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Sam and Ella make Union suffer
 Women's Football News 16 Apr 2014
 
Sam and Ella make Union suffer - 16 Apr 2014 - Women's Football NewsForest Green Rovers produced a powerful display and proved far too strong on the night for a Bristol Ladies Union side which battled hard but could not contain their South West Combination opponents who ran out 7-0 winners. 
 
The Union defence were tormented by speedy Rovers wingers Sam Hallsworth and Ella Hitchcox who gave blistering performances on the flanks all night and were in unstoppable form.
 
There was an indication of what was to come as early as the fourth minute when Hitchcox burst down the left and cut the ball back to the edge of the area where Hannah Hale did well to escape the attentions of Amanda Blakeley but shot straight at Kethryn Howells.
 
The opening goal was not long in coming though and it came from a corner on the left hand side, Hale's inswinging kick picking out Charlotte King who rose highest to plant a downward header into the back of the net.
 
King volleyed over from a Hallsworth cross and another well executed Hale corner caused problems for Union before Jodie Shepherd fired her shot over the bar.
 
Union produced their best move so far when a good crossfield pass by Cheryl Baber picked out Katy-May O'Hara-Nash, who ran at the Rovers defence and reached the edge of the area where her shot was charged down by a good block tackle from Hale.
 
Rovers replied with a good move of their own, Sarah Stacey laying off for King whose far post chip picked out Hallsworth but the winger's shot was well saved low down by Howells. The long throws of Sophie Okey were another threat and Stacey did well to control one and turn past Hannah Garratt-Kirk before lifting her shot over the bar.
 
The pressure told just before half time though and, after being released on the right by Hale's pass, Hallsworth raced to the goal line and cut the ball back for Stacey who had a simple tap in from close range for the second goal.
 
As the second half began, Union needed to make the next strike to get themselves back in the game and won an early corner but moments later found themselves further behind following a clinical Rovers breakaway. Hallsworth broke down the right and her cross was cleared as far as Ellie Olds who exchanged passes with King before burying a firm left foot shot past Howells.
 
Before Union could recover, they suffered a further setback. Rosie Bidder carried the ball forward and slid an inch perfect pass into the path of Hitchcox who gave Howells no chance with an angled shot which found the far corner.
 
Union almost pulled a goal back when a Baber free kick was clawed away for a corner by Charlotte Greaves but Rovers were rampant at this stage and went close again, Stacey firing over whilst Howells produced good handling on a number of occasions from crosses by Hallsworth and Hitchcox.
 
However the Union defence were starting to tire and Rovers soon broke through again, Hale's pass putting King through on goal and she burst into the area to produce an unerring finish for the fifth goal.
 
Shortly afterwards, Bidder switched play with a crossfield pass for Hallsworth who sped away from two defenders and drilled the ball past Howells for the goal her performance deserved.
 
The next goal was only three minutes away, this time a scramble in the area ended with King finding Hitchcox in front of goal and the winger drove her shot into the top corner.
 
Rovers continued to press with Hale and Stacey both being denied by excellent saves from Howells, who had an impressive match despite conceding seven goals. Union did not give up and fought until the end but had come up against a Forest Green side in top form and worthy winners of the newly named Women's Trophy. 
 
Forest Green Rovers: Charlotte Greaves, Abbie Sadler, Sophie Okey, Rosie Bidder, Ellie Olds, Jodie Shepherd, Sam Hallsworth, Hannah Hale, Sarah Stacey, Charlotte King, Ella Hitchcox. Subs: Jenna Lapore, Louise Fensome.

Bristol Ladies Union: Kethryn Howells, Sophie Morgan, Sarah Harris, Sarah Gregory, Hannah Garratt-Kirk, Alyta Norman, Amanda Blakeley, Cheryl Baber, Toni Hemmings, Vicki Symes, Katy-May O'Hara-Nash. Subs: Elodie Fechino, Becky Harris, Natalia Debek.

Photos:

(top) Charlotte King (partially hidden) heads in the opening goal for Forest Green
(middle) Cheryl Baber battles for the ball with Ella Hitchcox
(bottom) Jodie Shepherd about to clear away from Natalia Debek


 
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