebecca Mears

Posh Women U23s secured a 3-1 victory over Watford FC Development in their latest pre-season fixture.

Peterborough United Women U23s remain undefeated in pre-season as they triumphed to a 3-1 win against FA Women’s National League Reserve side Watford FC Development on Sunday afternoon, with a positive display at the idverde Training Ground.

It was the visitors who started the game brightest, carving their first chance inside seven minutes after a mistake at the back from Tilly Sands allowed the Watford forward to advance forward, but her pass could not find her in-bound teammate. The Hornets took the lead on 15 minutes as a free-kick just inside the Posh half was sent towards the box, headed on and poked home under the legs of Megan Dellar from close-range by the Watford striker. 

Posh had a chance to equalise minutes later as a mistake from the Watford goalkeeper fell kindly to Maddison Moore and her shot from the edge of the box was blocked by the defender. Posh equalised on 27 minutes as Frankie Pim reclaimed possession in the Watford half and played a well-timed pass towards Zina Cheikh who calmly slotted her shot past the goalkeeper. 

Michael Allsebrook’s side almost immediately took the lead as Pim and Cheikh combined again, but Pim’s shot was blocked by the defender. On 37 minutes, the Posh Women u23s thought they had taken the lead as Pim reacted to the goalkeeper spilling the ball and passes into the empty net, but was adjudged to have been in an offside position initially. Minutes before the interval, a ferocious strike from Rebecca Mears gave the goalkeeper no chance and curled into the top right corner, giving Posh the advantage at the break.

Watford Development had the first taste at goal in the second half, with Dellar collecting a shot from distance safely. Posh doubled their advantage on 57 minutes as Pim scored from close-range at the second attempt after having seen her initial shot saved by the goalkeeper. 

The game began to stretch with counter-attacks in full force. Pim had the chance to secure her brace, but saw her shot parried away before Watford unleashed a powerful shot from outside the box which was well saved by Dellar. Substitutes Taya Smith and Ella-Mai Bale combined well on 70 minutes as Smith crossed an inviting ball into the box, but Bale could not connect. In the closing minutes of the game, Watford Development caused panic in the Posh box, with a header at goal cleared just over the bar.

Manager, Michael Allesbrook, spoke after the game, “I thought we were outstanding today. In possession, out of possession, and everything we worked on in training they demonstrated in the game. Today was our first taste of what to expect in the league this season. We played a strong National League Reserve side and ultimately we dominated large parts of the game. The Watford goal we could have done better with, communicating more would have prevented the chance for them but that’s the only blemish in what is a real positive performance.”

“I felt we were more dangerous going forward today. I have to praise all four strikers that played today. They’ve worked hard to get into areas on the pitch and that showed today with the goals and chances we created. I can’t fault the players so far. Since day one of pre-season, they have completely brought into what we are trying to achieve. We need to take these performances and kick on now as the league opener draws closer.” 

Posh XI: Dellar, Richards-Reeves, Hardy, Sands, King, Osker, Podd, Mears, Moore, Pim, Cheikh. 

Subs Used: Wheatley, Smith, Bale.

Written by Lauren Shiels.

Photo credit: Darren Wiles (@Darren_wiles)