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Keynsham Town Development moved smoothly into the Third Round Qualifying of the FA Women's Cup with a 5-1 victory over a spirited Falmouth Town team.
After their victory at Exeter City's St James Park in the previous round, Development adapted well to the familiar setting of the back pitch at Crown Field. The Cornish team were outplayed in the first half, perhaps as a result of arriving only twenty minutes before the scheduled kick off after their 185 mile journey for their first ever FA Cup match, trailing 3-0 at the break. They fought back very well, penning the home side in their own half for long periods of the second half and forcing home keeper Irena Miiljkovic into a series of fine saves, but eventually Development scored twice on the break to seal the win.
Ironically, Falmouth nearly scored in the first minute when Katy Barker broke free on the left and shot inches wide, but the rest of the half saw a series of chances for a fluent Keynsham team with plenty of high level experience in its ranks. Hari Sabic opened the scoring on four minutes with a powerful drive from a deep cross.
Luciana Silva threatened the Falmouth goal from the right several times but it was Aimee Clark who added the second after a fine save from another Sabic strike. A long Silva throw released Sabic for her second on 36 minutes and Falmouth did well to reach the break only three in arrears.
The complete change in the tone of the contest was signalled in the first minute after the restart as the lively Barker hit the post for Falmouth. Suddenly, Roanna Newton and Tanja Andjelkovic at the heart of Development's defence were under real pressure and Milijkovic tipped over from Barker on 52 minutes and dived to turn away a Helena Calfe shot as Falmouth sought a way back.
Sasha Sparkes reduced the arrears on 59 minutes with a cool finish when one on one with Milijkovic but this seemed to wake the home team up briefly. Sabic hit the bar from close range before Silva drove in the crucial fourth on 63 minutes.
Back came Falmouth and Milijkovic was out bravely to block Barker as she again got clear of the defence. Despite several corners and half chances, the visitors could not reduce the arrears again and it was substitute Lauren Cundick who extended Keynsham's lead in the final minute.
Both teams are in mid-table in the South West League Premier Division, with games in hand on those above them, and the result was unkind on Falmouth, but Keynsham Town Development look a decent bet for a Cup run with a mix of youth and experience, perhaps dreaming of an eventual Cup draw against their big sister club riding high in the Premier League.
Keynsham Town Development: Irena Milijkovic, Chelsey Munday, Tanja Andjelkovic, Roanna Newton, Laura Exton, Aimee Clark, Cassie Wilkins, Heather Barnes, Luciana Silva, Amy Davies, Hari Sabic. Subs: Katie Bower, Elly Carter, Lauren Cundick.
Falmouth Town: Claire Churcher, Samara Sparkes, Natalie Batchelor, Claire Boyd, Kerry-Anne Moxom, Naomi Blight, Julie Lawrence, Sasha Sparkes, Helena Calfe, Katy Barker, Emma Pritchard,
Sub: Lauren Scrace.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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