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Wootton Bassett Town 1 Cheltenham Civil Service 0
Wootton Bassett Town will take their place in the FA Women's Cup First Round Qualifying next Sunday after a fiercely contested 1-0 win over Gloucestershire County League Division One rivals Cheltenham Civil Service.
Eight clubs had been chosen to contest an additional Preliminary Round to even up numbers and Bassett joined Fleet Town, Folly Lane and Moulton in progressing. Chetenham Civil Service dominated large periods of the match and the home side were indebted to a outstanding display from keeper Sarah Humphries and brave defending to preserve the advantage given to them by Samantha Wood's free kick goal.
Although Wootton Bassett had the first corner and shot on target, it was the visitors who created the majority of chances as the first half unfolded. Kelly Churchley and Leanne Painter tested the keeper from distance whilst Beth Tovey was foiled by an alert dash from her line by Humphries to block at the expense of a corner on 28 minutes. Bassett could make little headway against a very strong Civvy defence and the final effort of the half fell to the visitors' Sheryl Donnelly after a good run down the left by Tovey.
Both defences and midfield units had worked very hard to limit the opposition to mainly long range efforts but the match opened up after the break. Laura Ball was always a threat for the home team whilst the visitors were able to combine effectively to break down the Bassett defence.
Churchley twice broke clear of the home defence around the hour mark. She had a scoring effort ruled out for handball then hit the upright with a chipped effort. The lively forward again sprinted clear after a good break out from a Bassett corner and pass from Harmony Wheeler but her near post effort was turned aside by Humphies. The busy keeper did even better to hold on to a wickedly bouncing free kick on her line then a Donnelly shot at the third attempt as she collided with an upright.
Just as it seemed inevitable that Cheltenham Civil Service would convert their superiority into a winning goal it was the hosts who scored. Wood was 30 yards out, slightly to the left of goal as she measured an inch perfect right foot free kick effort into the top right corner, giving Kelly Patterson no chance on 78 minutes.
Civvy poured forward in an attempt to force extra time. Under severe pressure the home team defended with great composure and still threatened on the breakaway. Five additional minutes were negotiated successfully for the home team's first ever win in the FA Women's Cup, £100 prize money and a tie away to Bristol Ladies Union next week.
Wootton Bassett Town: Sarah Humphries, Jenny Galvin, Sophie Harper, Helen Tidy, Laura Jeffries, Megan Tidy, Rachel Buchanan, Alisha Elson, Samantha Wood, Katy Edwards, Laura Ball. Subs: Zoe Holland, Felicity Talbot, Shannon Furey.
Cheltenham Civil Service: Kelly Patterson, Janet Wheeler, Roxanne George, Kirsty Stevens, Amy Tovey, Leanne Painter, Sheryl Donnelly, Terrie Lockett, Beth Tovey, Kelly Churchley, Harmony Wheeler. Subs: Gemma Riley, Jody Ling, Rebecca Hancock, Samantha Gifford.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Rachel Buchanan clears from Kelly Churchley
(middle) Sophie Harper battles with Samantha Gifford
(bottom) Laura Jeffries tries to get in a challenge on Gemma Riley
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