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Buckland Athletic 3 (Gough 35, Caunter 52, Butt 58)
Buckland Athletic completed a magnificent season for themselves by adding the Bristol Soccerworld Cup to their previous two trophies already won with a strong display at Bishop's Lydeard.
The Western Division Champions had too much firepower on the day for a valiant Alphington side who fell at the final hurdle in their attempts to retain the trophy.
Buckland went into the match as hot favourites but Alphington competed well and restricted them to just one chance in the opening stages, a Laura Gough shot which was comfortably saved by Ashleigh Brown. The first twenty minutes were evenly contested with Alphington going close as a long range strike from Laura Burwood dipped narrowly over the bar.
A good passing move by Buckland ended up with Abigail Meyer having a shot saved by Brown, who was again well placed to keep out a strike on the turn by Kirsty Caunter. Hayley Chamberlain dragged a shot wide from the edge of the area as Buckland strove to break down a well organised Alphington back four in which Catherine Wright excelled all match.
The breakthrough was made ten minutes before half time as Buckland broke away after clearing an Alphington free kick. Maria Warman supplied a delightful through ball for Gough to outpace Karen Buck and bear down on goal before giving Brown no chance with a confident finish for the opener.
It could have two a minute later; this time Gough was the provider as she cut the ball back from the goal line for Caunter who shot over the bar with the goal at her mercy.
Alphington responded with their best move of the game, Burwood's pass releasing Molly Dineen down the right but her cross was too strong for the oncoming Mary Murphy at the far post. Back came Buckland with Gough shrugging off two challenges as she burst into the area but Jodie Millett came to Alphington's rescue with a fine block to keep her side one behind at the interval.
It took a good tackle from Carla Staddon to prevent Murphy from getting in on goal after being played in by Kirsty Brown as Alphington threatened an equaliser early in the second half but shortly after Gough had shot wide at the other end, Chamberlain's free kick into the area was headed home by Caunter at the far post to put Buckland two ahead.
Six minutes later it was three, the impressive Natalie Warman made a good run down the left and her low cross was buried emphatically past Brown by Courtney Butt.
The two-goal blast had effectively killed off Alphington's hopes of getting back into the game and although they fought hard to try and score, they found Staddon and Gabrielle Trays in fine form in the centre of the Buckland defence.
Buckland themselves looked for more goals with Gough, twice, and Caunter producing efforts which were off target, but Alphington dug in deep to make sure they did not concede any more.
Burwood tried her luck from distance at the other end but was unable to trouble Abbi Bond in the Buckland goal. As the game went into injury time, Buckland almost crowned their win with a fourth goal as Helen Kukor's cross picked out Natalie Warman at the far post where her powerful strike brought out a brilliant diving save from Brown to keep the ball out.
Abbi Bond, Kate Hine, Natalie Warman, Carla Staddon, Courtney Butt, Maria Warman, Kirsty Caunter, Gabrielle Trays, Hayley Chamberlain, Laura Gough, Abigail Meyer. Subs: Corinne Potts, Helen Kukor, Emily Hanniford, Marika Ghiglia.
Ashleigh Brown, Abigail Harris, Karen Buck, Jodie Millett, Jen Harris, Molly Dineen, Samantha Gray, Mary Murphy, Laura Burwood, Catherine Wright, Kirsty Brown. Subs: Sophie Simpson, Lydia Mann, Jodie Smith.
(top) Laura Gough scores the opening goal
(middle) Carla Staddon makes an important tackle on Mary Murphy
(bottom) Celebration time for Buckland Athletic
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