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Golden Girls unlucky not to win the last game as both goalkeepers shine

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Watford Ladies finish the year with a 0-0 draw at home to London Bees in the last game of the 2015 season.

While the Golden Girls didn’t manage to get the victory, the chances created, especially in the second half, would have certainly merited it.

It was an afternoon where the goalkeepers shone as Watford’s Shayla Burgess and Bees’ stopper Sophie Harris produced a number of fine saves.

First half

In his last match in charge, Manager John Salomon made two changes to his side from last time out. Megan Wynne came in for Kim Farrow, while Emily Heaslip was employed at centre-back in place of Grace Gillard.

The first chance of the game was created by the visitors, Gemma Fraser was picked out six-yards from goal but her strike went harmlessly over the bar.

With no replacement on the bench, alarm bells were ringing when Burgess required treatment after denying Emma Whitter in the opening stages, thankfully she was fine to continue.

While the first half was an intriguing battle, there was little to talk about in the opening half hour. With ten minutes of the first half remaining, the game came alive.

First, Burgess produced arguably her best save of the afternoon. Jade Dempster fired an effort from 30-yards out but her shot was superbly tipped over by the Watford stopper.

Wynne was making only her second league start since March and the returning captain was having an impact. She created an opening by twisting and turning away from a couple of defenders, the resulting shot on goal tipped onto the bar by Harris.

The action didn’t stop as the end of the half approached, Emma Whitter forced Burgess into a save at her near post while Ellie Mason had a header cleared off the line. HT: 0-0

Second half

Having had Watford’s best chance of the first 45, Wynne almost put her side in front early on after the break. An incisive ball from Mason sent the skipper away, her shot beat Harris but went agonisingly wide of the left hand post.

The Lady Hornets were starting to control proceedings. Mason, Stacie Donnelly and Leighanne Robe all with shots at goal before the hour mark.

Farrow had been introduced in the first half to replace the injured Tricia Gould and the substitute had two great chances to break the deadlock.

The first opportunity saw her denied by an onrushing Harris, after Mason had played yet another delightful through ball.

Two minutes later, the striker appeared to have done everything right. After not giving up, she beat the keeper to the ball and her effort looked like it would nestle in the bottom right hand corner, however it went a matter of inches wide.

After all the pressure at the other end, the Bees nearly scored against the run of play having won a free-kick. Paige Wakefield’s curling effort was well placed but Burgess got across superbly to push it away.

While Shayla had been impeccable all afternoon, she was being matched by Harris down the other end. It would take a moment of genius from the Bees keeper to keep the scoreline 0-0.

There appeared to be little on for Josie Green from 35-yards out, however the ball sat up nicely and she hit a tremendous dipping volley that looked to be heading into the very top left hand corner.

What would have almost certainly been goal of the season cannoned back off the post. Replays suggest that Harris might have got the very faintest of fingertips to slightly change the trajectory. A brilliant strike and a brilliant save.

Finding a winner did  prove elusive, but it was a great performance from Watford to end both the season and Salomon’s spell at the club.

FT: 0-0

Watford: Shayla Burgess, Nicole Pepper, Leighanne Robe, Emily Heaslip, Amber Tullett, Stacie Donnelly, Josie Green, Anneka Nuttall, Megan Wynne, Tricia Gould (Kim Farrow 42), Ellie Mason

Subs not used: Chloe Gunn, Renee Hector, Phoebe Read

London Bees: Sophie Harris, Billie Brooks, Jade Dempster, Aoife Hurley, Katherine Huggins, Paige Wakefield, Paula Howells, Gemma Fraser, Ashleigh Goddard (Kate Bowers 76), Emma Whitter (Sydney Hinchcliffe 79), Lucy Loomes

Substitutes not used: Kara May-Howes, Rebecca Anderson, Andria Georgiou, Andra Marcoci, Manuela Naprta,
Attendance: 321

Match report courtesy of Watford Ladies FC