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Southampton Women booked a Hampshire FA Challenge Cup semi final tie against Eastleigh with a comprehensive victory over Team Solent Ladies at Test Park.
After two postponements, this quarter final tie was reversed to become a home fixture for Solent, but Southampton dominated throughout and scored at regular intervals to notch eight goals. Solent battled hard and went close to scoring on several occasions but were also grateful to skipper Lauren Webb for some fine goalkeeping to keep the score down.
Jane Yeates opened the scoring in the third minute and added the second with a neat lobbed finish when sent clear by Philippa Holden on 17 minutes. Kellie Warren netted the third with a neat far post header from a Kirsty Bell free kick soon after.
Solent had a great chance to pull one back on the half hour during a scramble but a first effort was cleared off the line and a follow up was deflected for a corner. Southampton soon added a fourth when Katherine Wiseman got clear on the right and set up Yeates from close range for her hat-trick on 34 minutes.
Just before the break, Yeates set up Holden who forced in the fifth after Webb had saved a first effort from close range. Solent returned with good determination and, although Yeates hit the bar with another lobbed effort early on, the hosts created several good half chances. Emily Crook, Amber Siley and Melanie Saunders all had sights on Millie Peake's goal but the Southampton defence always found a block or tackle to deny them.
At the other end it was Holden who added the sixth after another flowing move found her one on one with Webb. Warren nearly added another with a volley from a Bell corner but Isabelle Field cleared off the line. Southampton brought on leading scorer Sheree Bell-Jack and Gemma Simmonds for the final twenty minutes and it was Bell-Jack who scored the seventh with a header from a Laura Gilbank corner on 78 minutes.
Solent keeper Webb made a string of fine saves late on. twice denying Simmonds by turning away shots at full stretch, then bringing off an outstanding double save from point blank efforts. It was rough justice on Solent when Bell-Jack added the eighth with the last kick of the game, rounding the advancing keeper before sliding the ball home.
Southampton Women maintained their fine form this season, playing excellent attacking football with a fine variety of passing and movement allied to pace in attack which was too much for their opponents, who themselves never gave up in a local derby match played in a good spirit in difficult conditions.
Lauren Webb, Ellie Hellyar, Amber Siley, Melanie Saunders, Esther Lau-Mackaay, Isabelle Field, Genevieve Lewis, Phoebe Pearson, Emily Crook, Daryanne Ryan, Barbara Dudek. Subs: Tjkina Stapper, Georgie Lowe, Coral Oakley.
Millie Peake, Cassie Thorp, Kirsty Whitton, Natasha Angel, Philippa Holden, Jane Yeates, Katherine Wiseman, Kirsty Bell, Laura Gilbank, Kellie Warren, Sophie Solloaway. Subs: Sheree Bell-Jack, Serena Kowalski, Gemma Simmonds.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photo by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
Daryanne Read slides in to tackle Laura Gilbank
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