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WOMEN'S AND GIRLS' FOOTBALL: Comeback victory for Spits
SWINDON Spitfires kept themselves in touch with league leaders St Nicholas after coming from behind to secure a 4-1 victory over a strengthened Keynsham Town Reserves side.
With the Somerset side’s ground not fit for play after flooding last weekend the game was switched to Wiltshire, but with the Keynsham first team without a match they were able to draft in a number of first team players to strengthen their squad.
That didn’t stop the home side, though, and goals from Kerry Walklett, Emily Sparkes, Laura Ball and Emma Skinner saw them go third in South West Women’s League Eastern Division, three points behind leaders St Nicholas with a game in hand.
Spitfires got off to a strong start, and they could have taken an early lead when Emma Blackwell shot wide after good work from Ball, before Natalie Haigh also missed the target a few minutes later.
Top scorer Fabiana Rodriguez was one Keynsham player who made the drop to help out the reserves, but Laura Mason kept her at bay with a superb marking job along with Jess Dent and Jenna Blake as they kept the visitors at bay.
Keynsham did fire a warning sign as Aimee Clarke struck the post, and minutes later they took the lead against the run of play as Rodriguez latched onto a quick cross to head past debutant Spitfires keeper Tamsin Kellet.
The home side pushed forward immediately after slipping behind, and Sparkes nearly headed the equaliser from a Haigh cross on 32 minutes, before Debbie Rose could only hit the side netting from Skinner’s pass.
The pressure soon told as Walkett marked her first appearance for the club by tapping home after Skinner’s shot hit the post, and the two sides went in at half-time level.
After missing a number of early second-half chances, the Swindon side did soon take the lead as Skinner picked up on Haigh’s cleared corner to fire home to make it 2-1, and the points were all-but wrapped up minutes later as Ball calmly placed her shot into the back of the net.
There was still time to add gloss to the victory as Spitfires continued to push forward, and Skinner’s shot took a deflection as it flew past the Keynsham keeper to complete the scoring.
The club’s under 14s returned from a seven-week break from action in style as they put on a superb display to beat Carterton Town 7-0 despite missing six regular players due to injury and unavailability.
Elsewhere, Swindon Town Ladies went eight points clear at the top of the South West Women's Combination League as they beat Trowbridge 9-0, with Hannah Donovan, Hannah Attewell and Alex Ramos getting amongst the goals.