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Alton Ladies 1 Winchester City Flyers Res 1
The points were shared between Alton and Winchester City Flyers Reserves in the Southern Region Jubilee Cup group stage encounter at a rainy Anstey Park Enclosure.
A late Flyers equaliser gave the visitors their first point in the competition, which is for all the clubs in the regionalised First Division of the Southern Region League. The two groups are a mix of teams from the Northern and Southern Divisions with the top four from both progressing to a knockout stage. The Jubilee Cup is a new competition which complements a reduced League schedule this season.
Both Alton and Winchester City Flyers Reserves compete in the First Division Southern and have already met twice with Alton winning both matches, the second just two weeks ago. This time, however. the match was a tightly fought affair with chances at a premium and both defences largely in control .
The team traded shots from distance early on, Charlotte Crooks shooting over and having a free kick saved by Lizzie Morris in the Flyers goal whilst Alice Nichols fired narrowly wide on 15 minutes for the away team. Sophie Bulpitt in the home goal had to be alert to keep out a misdirected defensive header but neither defence was otherwise in difficulty. Both sides moved the ball well through midfield but the final ball was often lacking as the sides reached the break without a goal.
Alton stepped up a gear on the restart and started to threaten more. Jade Boileau got free to the right of goal on 62 minutes but her low shot was well blocked by Morris at her near post. Crooks was then unlucky to see her fine free kick from 20 yards bounce to safety off the bar on 73 minutes.
Both teams used the wings very well and it was from this source that Alton's opener came with fifteen minutes remaining. Excellent work by Ella Williams down the right led to a dangerous cross which was unfortunately turned into the Flyers net by a defender trying to intercept.
Alton nearly doubled their lead when, after an initial save by Morris, Boileau saw her follow up shot rebound off the foot of the post with seven minutes left. As time ran out Flyers, who had continued to pass the ball well. scored a super equaliser started from a Morris short goal kick, worked through midfield then releasing Ellie Hill to outpace the defence and finish calmly past the keeper.
With four from six teams in this group to progress after the recent withdrawal from the league of Benson Lionesses, both clubs still have every chance of reaching the knockout stages of the Jubilee Cup after a well contested match.
Sophie Bulpitt, Jade Boileau, Charlotte Crooks, Emily Dance, Emma Gregory-Barns, Katrina Gregory-Barns, Morgan Jones, Holly Montgomery, Nicola Moore, Madeline Shuff, Ella Williams. Subs: Chelsie Stewart, Georgia Haskett, Amy Parry.
Winchester City Flyers Res:
Lizzie Morris, Alice Firth, Nicole McNabb, Carlea Chant, Megan Richmond, Chloe Scase, Lauren Clark, Alice Nichols, Ellie Hill, Ellie Raines, Sophie Bamforth. Subs: Sophie Lee, Danielle Burgess.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Emily Dance tries to close down Ellie Hill
(middle) Charlotte Crooks plays the ball under pressure from Lauren Clark
(bottom) Ella Williams takes on Ellie Hill
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