The Golden Girls were getting into their rhythm and began getting in behind the Boro back line. Adekite Fatuga-Dada looked to be through on goal but Emma Foster made a good recovery tackle. Katie O’Leary held the ball up well and threaded a pass through to Ryah Vyse but Rebekah Bass got to the ball just in time for her side.
Middlesbrough looked to have weathered the initial pressure from Watford and began to venture forwards themselves. Nina Wilson was called into action but she made a smart save to deny Emily Scarr. The hosts then really applied the pressure with four successive corners but the Golden Girls were able to deal with them through strong leadership and organisation at the back.
The second half began with both teams still level and the first goal looking evermore important. Hattie Kettle came on to replace Kat Huggins at the back at the start of the half to bring fresh legs to the back line. Just before the hour mark, Watford goalkeeper Nina Wilson was sent off for handling the ball outside her area, just minutes after being incredibly alert to come out and stop a threatening Boro counter-attack. Unfortunately, the Golden Girls did not have a reserve goalkeeper on the bench so Kettle put on the gloves for the last half-an-hour of the game.
The Hornets dealt with the setback, newly-introduced midfielder Alysha Stojko-Down keeping the ball well and giving the team a foothold back in the game. The girls gradually built pressure and started to exploit the wide areas, taking advantage of their crossing ability. A wide ball was whipped into the box and Meiwald was first to it with a powerful header. The ball hit the post but she made no mistake when it fell to her to open the scoring.