By Halen McCarthy
USW fell to a disappointing defeat at the hands of Hartpury in the opening game of the season.
A dominant display, in particular from Hartpury’s Holly Rogers, caused USW trouble throughout the first half and it was the visitors who deservedly took the lead in the ninth minute when Jade Grove converted a cross from the right hand side.
Hartpury continued to apply the pressure as USW struggled to establish a foothold in the opposition half.
USW’s first chance fell to Karin Underwood but her shot flew over the bar.
Just before the half hour mark Hartpury got their second goal of the game and Rogers quickly got a third with a shot to the bottom corner to hand the away side a 3-0 advantage at the interval.
USW came out in the second half like a different team and quickly registered their first shot on target in the opening seconds.
Yet despite their upturn they conceded a fourth in the 48th minute when Rogers crossed from the right and Charlie Rowlands tapped home.
Set-pieces looked to be USW’s best opportunity to open their account and they did hot the woodwork as well as come close in a goalmouth scramble after well executed free-kicks.
When the hosts’ breakthrough came it was only a consolation, with Montana May’s shot from distance being well followed up by Meg Wordington, who slotted in after the Hartpury goalkeeper had parried.
USW coach Fern Burrage took positives from her first game in charge.
She said: “Second half was very good, we increased the tempo, we were more aggressive in the tackle and we got ourselves a goal as part of that.”