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Women's Football News
Devon opened up the South & West Counties Championship with a 3-0 victory over Gloucestershire at Oaklands Park.
Gloucestershire kicked off this inaugural match of the resurrected South & West Counties Championship Women's Group but Devon took control straight away, Jordan Davey intercepting a poor pass and driving into the box to win the first of many corners for Devon. Although the corner was wasted, Devon eventually took the lead when, a minute later, Gloucestershire keeper Erin Pruett failed to clear her lines, allowing Abbie Scurr to chip the ball into the area to Rebecca Turner who coolly slotted home.
In these early stages, Devon were threatening every time they attacked and five minutes later they went two up when player of the match Jana Richards drove into the area to ram the ball home despite the best efforts of Pruett. The Gloucestershire ladies were clearly struggling with the pace of the Devon attack, in particular the understanding that quickly built up between Davey and Richards, and on twenty minutes we saw the first use of the repeat substitution system, Gloucestershire's management team introducing Rosanna Boxall to strengthen the midfield.
Devon continued to attack however and two more substitutions were made by Gloucestershire who then seemed to grow in confidence. In the 35th minute a fine attacking move down the right side of Devon's defence put Rosanna Blacker clear in front of goal and only a last ditch challenge by Becky McMullen prevented her from halving the deficit.
Gloucestershire started the second half much more strongly with Boxall probing down the left side, her pace causing all sorts of problems for the Devon defenders. Fifteen minutes in, she raced into the box and looked certain to score until Devon keeper Zoe Stock, who had had little to do, dived bravely at her feet to smother the ball.
Devon's coach Roger Bonaparte clearly saw where the danger lay and reintroduced Richards who had been rested earlier. Her pace strengthened the Devon midfield who then got back on top. The game ebbed and flowed but, with fifteen minutes remaining, Amy Terry fired home a loose ball from six yards to make the game safe for Devon.
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