Summertown Stars Ladies – 0
Buckingham Athletic Ladies – 4
For the second week running Buckingham Athletic won by four goals away from home and again it took until the second period for them kill the game off, scoring the goals that lifted them back up to second in the Thames Valley Counties Women’s Football League, & more importantly three points behind top placed Banbury but with three games in hand. It took over half an hour for Athletic to breach the Summertown defence, but once Kayleigh Harwood gave them the lead they went on to dominate the remainder on a bitterly cold afternoon.
Dani Roberts had the first effort at goal, shooting from fifteen yards out straight at Summertown keeper Natacha Zanin, followed closely by her skipper Kerry Stapleton curling a long-range effort wide of Zanin’s left hand post. Continuing to press, another drive at goal from Stapleton saw her blocked inside the area, the ball rolling to Jade Copas whose shot was blocked, again the danger was not cleared, and Evie Hawkins stabbed the ball just wide.
Next up to try their luck was Georgina Howell latching onto a loose ball just outside the box, but her drive was straight at Zanin, and on twenty-seven minutes Hawkins was sent away straight down the middle of the pitch where she out-paced her marker before shooting across goal, only for the ball to roll a yard past the back post.
Athletic finally took the lead on thirty-three minutes, Lauren Baker-Hawes sent a long looping ball up into the Summertown penalty area from midfield, as two defenders struggled to clear the ball fell to Harwood who lifted the ball up into the roof of the net. H/T: 0-1
The second half started with a sleet shower just to finally freeze anyone who had an inch of warmth left in their fingers, whilst on the pitch first Hawkins then Stapleton fired long range efforts wide of Zanin’s right hand post.
A cross from the left then found Roberts at the back of the post, the ball wouldn’t fall kindly for her to strike but she did manage to cushion the ball down for Copas who fired wide. Just past the hour mark Hawkins again found herself chasing a ball down the middle of the pitch, getting away from her pursuer she screwed her shot wide and it looked as if the elusive second Buckingham goal was not coming.
A minute later that goal came, when a Summertown defender went to clear from inside her own area the ball rebounded back off Roberts into the path of Hawkins, her initial shot was smothered by Zanin but she couldn’t hold and the Athletic striker picked herself up to gather the ball and stroke home despite the presence of a defender on the goal line.
On seventy minutes Buckingham won a corner on their right, Emma Marshall put the cross into the six-yard box where Stapleton met with her head but could only steer over the crossbar. This routine would be seen again later!
Stapleton then almost turned provider when a determined run down the right saw her square the ball to Harwood some twenty yards out, she went for goal forcing Zanin to push away two-handed. With fifteen minutes left the visitor’s won another corner, Marshal this time pin pointed her cross onto the head of Stapleton who running in thumped her header into the roof of Zanin’s goal.
Roberts then had another chance after being fed in on the right hand side of the box, from twelve yards she scooped wide of goal, but she turned provider with eight minutes left when she crossed from the right and on the six-yard line Copas stooped to head into the bottom corner. F/T: 0-4
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After the game Sports Shots caught up with Buckingham Athletic skipper Kerry Stapleton:
For match photography click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmarR5bh