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Women's Football News
Bishop's Lydeard 4 (Miller 44, Dennett 51, Williams 82, Buck 89)
Brislington 1 (Whelan 23)
South West Women's League Champions Brislington were denied a chance of the 'double' when Bishop's Lydeard ran out comprehensive 4-1 winners in the Pat Sowden Cup Final at Cullompton.
Bishop's Lydeard were quickly into their stride with Jemma Bowker having a free kick saved but Brislington's response was swift, Kim Maggs forcing a save from Charlotte Smith following a cross by Emily Plummer.
Lydeard continued to have the better of things and almost took the lead when Billie Denny's run and cross was flicked goalwards by Rosie Williams. The ball came back off the bar and fell for Holly Miller whose well struck shot brought out an excellent reflex save from Tallulah Wheeler.
The resulting corner was cleared away and Brislington immediately counter attacked through Sophie Whelan who exchanged passes with Maggs before cutting inside past a challenge from Emily Knott and burying a low shot into the corner of the net.
Abbie Southway was inches away from adding a second when her shot from Hollie Hodgson-Heatherson's cross dipped just over the bar. Back came Brislington and a chance came for Dawna Dennett who miscued her shot and Wheeler failed to gather but she was relieved to see the ball come back off the post and back into her arms.
Much of Lydeard's best play was coming from Miller on the left and she produced a great through ball to release Dennett on goal but this time her effort hit the side netting. Sophie Buck then got away down the right and cut in before firing over as Lydeard continued to press hard.
Their efforts were finally rewarded on the stroke of half time after being awarded a free kick just outside the area. Bowker floated the ball across for Miller to plant a downward header past Wheeler and level the scores.
Whelan brought out an early save from Smith at the start of the second half but Lydeard were soon to go in front for the first time. Miller made a strong run down the left and crossed for Dennett to sweep home a neat effort which went in off the far post.
Dennett drilled a shot wide and then another great pass from Miller put Buck through on goal but Leigha Milkins and Wheeler did well to crowd her out and prevent her from scoring. Brislington just could not get going and despite losing the impressive Miller to injury, Lydeard continued to attack. Buck's cross from the left picked out Kitty Wells whose 20-yard strike came back off the bar, Williams picked up the rebound and found Dennett who fired over.
With ten minutes remaining, Brislington were handed a great chance when awarded a free kick outside the area. Whelan's cross was headed goalwards by Hodgson-Heatherson but Smith pulled off a fine save before bravely smothering at the feet of Maggs, causing the highly rated young goalkeeper to receive treatment for a neck injury.
That save proved to be even more significant as, within a minute of the restart, Buck was released down the left and from her delightful cross, Williams rose high to give Wheeler no chance with a towering header at the near post.
The goal knocked the heart out of Brislington and Lydeard, who were well served by Natalie Poole at the back, were to crown the win in the dying minutes. Wells did well on the left to evade a challenge from Milkins before picking out an unmarked Buck at the far post and she made no mistake from close range to round off a great day for her club.
Bishop's Lydeard: Charlotte Smith, Sarah Waygood, Emily Knott, Jemma Bowker, Natasha Gratton, Natalie Poole, Holly Miller, Rosie Williams, Kitty Wells, Dawna Dennett, Billie Denny. Subs: Sophie Buck, Sarah Pearce, Helen Knott.
Brislington: Tallulah Wheeler, Jade Hatton, Leigha Milkins, Hollie Hodgson-Heatherson, Chloe Rogers, Vicky Powell, Sophie Whelan, Kim Maggs, Georgia Vandries, Abbie Southway, Emily Plummer. Subs: Zoe Gunter, Sophie Allen, Abbie Kirby.
(top) Rosie Williams wins a header against Chloe Rogers
(middle) Kim Maggs shoots for goal, watched by Jemma Bowker
(bottom) Bishop's Lydeard celebrate with the trophy
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