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Women's Football News
Parley Sports 3 Exeter City 5
Exeter City moved into the First Round Proper of the FA Women's Cup with a 5-3 victory away to Parley Sports.
An exciting and highly enjoyable contest saw the Southern Region League Premier Division hosts take the lead twice in the first half but three goals around the hour mark saw Exeter well clear and, despite a brave fightback by Parley late on, the FAWPL South West Division One side won the day.
Parley matched their higher ranked opponents throughout the first half and moved the ball round fluently. They took the lead on ten minutes through a 15-yard Laura Baker strike from the left side of the box. Kirsty Caunter soon levelled with a powerful finish after an initial effort was blocked on the edge of the area on 14 minutes.
Lauren Little had a 30-yard effort held by Exeter keeper Carly Barber, but she was beaten by Baker's second on 26 minutes, a fine lobbed finish after a through ball left her clear of the last defender.
Exeter had created their own danger, Helen Kukor going round Parley keeper Sian Tilly but being crowded out. Tilly also made brave saves from Marika Ghiglia and a follow up effort from Sophie Simpson. Barber also had to be very alert to prevent Baker notching a hat-trick and then a Janie Morgan cross had the visiting defence in trouble before the ball was cleared for a corner as play switched from end to end.
The introduction of Lola Sanchez around the 35 minute mark gave Exeter added forward impetus. Within five minutes she had equalised, heading home a left wing cross from Tash Knapman and
the visitors pressed for the remainder of a lively and even first period.
An unfortunate injury to Parley's Tiff House led to a long delay early in the second half but Phillipa Holden was inches away from restoring the hosts' lead whilst Tilly made an excellent save to turn Kukor's close range effort on to the post. Sanchez was a constant menace with her pace and quick feet, earning a 58th minute penalty which Caunter converted, then setting up Knapman who was denied by Tilly's block, before notching the fourth herself with a cool finish after outpacing the Parley defence.
When Knapman converted Caunter's corner with a powerful volley beyond the far post on 68 minutes, it seemed that Exeter were home and dry. Sanchez nearly got her hat-trick but fired wide under challenge from the Parley keeper. Then the hosts found their passing feet again and had an excellent final 15 minutes.
Kerry Shiers started to find space and time on the right and sent in some dangerous crosses. Barber was forced into a fine save at the feet of Baker whilst Charlie Lanahan was just over with a close range header from another perfect delivery. Parley's admirable passing and movement eventually had some reward as Baker completed a fine hat-trick after Shiers had seen a powerful low effort well saved by Barber.
Lanahan had another header over the goal, this time from a corner and Little had another effort saved as Parley bowed out of the Cup on the front foot and with honour after a good battle.
Ultimately, the visitors had a wealth of talent and experience in their attack. The arrival of Sanchez and the pace and power of Kukor and Knapman allied to some well crafted early passes from midfield had stretched the home defence for much of the second period but Parley never gave up and played some fine passing football themselves.
Parley Sports: Sian Tilly, Nicola Rowswell, Tiff House, Kerry Fisher, Kerry Shiers, Charlie Lanahan, Holly Gayler, Phillipa Holden, Laura Baker, Janie Morgan, Lauren Little. Subs: Natalie Rees, Emily Dancer, Emma Davis, Jade Wardle, Ali Goater.
Exeter City: Carly Barber, Marika Ghiglia, Carla Staddon, Courtney Butt, Helen Kukor, Catherine Wright, Kirsty Caunter, Vicky Barter, Sophie Russell, Tash Knapman, Sophie Simpson. Subs: Lola Sanchez, Carly Bray, Corinne Potts.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Lola Sanchez prepares to fire goalwards with Parley keeper Sian Tilly closing in
(middle) Helen Kukor rides a tackle from Holly Gayler
(bottom) Tash Knapman battles for the ball with Kerry Fisher
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