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Women's Football News
London Bees 0 Yeovil Town 2
Yeovil Town continued their amazing progress up the women's football pyramid by clinching promotion to WSL 1 with a 2-0 away victory over London Bees.
Knowing only a win would guarantee promotion with a game to spare, Yeovil shrugged off a nervy first half where they were second best for long periods to dominate after the break and seal the win with goals from Kayleigh Green and Nadia Lawrence.
In fact, Yeovil had two good chances to take an early lead, Lucy Quinn and Green both shooting wide when well placed in the first ten minutes. From then on, Bees controlled the game, moving the ball very effectively and finding space in behind the Yeovil defence for Evie Clarke and Jo Wilson to exploit. The visitors were penned back and grateful to Hannah Short for two good last ditch tackles to deny Clarke as she shot.
Bees came close to taking the lead on 16 minutes when keeper Charlotte Haynes cleared only as far as Emma Beckett whose shot from 30 yards landed on the roof of the net. On the half hour, Helen Bleazard came to Yeovil's rescue twice when, with Haynes stranded, she blocked and then headed off the line efforts from Wilson.
Ann Marie Heatherson went close with an effort from distance from Yeovil but it was Haynes who kept the scores level with a fine diving save to turn a shot wide on 36 minutes.
Right on the break, Yeovil's Kelly Aldridge was denied by a fine save by Sophie Harris, then Deanna Cooper made a superb tackle to prevent Green from converting the loose ball. Unfortunately, Cooper was unable to continue and Bees were forced to reshuffle, moving Beckett back from midfield to partner Merrick Will at centre back on the restart.
Yeovil returned with great purpose and were on the front foot from the first minute, Green clipping the bar with an early header. Suddenly the visitors were winning nearly every challenge and using the wings to great effect with Quinn and Nicola Cousins able to run at the Bees defence. The crucial opener came on 56 minutes when Green rose to meet a left wing delivery and looped a header over Harris.
Yeovil continued to dominate with Green again going close to converting a Quinn cross and Heatherson just unable to reach a Cousins centre from the right on 66 minutes.
As time ticked down with Yeovil only a single goal ahead, Bees finally found some forward momentum. The 80th minute settled the match in dramatic style. Bees won a corner which Paula Howells delivered right under the bar. Haynes dropped the ball, which bounced on the goal line before being smuggled away for a quick break. Three passes later and Lawrence was clear to lift the ball past the advancing Bees keeper for the vital second goal.
Yeovil saw the match out in style, playing with confidence and freedom before celebrating with over 100 travelling fans on the final whistle. As so often this season, they had been tested at times in a match but had found a way to overcome the challenge. Next week will decide the outcome of the WSL 2 title as Yeovil take on Sheffield at home whilst West Country title rivals Bristol City, level on points but with an inferior goal difference, travel to Oxford United.
London Bees: Sophie Harris, Manuela Naprta, Deanna Cooper (sub Holly Greenwood 45mins), Merrick Will, Sophie Fogarty, Rebecca Anderson, Emma Beckett, Nikki Watts, Paula Howells, Jo Wilson (sub Hana Lalani 83emins), Evie Clarke. Subs not used: Aoife Hurley, Shayla Burgess, Andria Georgiou, Dani Scanlon, Ellie Perkins.
Yeovil Town: Charlotte Haynes, Helen Bleazard, Hannah Short, Danielle Carlton (sub Steph Williams 90mins), Kelly Snook, Ellie Curson, Nicola Cousins, Ann Marie Heatherson, Lucy Quinn, Kelly Aldridge (sub Nadia Lawrence 65mins), Kayleigh Green (sub Jessie Jones 76mins). Subs not used: Ellis Hillman, Emily Donovan, Leah Burridge, Kirsten Rendell.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photo by www.jamesprickett.co.uk.
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