Watford Ladies couldn’t make it back-to-back wins at Harlow, with Millwall Lionesses coming out on top 3-2 in a game full of talking points.
Anneka Nuttall was only on the pitch for a few minutes, however she managed to get on the scoresheet and also receive a red card.
“Anneka has done incredibly well and has scored within seconds of coming onto the pitch, she made a massive difference,” said Watford manager John Salomon. “It was a fantastic ball through and she took her goal really well.
“We almost recreated that within seconds of the restart, she’s gone through on goal again and it’s not quite worked for her. Then there’s been a little tangle between two players and she’s ultimately came away from it with a red card.”
Salomon was unimpressed with the reaction from the Millwall player, adding: “There’s been an unfortunate bit of acting from one of the Millwall players. It’s disappointing because it’s not something that’s ever been a part of women’s football.
“For the five years I’ve worked at this level, it’s always been a very honest game. I think today shows that perhaps it’s not the same as in the past and we certainly feel a little bit let down by that.
“We’ll hold our hands up and say it’s not a red card we’d necessarily appeal because we can understand why it’s given. However the reaction of the Millwall player on the floor, the acting that’s taken place, has had an influence.”
The other key moment was the award of a 13th minute penalty for Millwall – one which from a first look, appeared harsh.
Having seen the video back, Salomon agrees: “I have seen the penalty incident back. The referee made a good judgement call, he didn’t give the penalty. He had a clear view of the incident and ran away not giving it.
“The linesman has flagged, he consulted him and then went against his original decision and gave the penalty.
There’s been an unfortunate bit of acting from one of the Millwall players. It’s disappointing because it’s not something that’s ever been a part of women’s football.Watford Ladies manager John Salomon
“It happened quickly, I didn’t have a good enough view to see it but we’ve watched it back and we’re disappointed with the decision.”
Despite a couple of key decisions not going in the Golden Girls’ favour, the reaction from Salomon’s side to the set-backs was impressive.
“We kept going, we created more opportunities and had a very good chance towards the end for Ellie [Mason],” he said. “I thought that would have been a more than deserved equaliser.
“We’ve scored two fantastic goals from open play, we’ve worked on that a lot recently in terms of trying to develop the attacking side of our game. We’re pleased from that point of view.
“There’s factors that come in to today’s game that really made it difficult for us, that’s life unfortunately and we have to pick ourselves up and go again.”