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Women's Football News
Brislington won their third trophy of the season when beating Bridgwater Town 5-0 in the Somerset FA Junior Women's Cup Final at Wells City.
Two goals either side of half time put the talented young side in control and they ran in three further second half goals to add the County Cup to their Somerset League and Cup double.
The game started in windy conditions and both sides struggled to keep the ball on the floor during the early stages. Brislington created the first chance of the match when Emily Plummer shot over from Leigha Milkins' pass and moments later, Abbie Southway was somewhat harshly penalised for a challenge on Fay Edwards as she tried to bundle the ball home.
Bridgwater hit back and forced a corner which was flicked on at the near post but Georgia Coles was unable to direct her header on target.
Brislington captain Jess Osborne drove a free kick wide at the other end but Bridgwater were unlucky not to take the lead as Anusia Rourke picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and let fly with a shot which beat Tallulah Wheeler but crashed against the bar.
There had been a long stoppage as Brislington striker Southway sustained a foot injury which forced her to leave the field, to be replaced by Hollie Hodgson, but they continued to pass the ball around well and a superb pass from Zoe Gunter released Sophie Whelan down the right and her angled shot was inches wide of the far post.
As the game entered injury time, Brislington made a crucial breakthrough. The impressive Hayley James broke down the right and fed Whelan on the edge of the area, the winger taking one touch before volleying her shot over Edwards and into the top corner of the net for the opening goal.
Three minutes into the second half, ironically after the ball had been returned to her following an injury, Wheeler's long wind assisted clearance released Plummer on goal, Edwards came off her line to challenge and neither got a touch, allowing Plummer to see the ball in for a goal which was credited to her goalkeeper.
Now Brislington were in control and they sought to add to their two-goal lead. Jade Hatton fired over following a corner and Milkins was unlucky not to find the net when she controlled and volleyed an effort which was just too high.
Brislington were using the dimensions of the large pitch perfectly with the pace of Plummer and Whelan a constant threat while Gunter and Hodgson caught the eye with a good range of passing.
The pressure eventually paid off as Whelan's pass into the area picked out Charlotte Reardon who neatly placed her shot over Edwards to put her team three in front.
Southway returned to the pitch after her first half injury and before Bridgwater could recover the previous setback, they found themselves four behind and Plummer was once again involved, her blistering pace taking her past two defenders before she set up a simple finish for Southway from close range.
Brislington were threatening to run riot at this stage but Bridgwater, to their credit, refused to collapsed. This was personified by Ami Ward who won a number of tackles and headers and she was well supported by Chelsey Pitchers and substitute Marie Campbell.
Brislington won a series of corners but despite good deliveries from Whelan and Molly Moore, Bridgwater continued to fight hard and prevent any further damage. Jazmin Faiers then produced arguably the pass of the match when she threaded a through ball for Milkins but the striker was unfortunate to see the ball come off the back of her heel and Bridgwater were able to clear.
The final goal came with three minutes left on the clock, Southway defying her earlier injury to bravely win the ball in a 50-50 challenge and Plummer picked it up and drove at the Bridgwater defence and into the area. Edwards made a great save from her initial shot but Plummer was able to steer home the rebound for a goal her performance deserved.
The win, against a team two divisions higher, capped a marvellous campaign for a fine Brislington line up which captured three trophies as well as a notable F.A.Women's Cup victory over Shanklin earlier in the season. Sadly they will be losing some of the team to university next season but several members of the squad are set for bright futures in the game.
Brislington: Tallulah Wheeler, Hayley James, Jess Osborne, Jade Hatton, Charlotte Reardon, Molly Moore, Zoe Gunter, Sophie Whelan, Leigha Milkins, Abbie Southway, Emily Plummer. Subs: Heidi Hodgson, Georgia Hurcom, Hollie Hodgson, Jazmin Faiers.
Bridgwater Town: Fay Edwards, Chelsey Pitchers, Emily Hale, Ami Ward, Jess Chappell, Georgia Coles, Anneka Russ, Holly Cox, Anne-Marie Moule, Anusia Rourke, Gabriella Coles. Sub: Marie Campbell.
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