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Women's Football News
Brislington kept hold of the Somerset County Junior Women's Cup after winning a penalty shootout against Ilminster Town in the Final at Wells.
The South West League side went into the game as favourites against the Somerset County League Champions and they took the lead on the quarter hour when Chloe Tape scored from close range.
Brislington continued to call the shots during the first half and Kim Maggs was denied by a good save from Abbi Bond. The young Bristol side were hampered shortly afterwards when captain Sophie Whelan landed awkwardly after a challenge and left the field with what looked to be a serious arm injury.
Ilminster stayed solid at the back though to maintain the one-goal deficit going into the interval.
Bond made another good save early in the second half from Emily Plummer and this proved to be a crucial moment as two minutes later, Ilminster got back on level terms. Sarah Roxburgh's flick released Alice Charlton on goal and the prolific striker kept her cool to plant the ball inside the far corner for the equaliser.
Both teams had chances from this point, Roxburgh almost putting Ilminster in front but her shot was blocked at the near post by Tallulah Wheeler. Plummer was again denied by a great reflex stop from Bond who also saved well from Maggs as she burst through.
Charlton was close to a second goal as she broke down the left and cut in past two defenders but fired her shot straight at Wheeler, then Hayley Phillips volleyed over when well placed after Megan Purchase returned the ball into the area following a corner.
Brislington hit back but again found Bond in excellent form, Hollie Hodgson's well struck shot looked destined for the top corner but the Ilminster goalkeeper clawed the ball away for another fine save.
Both sides, Ilminster in particular, were being badly affected by cramp and after Maggs made another run through on goal before her attempted lob was saved by Bond, the game went into extra time.
Chances were much fewer during the extra period with the two teams looking desperately tired. Brislington looked the likelier team to make a breakthrough, driven on by Zoe Gunter and the lively Hodgson, but Kath Parsons was having a fine game at the back for Ilminster and made a number of important challenges.
Brislington, who brought back on a clearly injured Whelan with minutes left on the clock, piled on the late pressure but Ilminster held on and took the game into a penalty shootout.
Both teams scored their opening two kicks and then Whelan put Brislington in front before Wheeler produced a great save to keep out Jenny Frost's effort. The next two penalties both went in, leaving Maggs with the chance to clinch victory with Brislington's final kick and she found the corner of the net to start Brislington celebrations.
It had been a gruelling but enjoyable Final which ended with Brislington lifting their second trophy in a matter of days but Ilminster had acquitted themselves very well on the night against quality opponents.
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