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Southampton Women 2 AFC Basildon 3
AFC Basildon progressed into the Second Round of the FA Women's National League Cup with a fine 3-2 away victory against Southampton Women.
An absorbing contest was settled by a winner in additional time after the visitors had twice trailed to a Laura Vokes brace. Both goalkeepers were kept busy throughout but it was Charlotte Bolland's penalty save late on which proved crucial for Basildon.
Holly Turner, who had an outstanding match for Basildon, had the first effort on goal but Vokes drew the first save, Bolland flying to her left to turn away a powerful strike, then saving from Kellie Warren from the resulting corner. Rose Kite in the home goal was soon also busy, twice advancing off her line to deny Turner. The hosts then went ahead when Emily Wernham played a perfect pass for Vokes to beat the onrushing keeper on 27 minutes.
Southampton twice went close to extending their
lead when Jane Yeates set up Vokes and then Aine McKeever but Bolland was equal to both shots. Basildon equalised on 40 minutes when Turner hit a superb 25-yard effort with her right foot beyond Kite's dive.
Wernham nearly restored the advantage on 49 minutes but Bolland denied her at the last with a brave block. Within two minutes, Kite had made a similar save from Turner at the other end. Lauren Cheshire set up another Southampton chance with a run and cross but the ball eluded everyone at the far post. Lauren Clarke then had an effort hooked off the line as the home side pressed.
Substitutes on both sides brought fresh impetus. Hannah Samuels set up Southampton's second on 71 minutes, driving down the right then crossing for Vokes' powerful first time finish.
Basildon were level on 78 minutes when Kelly Wealthall got free on the left. Kite did well to tip her stinging shot against the bar but sub Sophie Spencer-Webb was on hand to turn the rebound home. It seemed that Southampton would regain the lead on 82 minutes when they were awarded a penalty but Bolland got a strong hand to Yeates' spot kick to turn it wide.
Basildon finished strongly, forcing corners in quick succession. From another dangerous delivery by Courtney Clarke the ball ran loose for Spencer-Webb to notch her second at the far post.
In keeping with a thrilling encounter, Southampton were desperately close to levelling with the last kick of the match, Cheshire flying in and just missing a driven cross at full stretch. AFC Basildon had given a great team effort, pressing the opposition all over the pitch and often winning the ball in good positions for an impressive win against strong opponents.
Southampton Women: Rose Kite, Aine McKeever, Tia Hooper, Natalie Bavister, Kellie Warrren, Natasha Angel, Lauren Cheshire, Emily Wernham, Jane Yeates, Lauren Clark, Laura Vokes. Subs: Hannah Samuels, Gracie White, Kayleigh Tonks.
AFC Basildon: Charlotte Bolland, Gemma Abela, Alex Bailess, Poppy Binding, Mollie Debell, Grace Gillard, Jessica Horn, Sophie Rhodes, Kelly Wealthall, Holly Turner, Cerys Adams. Subs: Sophie Spencer-Webb, Sarah Wilson, Courtney Clarke.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Jessica Horn is challenged by Natasha Angel
(middle) Laura Vokes clears away from Kelly Wealthall
(bottom) Jessica Horn takes on Kellie Warren
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