By Chris Smith
Watford will play two home games this week, with the first of those against C&K Basildon Ladies on Thursday night.
The Golden Girls have been in good form lately and will be looking to build on the tally of seven points from the last three games.
For C&K Basildon it’s been a season of struggle, with only two draws to their name in the league so far which sits them bottom of the table. The Hornets will know not to underestimate their opponents however, considering it took a late winner to secure the three points in the reverse fixture.
Views from the Head Coach
A postponement last weekend means it’s now been two and a half weeks without a game for Watford. That’ll soon be rectified with two games at Kings Langley within 72 hours this week.
“It’s always frustrating when games get postponed as you're always preparing and looking forward to playing them,” Armand Kavaja told watfordfc.com.
“We won’t really prepare differently as we don’t have much contact time with the players between the two games, which makes it hard to get things ironed out from the first fixture to the second one.
“We provide players with feedback and some match analysis from the game they have played, so they can see what they’ve done well and what they could do a little better on.
“Having a good squad definitely helps. We have always said to all the players that we will need everyone if we want to get through the season successfully. These situations are a good example of where we need everyone to play their part.”
After only just managing to get the win last time against C&K Basildon, Kavaja will be looking to see more from his side this time around.
“It was a frustrating match previously for a number of reasons,” he said. “We didn’t have everyone available for that game which made it tough.
“They were organised and sat deep during the whole game, while we made it really hard for ourselves in possession and forced play at times.
“We would like to see our girls make good decisions on the ball on Thursday and retain and recycle the ball whenever we get forward. Hopefully this will allow us to find different avenues to penetrate.”
Go back to this time last year and it hits home how much has changed at C&K Basildon over the last 12 months.
They were one of the best sides in this league in the last campaign, well in the mix for the title in March with only two losses to their name. Despite eventually recording 52 points in 22 games, it wasn’t enough as Charlton only dropped six points all season.
There was plenty of upheaval in the summer, with departures both on and off the pitch. This has resulted in a complete reversal of fortunes in 2018/19.
The season started poorly, they lost their opening two games heavily to Portsmouth and Cardiff City, while losing in the FA WNL Cup Determining Round to lower division opposition.
Things gradually seemed to be improving though, as C&K Basildon earned a very respectable draw away at Loughborough Foxes and while they lost subsequent matches in the league 3-1 and 5-3, they were competing well.
Two more losses followed against Coventry United and the 1-0 defeat to Watford, but a second point was earned in early October as they came back to draw 3-3 with QPR.
Since then they’ve lost nine on the spin in the league. One narrow defeat, six by a two-goal margin and heavy defeats to Coventry United and Cardiff for the second time.
C&K Basildon were also comprehensively beaten in the SSE Women’s FA Cup by Keynsham Town, their third defeat to a Step Four side after also losing to Ipswich Town in the FA WNL Plate.
The one cup competition they’ve enjoyed some success in is the Essex Women’s County Cup. Billericay will be their opposition in the final as C&K look to win the trophy for a sixth consecutive time.
Last time out
Loughborough Foxes 1-2 Watford
Team: Baranowska, Hallsworth, Kettle, Edwards, Peck (Bell, 55), Scanlon (Carid, 55), Stojko-Down, O’Leary (Richards, 77), Kikomeko, Fatuga-Dada, Ward ©
Goals | Ward (57), Stojko-Down (84)
C&K Basildon 0-6 Coventry United
Team: Walker, Bailess © (Horn, 65), Deacon, Debell, Gillard, Moore, Osborne (Whitehead, 60), Rhodes, Sillitoe, Thomas, Turner
Watford FC Ladies v C&K Basildon Ladies
Thursday 14th March
Kings Langley FC
£6 Adults, £1 Under-18s, 50% off for Watford FC ST Holders