Ladies still searching for first win
QPR Ladies fell to a four-goal defeat in difficult circumstances on Sunday when they travelled to C&K Basildon in the FA Women's Premier League.
A hat-trick from Sara Sinclair and a Hannah Porter strike gave the hosts a comfortable victory over a depleted Rangers side, who were forced to play with 10 women for over 60 minutes.
Goalkeeper Victoria Caldwell was delayed in traffic which led to defender Hayley Peacock starting in goal for Rangers. Caldwell then entered the field with 23 minutes on the clock before being stretchered off early in the second half, after which midfielder Katie Knell took the gloves as stand-in ‘keeper for the final 40 minutes.
C&K Basildon started the game at a fast tempo, with Peacock forced into an array of early saves in the opening quarter of an hour.
The hosts would, however, break the deadlock before the arrival of first choice ‘keeper Caldwell. Sinclair found space between the two centre-backs to head home her first goal of the afternoon on 19 minutes.
With 23 minutes gone, Caldwell entered the frame and was left relatively untroubled until first half stoppage time. The Essex-based side extended the lead to two when Sinclair was again given room in the box to find the bottom right corner.
And that came minutes after Rangers were forced into a change before the break, when injury struck for last week’s goalscorer Jenny Critchley following a heavy challenge.
The hosts' pressure continued into the second period. Five minutes in Sinclair forced a low save from Caldwell before hitting the post with the rebound. The resulting corner led to a goalmouth scramble where Porter added her name to the scoresheet after Caldwell was down injured.
The R's goalkeeper was then stretchered off after a clash with the opposition in the build up to the third goal.
This left the Ladies in the same dilemma as the start of the game with Knell now taking responsibility between the sticks. But she could do little to stop Sinclair, who completed her hat-trick from close range on the hour-mark.
A confident and vocal display from Knell with the gloves coupled with a strong defensive togetherness in the latter part of the half kept the score at four.
There was almost a chance for a late consolation, but striker Esther Anu could only find the gloves of the Basildon keeper with her effort.
QPR: Caldwell (from 21), Peacock, Engels, Harte, Thompson, Treharne, Godden, Cooper, Knell, Critchley (O’Callaghan 41), Anu.
Booked: Engels 64.