Ladies 09/08/2018

Ladies: Watford FC 7-0 Maidenhead United

Watford FC Ladies produced a sensational attacking display on Wednesday evening (August 8), as they defeated Tier 4 side Maidenhead United 7-0 in a preseason friendly at Kings Langley.

The Golden Girls came into the fixture - their first at home this season - with confidence, following a win at the weekend against Cheltenham Town Ladies.

Five goals in the first half was the reward for efficient attacking play, with striker Helen Ward grabbing a brace. 

The second half saw a youthful Hornets side grab a further two, through Leanne Bell and Anaisa Harney.

The Golden Girls before kick off against Maidenhead United

New signing Alysha Stojko-Down opened the scoring for the Golden Girls with ten minutes played. The midfielder collected the ball centrally, before unleashing a powerful shot which arrowed high into the net past the reach of the keeper.

It took only ten minutes for the second to follow. Ward, in fine-form, was played in behind the defence, allowing her to take a touch around the keeper and fire in her first of the match.

Alysha Stojko-Down fires the Golden Girls ahead

On the half-hour mark, another new Hornet - Laura Baker - got in on the action. The attacking midfielder glided past the defence and picked her spot perfectly, coolly rolling the ball into the bottom corner.

The Magpies were restricted in their chances as the Hornets kept pushing forward. Their attacking intent was again rewarded soon after as Ward grabbed her second goal of the game, and fourth of preseason. It was another fine finish from the Welsh international, placing her shot with precision low into the goal.

With the last kick of the half, Bell was alert to a loose pass by United's defence, darting into the box before slotting a fine left-footed effort past the keeper.

Andrea Carid clips a ball forward for the Golden Girls

Head Coach Armand Kavaja made changes at the break, allowing young players such as Kayleigh Currivan, and goalkeeper Charlotte Bolland the opportunity of precious first team minutes.

The sixth goal for his side came ten minutes into the second period. Ward floated a fantastic cross into the box, which Bell gratefully headed home with perfection into the top corner.

Leanne Bell heads in her second goal of the game

With an hour on the clock, Harney notched the side’s final goal of the match. A delightful through ball from Ward set up the young striker, she kept her composure, rounding the keeper and calmly placing her shot into the empty net.

Ward, Harney, and Katie Akerman all went close to extending the Golden Girls’ substantial lead, but the Maidenhead defence put in a strong closing performance in what was a positive pre-season exercise for Kavaja’s Watford.

Happy Hornets as the Golden Girls make it two wins on the bounce

HORNETS | Martin (GK); Peck, O'Halloran, Kettle, Huggins; Akerman, Stojko-Down; Bell, Baker, Carid; Ward (c).

Subs (used): Shakes, Bolland (GK), Hill, Trialist, Harney, Hallsworth, Johnson A, Currivan.

Match action by Prime Media Images

The Golden Girls are in action on Thursday August 16, as they face Stevenage in their final pre-season friendly.

The game kicks-off at 19:45 at Kings Langley FC (WD4 8BS), and entry is free!

First Team 08/08/2018

Premier League Preview: Part Three

By Sohail Khilji

Read a club-by-club preview of the Golden Boys' Premier League opponents for the 2018/19 season.


The Foxes

The Boss: Before coming to England to join Southampton in 2016 Claude Puel had spent his management career in France with the likes of Monaco, Lille and Nice. Things didn’t quite work out at St Mary’s, but in Leicester his fortunes have been far better, though he will have to find a way to replace the magic of the departed Riyad Mahrez.

Top Goalscorer 2017/18: Jamie Vardy (23)

League Position 2017/18: 9th  

Summer Signings:

Jason Maddison - Norwich

Ricardo Pereira - Porto

Jonny Evans - West Bromwich Albion

Danny Ward - Liverpool

Rachid Gezzal - AS Monaco

Key Player - Jamie Vardy

With Mahrez gone, Vardy is now the Foxes' most potent attacking threat. If Demarai Gray and the likes of new arrivals Rachid Ghezzal and James Maddison give the front-man the right service he can be absolutely lethal in the box.


The Reds

The Boss: Jürgen Klopp has had quite the management career with Mainz, Dortmund and now Liverpool, and remains a popular character at all three clubs. The former defender likes to play expressive 'rock and roll' football and he is a huge personality on the side of the pitch too. 

League position 2017/18 – 4th

Top Goalscorer 2017/18 –  Mo Salah (44)

Summer Signings:

Fabinho – AS Monaco

Alisson - AS Roma

Xherdan Shaqiri - Stoke City

Naby Keita - RB Leipzig

Key Player - Mo Salah

The Egyptian had an incredible first season at Liverpool. The right-sided forward won the Golden Boot and the PFA Players’ Player of the Year awards in a scintillating campaign that saw Liverpool make it to the Champions League final.


The Citizens

The Boss: It's hard to argue with the claim that Pep Guardiola is one of the world's most successful managers. He led one of the best club teams of all time at Barcelona, before moving to Bayern Munich, and finally Manchester City, where he won the Premier League title last season.

Top Goal Scorer 2017/18: Sergio Agüero (30)

League Position 2017/18: 1st

Summer Signings:

Riyad Mahrez - Leicester

Phillipe Sandler - PEC Zwolle

Claudio Gomes - PSG

Key Player - Leroy Sané

Unbelievably, the German youngster missed out on his country’s World Cup Squad after having the best season of his career so far. The 22-year-old wide-man scored 14 goals and provided 19 assists for his teammates.


The Red Devils

The Boss: The 63-year-old Portuguese, Jose Mourinho, is regarded as one of the world’s greatest managers, winning major competitions all around Europe. He first made his name at Porto, where he won the Champions League. Following this, he has managed in Italy with Inter Milan, Spain with Real Madrid, as well as two spells at Chelsea prior to his arrival at Old Trafford.

Top Goalscorer 2017/18: Romelu Lukaku (27)

League Position 2017/18: 2nd

Summer Signings:

Fred - Shakhtar Donetsk

Diogo Dalot - Porto

Lee Grant - Stoke City

Key Player - David de Gea 

Spain international and Manchester United goalkeeper De Gea is a vital part of the team. Last season’s Golden Glove winner has kept 93 clean sheets in his United career thus far, and certainly earns his corn by making critical saves throughout the season.


The Magpies

The Boss: Rafa Benitez - or 'Rafa the Gaffer', as he's known on Tyneside - is a popular figure among the Toon Army. Benitez is still the only manager in the world that has won the Europa League, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. He has previously managed Valencia, Liverpool for six years - famously winning the Champions League in 2005 - Chelsea, Napoli and Real Madrid.

Top Goalscorer 2017/18: Ayoze Pérez (10)

League Position 2017/18: 10th

Summer Signings:

Martin Dubravka - Sparta Prague

Ki Sung-yueng - Swansea City

Kenedy - Chelsea (loan)

Solomon Rondon - West Bromwich Albion (loan)

Yoshinori Muto - Mainz

Key Player Jonjo Shelvey

Although the English midfielder has occasionally been accused of seeing red in the past, his quality is why some touted him to make the England squad for the Russia World Cup. The sitting midfield player loves to spray the ball around the pitch.