Watford Ladies were defeated 5-0 by WSL2 league leaders Doncaster Rovers Belles, however it was hard for fans to be dispirited by the Lady Hornets’ performance.
“It was tough and we’re disappointed with the result but there’s a lot of positives to take away,” said Watford manager John Salomon.
“Sometimes you’ve got to look past the result and look at the performance that the players have put in. Five-nil is probably a little harsh on us, it’s not really a fair reflection of their efforts and the way that they’ve applied themselves in today’s game.”
The Lady Hornets boss continued: “We’ve got to take motivation from the things that we did well this afternoon and know that we can take confidence from that going in to some of the fixtures we’ve got coming up.”
If you were looking for a turning point in the match, the second goal on the stroke of half-time could well have been it.
“The frustrating thing in the build up to the second was that we actually felt that Stacie [Donnelly] was fouled as she came away with possession,” reveals Salomon. “Subsequently the referee gave them a free-kick which they then scored from.
“Not understanding why it was given and not getting any justification or reasoning from the official was a bit frustrating for everybody really.
“Ultimately we didn’t defend the set piece and we come in 2-0 down at half-time. That was a big blow because at 1-0 we were in the game and even at 2-0, we felt we could get a goal back and ask some questions of Doncaster because of the way we applied ourselves.
“In the first half, we found space in attacking areas and we won it and broke out with purpose. It was a much improved performance then what we showed for example, at Donny, a month ago.”
With two new players making their debuts and club captain Megan Wynne returning from injury, there were plenty of other positives on show.
“Poppy has come in from Birmingham and had a really good impact,” said Salomon. “She brings quality into the midfield and a bit of tempo at which she presses and works hard and she’ll add value to us between now and the end of the season.
“Adekite got on at half-time and she’s a big threat. I’m really pleased that she’s come in with that mind set of wanting to play for the first team and wanting to break in.
“It’s good to see Wynney back, she got on for about 20-25 minutes today, having played 30 in a friendly last weekend.
“Things are starting to turn for us in that sense, in terms of getting back to where we were at the start of the season with a fuller strength squad. That’s going to help us moving forward.”