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Gosport Borough 2 Bristol Ladies Union 0
Gosport Borough progressed to the Third Round Qualifying of the FA Women's Cup with a 2-0 win over Bristol Ladies Union.
A goal in each half from Kelly Baker gave the Southern Regional League hosts a deserved win over their South West Regional League visitors. A very hard working Borough team restricted Union to a minimum of clear scoring opportunities whilst creating a number of chances to test Katie Farrell who had a fine game in goal for the visitors.
Gosport were on the front foot from the start and Jess Timbrell created the first chance with a cross for Sam Jennings whose powerful header was pushed away at full stretch by Farrell. Baker gave Gosport the lead on 17 minutes with a fine opportunist goal. Despite looking second favourite to reach a through ball, Baker shrugged off the challenge of the last defender and slid the loose ball at full stretch past the advancing keeper.
Bristol Ladies Union had a decent chance to equalise on 20 minutes but Toni Hemmings shot wide when well placed. Katie Johns saved Union with fine tackle to deny Baker, then Farrell saved well from the lively striker. A Timbrell free kick was met by a diving header from Lorrae Rowan, but again Farrell was well positioned and handled safely on 39 minutes. Charmaine True had troubled the Union defence throughout the half with her clever footwork and ability to hold the ball and she set up Baker for one final shot which Farrell held at full stretch.
The visitors needed to find more in attack and to exert greater pressure on the Gosport defence. This they managed to do, but only after True and Baker had created early half chances after the break. Around the hour mark, Union finally found the key to open up the previously secure Borough defence. Amanda Blakeley broke clear but shot wide, then Baber shot over from ten yards. On 66 mintes Baber was again played in on the right edge of the area, her powerful low shot producing a fine save from Borough keeper Gemma Needham at her near post.
Gosport weathered the storm and True nearly doubled the lead before embarking on a mazy run which led to Baker's second. The wide player was eventually halted on the edge of the area, but the ball found its way into the run of Baker who repeated her earlier sharp finish to double the lead on 72 minutes.
Baker was denied her hat-trick by another Farrell save, whilst Timbrell went close with a volley from a corner and True had an effort from distance well held as Gosport saw out the match with some comfort. The victory was built on the hard work and discipline of the entire team, the work rate and commitment of every player was exemplary but it was the predatory instincts of Baker which eventually proved the deciding factor in a well contested tie.
Gosport Borough: Gemma Needham, Laura Dunk, Hannah Burrows, Jess Timbrell, Emma Pickering, Lorrae Rowan, Kim Hier, Rachel Wilson, Sam Jennings, Kelly Baker, Charmaine True. Subs: Nat Pollard, Shannon Woods, Zoe Ramshaw, Gemma Green.
Bristol Ladies Union: Kate Farrell, Cheryl Baber, Toni Hemmings, Katie Johns, Victoria Symes, Sarah Harris, Amanda Blakeley, Chloe Campbell, Hannah Garratt-Kirk, Elodie Fechino, Sarah Gregory. Subs: Sally-Anne Shortman, Poppy Warren, Sam Rogers, Lucy Sharp.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Hannah Garrett-Kirk clears away from Kelly Baker
(middle) Kelly Baker scores the opening goal just ahead of Sarah Harris
(bottom) Charmaine True battles for the ball with Elodie Fechino
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