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Old Actonians 3 Shanklin 0
Old Actonians continued their strong start to the season with a 3-0 home victory over Shanklin at North Greenford United F C to reach the second round of the FAWPL Cup.
The newly promoted South East Division One team were always in control against a young squad from the Isle of Wight club but were made to wait a long time to be sure of progress by very hard working and spirited opponents from South West Division One.
In fact, Jess Byrne gave OAs an early advantage, picking up the ball in midfield then driving forward before sending a low shot home from the edge of the area on 8 minutes. Natasha Cree nearly added another but was wide from close range on 26 minutes. Byrne had another effort from distance well saved by Deanna Childs on 34 minutes. Cree then beat two defenders before firing low across goal with no one able to turn the ball home. Shanklin moved the ball well through midfield but their attempts close to goals were well contained by a very well marshalled OA defence.
Just before the break, the hosts put together their best move of the half with Carla Williams and Cree combining and Sinead Friel having a shot from the right turned away by an instinctive save by Childs to ensure just a single goal lead for the West Londoners.
Sharon Odofin was always looking to contribute from left wing back and had a curling effort just over on 48 minutes. The crucial second goal came just before the hour mark with Byrne again scoring from a very similar distance and position. this time finding the bottom right corner. Williams went close to a third with an effort just over but the Shanklin defence was never really opened up, the chief danger coming from some excellent corner deliveries from Byrne.
Shanklin had their best spell as the game reached its final quarter with Chloe Parkes hitting a sweet volley well held by OAs keeper Naomi Swift. However, the home team were always dangerous and Childs again reacted well to hold a clever flicked volley from Williams on 80 minutes. Cree was always looking to make progress down the right and from one run forced a corner which led to the third.
Another pinpoint delivery found Murphy's run from the edge of the area and she planted a header powerfully past Childs from ten yards for the third to crown a commanding individual display on 87 minutes. In truth, OA had only fitfully found their best form over the 90 minutes which was a tribute to the covering and tackling of the visitors but the result was never really in doubt.
Old Actonians move into the last sixteen of the League Cup with the possibility of a plum tie against higher division opponents whilst Shanklin will hope to boost their league position with perhaps also an F A Cup run to enjoy, despite another long distance away tie against AEK Boco next week.
Old Actonians: Naomi Swift, Catherine Murphy, Sharon Odofin, Leah Taylor, Jodie Regan, Sinead Friel, Nathalie Randell, Melissa Conway, Jessica Byrne, Carla Williams, Natasha Cree. Subs: Emma Mulhern, Clemmie Moodie, Simone Wan.
Shanklin: Deanna Childs, Shannon Kilcullen, Naomi Cooper, Sammie Mumford, Kim Arnold, Leanne Gibbins, Daisy Cassidy, Chloe Parkes, Ellena Crutcher, Danielle Merryfield, Kayleigh Tayler. Subs: Amelia Ward, Marika Bebere.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Shannon Kilcullen is held off by Sharon Odofin.
(middle) Emma Mulhern battles for the ball with Chloe Parkes
(bottom) Amelia Ward tries to challenge Carla Williams
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