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Women's Football News
Larkhall Athletic 4 (Munro 11, Barratt 36, Kate German 52, Harrington 63)
Keynsham Town 1 (Keka 53)
Larkhall Athletic retained the Somerset FA Senior Cup with a commanding victory over an injury-hit Keynsham Town side at Bishop Sutton.
The two teams had met twice in the past month with two closely fought draws the result, but this time the Larks were quick off the mark with Emily Harrington firing a shot just wide from the edge of the area.
Keynsham responded with a Katie Cook header which brought out a good save from Nicki O'Connell but three minutes later, Larkhall were in front. An inswinging corner from the left by Michelle Munro beat Keynsham goalkeeper Colette Bell and, although Fleur Jenkins cleared, the ball had already crossed the line.
It was nearly two a minute later as Kate German burst down the left and picked out Lizzie Barratt whose shot was deflected over the bar.
Keynsham slowly recovered from the early setback and created a glorious chance to equalise just before the half hour. Justine Lorton-Radburn's free kick from the left picked out an unmarked Andreea Alexandru who headed against the bar from six yards out. Set pieces were looking the best way for Keynsham to make a breakthrough and good Larkhall defending was to preserve their lead when, following a corner, both Cook and Alexandru had shots charged down.
Larkhall were always looking sharp going forward though and on 36 minutes, they capitalised to go further ahead. Munro's through ball was latched onto by Barratt who outpaced the Keynsham defence before lobbing the oncoming Bell for the second goal.
Barratt's pace and movement was causing all sorts of problems and she was almost in for a third when she raced onto an attempted back pass by Jessie Osborne but her angled shot was just over the bar.
Another Keynsham free kick led to an opportunity at the other end on the stroke of half time as Lorton-Radburn's flick picked out Alexandru but the full back's shot on the turn was wide of the far post.
Larkhall came out strongly at the start of the second half but once again their pace on the break was to prove telling. After an initial corner by Keynsham was touched on for Hannah Davies whose shot was blocked by Amanda Blakeley, Larkhall immediately counter attacked with Barratt releasing Munro on the left and her low cross was converted emphatically at the far post by Kate German.
Barely a minute later, Keynsham were back in the game when Keka broke through on goal and gave O'Connell no chance with a delightful chip.
The skilful Keka was proving to be Keynsham's biggest threat and she was narrowly off target with another effort after exchanging passes with Lorton-Radburn.
Larkhall were carrying the greater cutting edge though and on 63 minutes, Kate Geman this time turned provider when her cross from the left picked out Harrington who made no mistake from eight yards.
Keynsham did not give up and tried hard to find a way back into the game but Larkhall stood firm under any pressure. They did require O'Connell to make a brave smothering save from Lorton-Radburn and Alexandru again went close with a header but Larkhall, who were well served by hard working midfielders Rosie Bidder, Adele Hooper and Krystle German, closed the game out comfortably and were worthy winners on the day to give outgoing manager Jack Edgar a victorious send off.
Larkhall Athletic: Nicki O'Connell, Rosie Bidder, Amanda Blakeley, Emily Harrington (sub Danielle Beazer 84mins), Rosie Harris, Carly Bryant, Lizzie Barratt, Michelle Munro, Kate German, Krystle German (sub Carly Symons 80mins), Adele Hooper (sub Hayley Huckin 75mins).
Keynsham Town: Colette Bell, Andreea Alexandru, Fleur Jenkins (sub Naomi Nash 55mins), Rachel Cullen, Jessie Osborne, Hannah Davies (sub Enya Wilkinson 87mins), Keka, Katie Cook, Leanne Lapham, Justine Lorton-Radburn, Kim Cheffey (sub Hannah Sims 55mins).
(top) Lizzie Barratt scores Larkhall's second goal despite the efforts of Hannah Davies
(middle) Michelle Munro takes possession under pressure from Katie Cook
(bottom) Larkhall Athletic with the trophy
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