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New Milton Town 1 AFC Bournemouth 0
New Milton Town marked their SSE Women's FA Cup debut with a 1-0 Second Qualifying round home win over AFC Bournemouth at Fawcett's Field.
In an even and well contested match there were plenty of attempts on goal, but it was a good finish by substitute Katie Norman on 65 minutes which ultimately proved decisive as the Southern Region League Division One team progressed against their Hampshire County League Division One opponents.
Both teams went close to scoring in their opening attacks. Olivia Jones was denied by Bournemouth keeper Kate Guthrie in the second minute whilst at the other end, Chloe Tape had a shot saved after a good run on goal. New Milton keeper Erin Leonard dived to her right to hold a Caitlin Steele effort then saw another fly high over her bar on 16 minutes. Guthrie was again in action to hold another Jones attempt as the action shifted rapidly from one end to the other.
Bournemouth's Steele again broke clear on 28 minutes but Leonard was out quickly to block the shot at the edge of her area. New Milton grew stronger in the latter stages of the first period with Bournemouth conceding several corners. Charlie Pitkin fired in a 30-yard effort which flew inches over then Anna Slater controlled a long Leonard clearance before getting a shot away. The half ended as it had begun with New Milton attacker Nicole Power forcing another good save from Guthrie.
The home team continued to have the better of the chances on the restart. Billie Reading shot across goal and Guthrie did well to hold another Jones shot on 54 minutes. The two players then combined well with a Reading cross producing a Jones volley which flew wide of goal just after the hour mark.
Substitute Norman had also threatened the Bournemouth goal when played through on two or three occasions before the winning goal. Played in again on the right by a long pass, she rounded the advancing Guthrie before finishing well past a covering defender on 65 minutes.
Bournemouth responded well to this setback and had their most dominant spell, forcing the home team to defend very deep. They were twice inches away from an equaliser with a cross bouncing to safety off the bar then sub Kerry Shiers heading wide on the far post from a free kick on 75 minutes. Tape had a 30-yard effort which flew inches over Leonard's bar but the equaliser would not come as New Milton saw out the final minutes very effectively.
Both teams had plenty of support in a good contest which will be repeated next month in a Hampshire County Cup fixture with Bournemouth the hosts. It is New Milton, who as AFC Boscombe last season had won the Hampshire County League, who took the derby honours and will go into the Third Qualifying round draw.
New Milton Town: Erin Leonard, Rebecca Ingram, Lucy Cuff, Billie Reading, Charlie Pitkin, Victoria Wardle, Lucy Slater, Olivia Jones, Nicole Power, Ai Shindo, Ellis Mayall. Subs: Katie Norman, Kady Thorne, Caroline Gray.
AFC Bournemouth: Katie Guthrie, Emma Davis, Jess Marshallsay, Nicole Greenwood, Zoe Ramshaw, Sammie Humphries, Hollie Lemon, Caitlin Steele, Chloe Tape, Rosie Eden, Sian Tilly. Subs: Chloe Longworth, Kerry Shiers.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Emma Davis hurdles a challenge from Ellis Mayall
(middle) Lucy Slater (right) takes on Hollie Lemon
(bottom) Katie Guthrie gathers under pressure from Olivia Jones
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