Ladies suffer another home defeat
QPR LADIES fell back to the foot of the FA Women’s Premier League table after a tough 2-0 defeat to high-flying Coventry United.
Two quick-fire goals before half-time proved the difference at Honeycroft, with Ashleigh Neville’s 41st-minute opener followed by Alison Hall’s strike just two minutes later.
Neville drifted in behind the defence before tapping in past Sophie Cheadle despite offside claims from Martino Chevannes and his management team, before Rangers’ habit of conceding two goals in quick succession struck again when Hall slid in to an open net soon after.
After a strong defensive performance last weekend, Chevannes adopted the same approach in order to soak up pressure from the visitors who had the chance to reach the summit of the FAWPL.
Coventry started the faster of the two sides and had the ball in the back of the net within three minutes only to see the linesman’s flag correctly raised. The chances kept coming and the impressive Neville had her first attempt which rattled the net but luckily for Rangers it was only the outside.
Jade Brook and Marie Gauntlett continued to pressurise the back four, seeing efforts fly over the bar and saved by the returning Cheadle.
Rangers created their first chance against the run of the play when a dangerous corner managed to evade a crowded box and go out for throw. The momentum was always with the visitors, however, and Helen Dermody as well as Gauntlett again tested Cheadle in the R’s net.
The defensive approach seemed to have worked for the first period for Chevannes until four minutes from the interval. After a free-kick was lofted in, Neville ghosted in to score her second against Rangers this season after the full-back also netted in the reverse fixture.
A lapse of concentration when conceding has been a recurring problem for Rangers this season and, although Elizabeth O’Callaghan went close to an immediate equaliser, the visitors were next to find the net shortly after the first.
Amber Hughes fed Hall from the left to slide in and glance the ball past Cheadle and send the Midlands-based side into the break with a two-goal advantage.
Rangers suffered a further blow at the break as top scorer Jenny Critchley did not reappear due to injury, and was replaced with Juliette Denny. As the second half commenced, Coventry continued to dominate the possession with Hall and Gauntlett failing to extend the lead after the break.
The visitors looked the more likely to score in the second period but Jade Dempster controlled the defence strongly and Rangers held out for a second-half clean sheet. But it was in the attacking department where Rangers again struggled, failing to find the net for a ninth game of the season.
It was different news for Neil Bailey and his Reserves, however, as they recorded a 4-1 league victory over Southampton Saints at Silver Jubilee Park.
Strikes from Natalie Skiverton, Neethu Haridas and a brace from Sophie Gardiner secured three points and a seventh win of the season.
The First Team now face a crucial clash next weekend when eighth-placed Lewes are the visitors to Uxbridge, where Rangers need a win to boost their hopes of beating the drop.
QPR: Cheadle, Lopes, Engels, Sseninde, Blodgett, Dempster, O’Callaghan (Butts 64), Maggs, Critchley (Denny 46), Roberts (Petit 76), Netschova.
Sub (not Used): Staples.