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Basingstoke Town 4 Poole Town 5
Basingstoke Town and Poole Town served up a FAWPL South West Division One classic at the Winklebury Football Complex with the Dorset visitors edging the three points by the odd goal in nine after an excellent match high in commitment, top quality goals and drama.
Poole took an early grip on proceedings with three early strikes and were always ahead but Basingstoke, without a league win so far, showed great character to be in contention right to the final whistle.
Poole took the lead when Jemma Tewkesbury was fouled in the area and converted the spot kick on six minutes. The same player hit the bar with a snap shot two minutes later but Poole doubled their advantage with a fine finish by Faye Rolfe-Hawkins who chased down a loose ball and drove a fierce shot home from a tight angle on 14 minutes.
Basingstoke came back with two Lizzie Laws corners. the first nearly converted by Helen Ogle. the second headed wide by Vanessa Watson. However, Tewkesbury extended the lead after rounding keeper Erin Davis-Donne and netting from a tight angle on 23 minutes.
The home team reduced the deficit almost immediately from the spot after Jade Bradley sent Watson clear and Poole keeper Sam Chrippes brought her down. Sarah Wentworth converted confidently to give Basingstoke a lifeline. Poole soon restored a three-goal lead on 28 minutes after another fine move down the right set up Rolfe-Hawkins' second goal.
The drama continued a minute later as Basingstoke were awarded another penalty and Wentworth converted again to make it 4-2 inside the first half hour. Bradley was inches away from another Basingstoke goal with a super 25-yard effort which clipped the bar, then Laws had an inswinging corner cleared off the line on 39 minutes. Poole's Sam Gubb had a shot saved by Davis-Donne but there was no addition to the score by the break.
Poole went very close on 47 minutes when Tewkesbury sidefooted wide but Watson was even closer for Basingstoke, hitting the post a minute later as the tempo continued on the restart. Bradley then put the hosts within one goal on 52 minutes with another fine lofted shot from distance.
Poole were always threatening in attack, with Gubb shooting wide when through on goal and Tewkesbury twice went close to a hat-trick. Eventually it was Gubb who got Poole's fifth on 78 minutes with a precise low finish in the bottom corner to seemingly settle the outcome.
The drama was not complete as Ogle set up an exciting finish with yet another well executed strike from distance on 88 minutes. Basingstoke pushed hard for an equaliser but eventually ran out of time as Poole claimed their third win of their debut season at FAWPL level.
Every player and both coaching teams deserve huge credit for a fine contest at the end of a very busy week for both clubs, a great advert for the FAWPL South West Division One.
Erin Davis-Donne, Charlotte Hull, Sarah Wentworth, Zoe Maylin, Lucy Reeder, Jessica Winchester, Jade Bradley, Michelle Kimber, Helen Ogle, Lizzie Laws, Vanessa Watson. Subs: Elizabeth Swadling, Lindsey Beverley, Megan Lovelock, Kelly Rutledge, Lianne Hill.
Sam Chrippes, Katelyn Wyatt, Becca Witherington, Jess Fowell, Charlotte Eastman, Katie Paul, Jemma Tewkesbury, Sam Gubb, Faye Rolfe-Hawkins, Rebecca Miles, Hannah Chalk. Subs: Emma Acott, Sacha Paynter, Siena White.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Jemma Tewkesbury hits the bar with a shot with Jessica Winchester closing in
(middle) Faye Rolfe-Hawkins scores past the challenge of Lucy Reeder
(bottom) Vanessa Watson clears away from Faye Rolfe-Hawkins
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