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Gymnasium given hard workout
 Women's Football News 18 Jan 2008
 
Should Gymnasium's manager Mark Reid had given his half time team talk in the changing rooms rather than out on the pitch, you would have heard the sound of crockery being smashed!
 
For a team that is harbouring semi final ambitions in the Isle of Man Floodlit Cup, they came across a dogged Michael Utd side, languishing at the bottom of Group B and league table, which hunted in packs and came across the excellent goalkeeping of stand-in Jo Callister. After entering the interval with only a one goal lead, on resumption they went on to score three more but it will give Reid and his side much to think about and improve upon should they reach the final four.
 
With only four minutes played, Gymns opened their account. Dawn Quinn's corner was misjudged by Callister and Rachel Beckley toe-poked home the easiest of chances from close range.
 
With Kim Carney the midfield fulcrum and the hub behind a number of moves, linking superbly with Dawn Quinn in attack and Suzie Maiden on the flank, they penned their opponents in their half for the opening 35 minutes and created a number of chances, but couldn't add to their scoreline before the interval. Callister saved at the feet of Carney and Quinn fired two angled shots off target and came close again moments later, after collecting a perfectly weighted through ball from Carney.
 
Michael's notable chance in the first half was a Liz Moore angled, powerful shot that went straight at the body of goalkeeper Jane Smith.
 
After Gymns' half time rollicking, it paid dividends within a minute of the restart with them finding the net for the second occasion. Suzie Maiden weaved her way past the opposite defence before setting up Quinn to stab home.
 
Yet Mike Davies's side had an excellent chance of finding the net although goals have been a scarcity for the Balleira Road outfit, only finding the net once this campaign. Following a handball, referee Mark Maier awarded a penalty and Jennie Davies took responsibility from the spot, only to lift her effort over the bar.
 
Gymnasium capitalised on this wasted opportunity and extended their lead via a cleverly worked one-two which started and finished with Carney, driving home into the bottom left hand corner - Quinn providing the interchange.
 
In Michael's response, Haley Jones flashed a venomous effort just past the upright following a half cleared corner before Maiden scored an excellent solo effort for Gymnasium's fourth. Maiden cut in from the right and zig-zagged her way through the defence to unleashed a shot into the roof of the net.
 
The most impressive result last Sunday has to go to Castletown's 2-1 over Ramsey, despite the southerners fielding only seven players and Ramsey a full starting eleven. Two long range efforts from Sarah Denny gave Dave Hattersley's side a 2-0 lead come half time. Emma Cottier pulled a goal back from an oblique drive but, despite creating a host of chances, the equaliser proved elusive for the northerners.
 
Colby could gatecrash the semi final party after defeating Peel 4-1. They need to beat Rushen Utd by a comfortable goal margin this weekend to ensure a place in the last four. Louise Corkish started the move for Colby's first, spraying a pass out on the left to Rachel Gawne, who squared it for Charlotte Beards to fire home from 12 yards with Alice Leadbeater netting their second from the edge of the area. Identical moves involving Zoe Shimmin, Alice Leadbeater and Louise Corkish resulted in Nikki Cooil scoring on either side of half time to make it 4-1. Peel's consolation came from an excellent solo goal by Emma Faulkner.
 
Douglas Royal look certain to qualify for the semis after defeating Laxey 9-0, despite not having played for nearly a month. It took 20 minutes for the Douglas outfit to find the back of the net, when a goal kick was intercepted by Sammy MacDonald who found Donna Shimmin to blast home.  Moments later, Shimmin got her brace breezing past three players and finishing well. Ceri Purvis made it 3-0 just before half time, firing in after a melee.
 
Royal got their act together more in the second half. Leanne Ashe collected a pass from Bekki Cole and slotted into the bottom left hand corner from close range for their fourth. Cole's corner was not dealt with by the Laxey defence and Ashe duly scored her second of the match. Another corner followed for Shimmin to head home to make it 6-0. Shimmin went on to score another three times - the first a half volley from a tight angle and the latter, through balls from the midfield and round the Laxey keeper.
 
(Report - Paul Hatton)

 
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