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Match Report: Cambridge United Women 1-0 Luton Town Ladies

By Leon Waite

26 March 2018 17:56

Luton Town Ladies slumped to a first defeat in five league matches, succumbing 1-0 to Cambridge United Women on a frustrating Sunday afternoon at Clare College Sports Ground.

The contest appeared destined to be settled by a solitary goal from the outset as both sides contributed to a disjointed opening with a paucity of goalmouth action.
The first chance of note fell for the hosts as a free-kick lofted into the penalty area sparked a scramble before the ball broke for the attacker, who swiped her shot wide.
Asserting themselves more, the U’s threatened again with as the winger surged down the left and fired into Kezia Hassall as she cut infield.
Natasha Fensome, who briefly came off injured earlier, responded by testing the keeper with a dipping volley from range that yielded a corner which was met purposefully by Nicola Henman as she forced a good save.
The remainder of the half consisted primarily of Luton opportunities, firstly when Dionne Manning slid Henman in down the right and she had several teammates hurtling towards goal in the middle but her cross evading all potential targets and drifted away for a goal kick.
Zara Carroll had caused trouble with her set-piece deliveries already and her vicious free-kick was almost glanced in by Amy Summerfield.
Rachel Kosky became the next individual to benefit from her drilled corners with her header prevented from breaking the deadlock via a goal-line clearance. 
Needing to capitalise on this period of pressure, Fensome played Manning through one-against-one with the keeper but she was denied from point-blank range.
And the final chance of the first half fell to Henman who was fed impudently by Lisa Nixon but she too was thwarted by the woman between the sticks.
After the interval, the game was similarly tight as both teams continued to cancel each other out with the Hatters ruing those squandered opportunities in the opening period.
Funmi Babalola replaced Fensome at the break but struggled to impact the game with Luton’s midfield ostensibly devoid of ideas on how to bisect a stoic Cambridge backline and provide her with the necessary service.
A stalemate would have perhaps been a fair reflection of the afternoon’s play yet with five minutes left to play the deadlock was finally broken to the despair of the Luton players- Amber Cantwell’s phenomenal strike from distance beat Hassall all ends up.
A disappointing result ahead of the Easter weekend break with the next fixture coming in the shape of a trip to Stevenage Ladies on Wednesday, April 4th, KO 7.45pm.