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Maynard clinches Swindon Plate progression
 Women's Football News 1 Dec 2014
Maynard clinches Swindon Plate progression - 1 Dec 2014 - Women's Football NewsSouthampton Saints 1 Swindon Town 2
Swindon Town clinched a last eight place in the Premier League Plate with an Ellie Maynard goal 20 seconds from the final whistle to defeat hosts Southampton Saints at Sholing FC. 
A very even battle between two high fliers in the South West Division One seemed destined for extra time when Maynard dived to head a Michelle Rich free kick wide of Hannah Haughton for a dramatic finale to a good contest.
Swindon had gone in to the break one goal to the good courtesy of Meg Vella, scorer of the winning goal against Forest Green Rovers in the league the week before. They started the second half well, applying good early pressure with Chyna Collings bringing out a good save by Haughton. Saints skipper Krystal Whyte went very close to equalising, a lofted shot from the right bouncing off Robyn Levett's bar on 55 minutes. Becki Bath created the equaliser on 57 minutes with a free kick which evaded Levett's grasp for Jess Lewry to shoot home from close range.
Maynard went close to restoring Town's lead but Haughton was equal to her powerful shot. Whyte delivered a left wing corner which Bath met with a header narrowly wide of the Swindon goal on 80 minutes. Vella shot just over and Collings was denied by last ditch block for a corner as Swindon finished strongly.
Just when it seemed that extra time was inevitable, Saints were penalised wide on the left of goal some 25 yards out. Rich delivered a perfect away swinging waist high delivery and Maynard beat her marker to guide a header right into the bottom corner of Haughton's goal.
There was barely time to restart before the final whistle. Defeat was extra hard for Saints as they had conceded a very late equaliser to the same opponents in the league a few weeks before and there was nothing to choose between two well organised and committed teams this time. However it is Swindon who will await the quarter final draw with interest. 
Southampton Saints: Hannah Haughton, Rebecca Davis, Kerri Why, Becki Bath, Kat Littleboy, Sheridan Palk, Emma Whitlock, Liberty Pritchard, Krystal Whyte, Catherine Browning, Jess Lewry. Subs: Leah Shave, Emily Slater.

Swindon Town: Robyn Levett, Laura Morgan, Lisa Coe, Chenise Austin, Sam Quinn, Michelle Rich, Beth Thompson, Chyna Collings, Sarah Uzzell, Ellie Maynard, Meg Vella. Subs: Meg Attenborough, Serena Smith.

(Report by Patrick Higgins)

Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:

(top) Beth Thompson gets in a cross past Kerri Why
(middle) Meg Vella is challenged by Emma Whitlock
(bottom) Liberty Pritchard clears away from Chyna Collings

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