FOOTBALL - Coventry United Ladies complete great escape with incredible 97th minute winner at Watford - The Coventry Observer

FOOTBALL - Coventry United Ladies complete great escape with incredible 97th minute winner at Watford

Coventry Editorial 1st May, 2022 Updated: 1st May, 2022   0

COVENTRY United Ladies completed the greatest of great escapes after Mollie Green’s 97th minute free-kick secured survival for Jay Bradford’s side whilst relegating opponents Watford.

Green lashed home a thunderous free-kick from 30-yards out into the top left corner of the goal, seven minutes into time added on, to secure survival in the most dramatic of circumstances.

The win caps off a remarkable turnaround for the Red and Green against all the odds, after a 10-point deduction for entering voluntary liquidation just before Christmas left them on minus four points.

And despite only having 11 matches left to play at that point, United produced a memorable seven-game unbeaten run to close the 10-point gap to relegation rivals Watford to two points ahead of a survival showdown in the capital.

The Red and Greens were on top for much of the game with Natalie Haigh’s header cleared off the line in the first half before Olivia Fergusson had a shot saved.

Green then sent a powerful free-kick narrowly wide of the post as Coventry dominated the opening 45 minutes without making the breakthrough.

And Watford goalkeeper Georgie Ferguson made a pair of crucial saves in the second period, reacting quickly to keep out a deflected effort before denying Katie Wilkinson’s driven free-kick.

Coventry almost snatched the points in injury time when substitute Grace Riglar headed against the base of the post from Fergusson’s cross.

However, it was left to Green to strike a stunning free-kick past a despairing Ferguson to clinch victory for Coventry as substitutes raced onto the pitch to celebrate.

The final whistle finally came, as the clock ticked past the 100-minute mark, as United players and staff chanted “we are staying up” in the end of game huddle.

United finish the season in 11th place, one point above Watford, on an eight-game unbeaten run.

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