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Southampton Women 0 Aldershot Town 3
An impressive Aldershot Town performance saw them win their F.A.Women's Cup Second Qualifying Round tie away to Southampton Women's F C by three goals.
The battle of the clubs occupying the top two places in the Southern Regional League turned decisively in the Shots' favour after an even first half at Romsey and the third goal, scored with the final touch of the match, just about reflected the domination of the North Hampshire visitors.
A very cagey opening saw the first shot on goal coming on 17 minutes with Southampton's Gemma Worsfold firing straight at keeper Cora Kinsella. Aldershot's Emma North tried her luck from distance but was just wide. Home keeper Rachael Cash made the first of many good saves on 20 minutes when Abi Fever got clear on the right and shot low at the near post.
The opening goal on 28 minutes came when Holly Gayler got clear on the left and sent in a low cross which Emma Bottomley turned into her own net. This setback spurred Southampton on to their best period of the match. Worsfold was very close when returning a clearance from 30 yards then a flowing move down the right picked out Kellie Warren beyond the far post and her shot flew inches wide of goal on 37 minutes. An excellent run by Laura Gilbank was stopped at the expense of a corner and the half finished with Southampton on top and probably worthy of going in on level terms.
Southampton's Kirsty Bell had the first chance after the break but her quickly taken free kick was wide of goal. Hannah Hewlett had a shot from fifteen yards but it was Aldershot who scored the crucial second goal on 53 minutes. North's long diagonal pass found Nikki Moore just onside and she finished well for a two-goal lead.
Aldershot took over the match from this point on. Sammy Howarth prevented a third goal with a last ditch clearance, keeper Cash raced from her line to dive at the feet of Amy Hubbort, then a Hubbort corner was bundled off the line to keep Southampton afloat.
Aldershot were now dangerous with almost every attack, substitute Chloe MacKay adding her presence up front and forcing two more fine diving saves from the busy Southampton keeper, then hitting the post from close range. A couple of good runs and crosses from Southampton's Gilbank cased the Shots defence some concern but the home side rarely looked like hauling back the deficit. Indeed, a neat back header from Fever which found its way in a the far post gave the Shots a third goal with the final whistle being blown as the ball reached the back of the net.
The teams meet next week in the league with Shots this time at home. The FA Cup draw might reward Aldershot with a home tie for the Third Qualifying Round after two away victories, this one more comfortable than their shootout win at Weymouth in the previous tie.
Southampton Women: Rachael Cash, Nicola Beeton, Kirsty Bell, Emma Bottomley, Laura Gilbank, Hannah Hewlett, Sammy Howarth, Emily Langstone, Amy Wakefield, Kellie Warren, Gemma Worsfold. Subs: Darcey Reed, Alex Cottier, Emma Small.
Aldershot Town: Cora Kinsella, Katie Salmon, Holly Gayler, Lucy Thomson, Lauren Carnell, Sian Houghton, Emma North, Abi Fever, Nikki Moore, Caz Shepherd, Amy Hubbort. Sub: Chloe MacKay.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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