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Women's Football News
Hampshire Schools Girls County team travelled to Romford to play their national semi final against Essex with two regulars not available and then suffered a further set back when a further two players were declared unfit prior to the kick off.
Now facing an uphill battle, things only went from bad to worse when after only three minutes, Essex broke quickly and in a race with the striker, all arrived together and the ball ricocheted towards the goal, Boswell was first to react and as she went to clear the ball, lost her footing and could only help the ball in to the net.
Essex, with two very strong forwards Holly Griffin and Naomi Feltham, always looked very dangerous and Hampshire found themselves chasing the ball for long periods. Hampshire rode their luck however, particularly when a fierce shot hit the underside of the bar and some thought had crossed the line before spinning back in to play.
In Hampshire's rare counter attacks, Becky Jane always looked dangerous and she levelled the scores after 14 minutes when she rounded the keeper and slotted home. Hampshire then had to soak up more pressure, with Rosie Goodship working like a trojan in midfield but they went behind again five minutes later when the ball, crossed from the left, evaded all the players in the box and fell to an Essex player to drive home.
Half time could not come quick enough for the management team of Vanessa Raynbird and Neil Cleaver and they made good use of the break. The Hampshire team came out with a change of formation and a far more determined approach and levelled in the second minute when Jane's shot cleared the approaching keeper but came back off the bar but she made sure the second time.
Hampshire then went from strength to strength as Essex tired but with the game heading to extra time, a corner was not cleared and the keeper could only punch it up in to the air and Kirsty Palfreyman outjumped the keeper and centre back to head the ball home.
Hampshire Schools now appear in their eighth national final in 10 years when they meet Leicestershire Schools at Swindon Town on Friday 9th May which will be a re-run of the final two years ago.
Hampshire squad: Daisy Allen (Priory), Nicky Beck (Cowes), Molly Booth (Priory), Lauren Boswell (Springfield), Lauren Cheshire (St Lukes), Beth Connolly (Cranbourne), Rosie Goodship (City of Portsmouth Girls), Ellise Hales (Noadswood), Becky Jane (Aldworth), Kirsty Palfreyman (Connaught), Katie Quinland (Calthorpe Park), Lysette Russell (Sholing), Paige Sawyer (Horndean), Rachel Snow (Toynbee), Yzzy Taylor (Horndean).
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