WOMEN'S AND GIRLS' FOOTBALL: Second-half surge seals Spitfires' semi spot

First published in Sport

SWINDON Spitfires progressed to the semi-final of the Wiltshire Cup with a 5-0 win over Marlborough Town.

After some good early pressure Spitfires took the lead in the sixth minute when Emma Skinner’s shot was headed past the helpless Marlborough goalkeeper Cheri Pattie by one of her own defenders.

Natalie Haigh had several chances, hitting both bar and post, Debbie Rose fired over and Beth Turner put wide as Spitfires played out the first period almost entirely in Marlborough’s half.

Former Marlborough player Emily Sparkes did put the ball in the back of the net for Spitfires after 33 minutes, only to see it ruled out for offside.

However, it took just three minutes of the second half for Spits to grab their second when Cara Costello beat Pattie.

As with the first half, Spitfires’ defence coped with anything that came their way and keeper Rachel Eley had a very quiet game.

Haigh and Laura Ball forced great saves out of Pattie before Haigh finally got the better of her, netting Spitfires’ third after 75 minutes. Sparkes then got her goal against her former club four minutes later after being set up by Ball.

The unfortunate Pattie had to play the final 10 minutes with a shoulder injury as Marlborough had no substitute options left, and she could do nothing to prevent Ball adding the fifth and final goal in the 83rd minute when she powered home a Haigh cut-back.

Elsewhere, Spitfires Reserves chalked up a 7-2 win at Stanford-in-the-Vale with goals from Victoria Parry (3), Jody Nicholls, Lisa Curtis, Megan Greening, and Morgan Whitaker.

Spitfires Under 16s were given a scare by bottom club Lavington Juniors before running out comfortable 8-3 winners in the Wiltshire Girls League.

Spitfires opened the scoring after four minutes when Mya McKnight broke down the right before shooting across the keeper into the far corner.

Lavington scored a soft equaliser almost straight from the restart, but McKnight restored Spitfires’ advantage in the 24th minute after collecting Emma Adam’s throw-in on the left and beating the keeper at her near post.

McKnight turned provider after 37 minutes when her cross was parried by the Lavington keeper to Shannon Kinsella, who couldn’t miss at the far post.

Lavington pulled one back eight minutes after the break but two well-hit strikes by Hayley Shipp gave Spitfires a three-goal cushion with half an hour to play.

Georgia East was on hand to clear a Lavington attack off the line before Niamh Montague notched Spitfires’ sixth after 72 minutes. Montague then set Kinsella up for her second three minutes later but a defensive mix-up allowed the visitors to claim their third goal.

Spitfires completed the scoring in the final minute when Kinsella’s shot was tipped onto a post before rolling across the goal for Montague to tap home.

Finally, Spitfires Under 11s were 4-1 winners at Ashton Keynes to keep them at the top of their league. Spits’ goals came from Rebecca Chitolie (3) and Shannon King.

Swindon Town Under 16s beat Derry Hill 2-1, with Chloe Brown and Hanna Donovon on the scoresheet.

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