The great escape: 97th minute screamer means Coventry United is staying up

The Coventry United squad huddles.
The Coventry United squad huddles during the FA Women's Continental Tyres League Cup match against Charlton Athletic on 17 November 2021. (Photo by Jacques Feeney/Getty Images)

With all to play for, Coventry United made the journey to face Watford in arguably the most decisive game of the season. The hosts went into the final game of the season 2 points clear of Jay Bradford’s side. Only a win would be enough to secure the visitors’ future in the Championship. The hosts however would guarantee their league survival with a draw or better.

Starting XI’s Watford vs Coventry United


Ferguson; Kmita, Meiwald, Stobbs, Ward (c) (Fatuga-Dada ’11), Ali, Chandler (Humes ’87), Legg (Beckett ’77), Henson, Davison (Fyfe ’77), Georgiou


Thomas; Haigh, Johnson (Toussaint ’74), Estcourt, Wilkinson (c), Fergusson, N’Dow, Green, Thomas (Riglar ’83), Morris, Hartley

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How it went: Watford vs Coventry United

An early 6th minute shot for Coventry would no doubt have had fans’ hearts racing just 6 minutes into the tie. Mollie Green’s effort, however, flashed just wide of Georgie Ferguson’s goal. From there the match began to open up although the majority of chances were going the way of the visitors. A dangerous corner from Green forced the Watford keeper into a goal line stop to deny the visitors a crucial early lead. As the first half progressed, so did the chances for both sides with Coventry’s No.16 enjoying the majority of her side’s opportunities.

The second half saw Blackford’s side forced to push higher up the pitch as they probed for the opening goal. With Coventry enjoying the majority of the chances, Watford were forced to increase the pressure on their opponents as the second half drew on. Throughout the second half, Coventry’s set piece play provided the visitors with the majority of their chances as Watford’s defence held strong against multiple waves of attack. The significant period of injury time saw several good chances for Cov as the ball came back off the post.

The goal eventually came in perhaps the most dramatic fashion. But with the game into the final minute of stoppage time, Coventry were awarded a free kick following a late foul. Mollie Green’s right-footed free kick from beyond the 30-yard mark flew above the wall into the top left of Fergurson’s goal. The spectacular goal was enough to guarantee Coventry’s future in the second tier with Watford dropping into the relegation spot a point behind their visitors.

Stand out player: Coventry United’s Mollie Green

Mollie Green provided the majority of the chances for her side as they battled to retain their Championship position. The 24-year-old was a constant threat for the visitors with her set pieces offering her team an attacking option throughout the tie. Scoring the only goal of the match the No.16 has helped her side avoid the drop.

The official attendance for the game was 1451.

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