Preview: Swindon Town Women vs Maidenhead United Women

Photo: Darren Woolley

It’s a battle of the birds as the Magpies travel to Cinder Lane to face the Robins in an all-important bottom of the table six-pointer.

With the top two not involved in league action, the focus falls on the foot of the FAWNL Division One South West table as the bottom four are set to clash in what could prove to be a pivotal weekend in the fight for league survival.

Currently ninth and tenth, with Maidenhead three points better off than Town in the standings, both teams are without a league win since September; Maidenhead’s last three points coming against Swindon, and the Robins’ a week later when they beat Poole in front of a record crowd of 336 at the County Ground.

But while both teams have struggled to find form in the league, they have had cup success as the Magpies managed to put together a three-match winning streak to reach the final of the Berks & Bucks County Women’s Senior Cup, where they will face holders MK Dons in a repeat of the 17/18 final. While Swindon are set to meet Royal Wootton Bassett in the final of the Wiltshire Women’s County Cup.

A Steph Nelson brace proved to be the difference in their last meeting as Maidenhead edged out a 2-1 win at York Road. Nelson struck in the 16th and 49th minutes. Teasdale clawed one back for Swindon late on.

However, much has changed on the pitch for Town since September, with manager Jamie Lloyd-Davies recruiting several new players for the club during December. In fact, there were six changes to the starting eleven that lost to the Magpies in their most recent outing against Southampton Women’s. Southampton manager, Aaron Smith, noting a marked improvement in Town’s performance post-match [compared to the last time they met].

Victory for Swindon would see them leapfrog the visitors, while three points for Maidenhead would give them a six-point cushion above the relegation zone – with the sole spot currently occupied by Poole Town.

It’s a big game that will see big game players come to the fore – the likes of captains Alex Dover and Polly New, ‘keeper Parker who bleeds Maidenhead black and white, and Robins’ top scorer Diaz-Butcher will have vital parts to play when the sides meet for the second time this season.

Leaving one question to be answered – will the Magpies soar or will the Robins go bobbin’ along this Sunday?



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