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Women's Football News
Andover New Street finished their Hampshire County League and League Cup season without drawing or losing a single game and beating runners-up Salisbury City 2-1 in the League Cup Final.
It was a frantic last nine minutes to this match though to ensure that their excellent record remained in tact.
It did not look as though that would have been the case from the outset. New Street went ahead inside the first two minutes of the match. Samantha Howard's free kick into the area saw Catherine Browning fire goalwards only to be denied by Salisbury goalkeeper Taz Pitman, but her parry on the ball only fell for Emma Small to make no mistake from close range and give New Street an early lead.
Andover New Street haled the upper hand for the rest of the opening half with Salisbury unable to break them down. Browning fired over when well placed after a quarter of an hour and Salisbury were dealt a further blow on 21 minutes when Charlotte Eastman had to leave the field of play with a facial injury after a clash in the middle of the park with New Street's captain Alex Cottier, who was able to continue but it was the end of the action for Eastman.
In the few minutes between Eastman being taken off the pitch and the decision to use a substitute, New Street took full advantage of their opponents being down to ten players by adding their second goal. Kirsty Bell stepped inside her defender and managed to shuffle the ball from out of her feet to send a shot in to the top corner of the net from the edge of the box.
Bell lofted another New Street chance wide on 32 minutes and shortly before the interval, Cottier sent in a curling shot that was pushed away by Pitman.
The second half started in a similar fashion but after Bell had seen a half volley saved by Pitman, Salisbury came much more into the game.
On the hour, Salisbury leading scorer Hayley Ranachan raced onto a through ball took the ball round the advancing New Street goalkeeper Stephanie Cole and slipped the ball goalwards but the recovering New Street midfielder Small cleared the ball to safety.
Browning turned a cross from Aneaka Reay just wide, a chance that New Street might have regretted a few moments later. Nine minutes remained when the ball arrived at Salisbury substitute Rhia Baker, who took the ball past Cole before slotting home and set up this frantic finale.
Two minutes after the goal a slip in the New Street defence allowed Alex Scott through on goal but her effort was saved by Cole, which eventually proved to be their best chance of drawing level in a good spirited game that ended with both sides totally drained from an exciting contest.
Andover New Street: Stephanie Cole, Sarah Kingswell, Jenna Patterson, Samantha Howard, Kellie Warren (sub Tracey Henry), Emma Small, Alex Cottier, Aneaka Reay, Lee-Ann Elliott, Catherine Browning, Kirsty Bell. Sub not used: Kerrie Lewis.
Salisbury City: Taz Pitman, Tash Young, Jess Griffiths (sub Sabrina Egerton), Ruth Lumber, Kayleigh Kennedy, Alex Scott, Laura Beal, Ellie Hayward, Hayley Ranachan, Charlotte Eastman (sub Rhia Baker), Becky Davis.
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