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Women's Football News
Godalming Town 3 Eastbourne Ladies 2 (aet)
Godalming Town, of the Greater London League Division One, reached the Third Round Qualifying of the SSE Women's FA Cup after a hard fought 3-2 extra time home victory over Eastbourne, of the South East Counties League Premier Division.
Twice pegged back in a very even opening 90 minutes, the Gs were able to find a third goal early in extra time and this time were able to protect the lead. An unusual feature of the contest was that all three Godalming goals came from left side corners, delivered with deadly effect by Megan Vincer.
Vincer had already threatened the Eastbourne goal twice before providing the delivery for Toni West to power home a commanding header on 15 minutes. Another corner, this time played short, led to a low cross flying just wide of Sian Crewe's goal.
Eastbourne played their way into the match as the half progressed with Charlotte Long a constant menace to the home defence. Twice in two minutes, the striker forced home keeper and skipper Kim Ketchell into good saves. Ketchell then turned a 30-yard effort from Jessica King over the bar as the visitors finished the half strongly, but just unable to find the leveller.
This situation was soon remedied within two minutes of the restart as a high ball from the left led to a scramble and Long got the final touch to send the ball inches over the line for the equaliser. Eastbourne then went very close to the lead on 49 minutes when Long hit the bar from close range after an initial shot had rebounded to her off the keeper.
Godalming's Steph Le powered a shot just over, then the hosts retook the lead on 63 minutes when Rebecca Munro seemed to get a final touch on another Vincer inswinging corner. The match. played with impressive commitment and pace throughout, was finely poised as a flurry of substitutions brought fresh legs to both teams.
Eastbourne substitute Katie Titmuss was denied by a fine save, whilst Godalming substitute Grace Merry saw a cross bounce to safety off the bar on 77 minutes. Within 60 seconds, Eastbourne were level. Long showed technique and bravery to beat keeper and defender to a through ball and slide the ball home off a post, taking a heavy knock in scoring.
Neither side could find a winner, although Rebecca Bloor twice went close for Godalming as did King for Eastbourne. However, within two minutes of the start of extra time, another substitute struck the winner. Eastbourne managed to clear a corner but only to the edge of the area where Lauren Carnell showed excellent technique to drive a hard low effort through a crowded area.
Right at the end of the first period it seemed that Long would notch her hat-trick and a third equaliser but a vital touch diverted her shot wide. Another half chance was saved by Ketchell early in the second period and Godalming saw out the remaining time very effectively to celebrate a very hard earned win.
Both teams contributed greatly to a match worthy of the best traditions of the competition, played hard but fair in a good spirit throughout the 120 minutes.
Kim Ketchell, Mairead Cheeseman, Hannah Davies, Jessica Winchester, Steph Le, Carys Potter, Megan Vincer, Rebecca Bloor, Rebecca Munro, Toni West, Laura Funnell. Subs: Megan Oliver, Charlotte Benson, Lauren Carnell, Grace Merry, Zoe Greener.
Sian Crewe, Leanne Hawkins, Victoria Ecclestone, Melissa Ferguson, Ella Newman, Jessica King, Ella Sutherland, Shantelle Omar, Charlotte Long, Charlotte Parendine, Elena South. Subs: Jade Thatcher, Katie Titmuss.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Steph Le slides in to tackle Melissa Ferguson
(middle) Jessica King is challenged by Hannah Davies
(bottom) Carys Potter tries to win the ball from Katie Titmuss
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