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LADIES FOOTBALL: Spitfires through in Bristol Cup
6:00am Tuesday 8th January 2013 in Sport
SWINDON Spitfires are through to the second round of the Bristol Soccerworld Cup after dumping out 2010 winners Falmouth Town 4-1.
Falmouth took the lead against the run of play in the 23rd minute, Katy Barker breaking down the right before pulling the ball back to the edge of the area for Sasha Sparkes to slot past Tamsin Kellett.
Spitfires responded by switching Cara Costello to the right wing and she quickly made an impression, delivering several superb crosses into the box without finding a killer touch.
Costello could only fire straight at keeper Claire Churcher when she found herself clean through in the 43rd minute. At the other end, in the final minute of the half, Spitfires had a let-off at the other end when Helena Calfe saw her shot come back off the post.
After the break, however, Spits turned the game around. Five minutes after the restart Emma Skinner released Nat Haigh down the right with the resultant cross being met by Laura Ball, who lifted it over Churcher for the equaliser.
Falmouth pushed hard to regain the advantage and had their best spell of the game with the league’s top scorer Barker keeping Jess Dent fully occupied, but Spitfires’ defence held firm.
From the mid-point of second half it was Spitfires who were the most likely to go on and win the game. Rose fired wide from a great pull back by Costello, Sammie Smith went close with a couple of strikes, and Wilkes almost took the crossbar off with a thunderous volley after 66 minutes.
Wilkes finally bagged her goal in the 80th minute, stabbing home Haigh’s cross to finally give Spitfires the lead, and that was the final straw for Falmouth as Spitfires rattled home two late goals to add a gloss to the scoreline.
Firstly Emma Blackwell met Costello’s cross at the far post in the 85th minute then, in the 90th minute, Haigh completed the scoring after firing home Skinner’s pull-back.
Spitfires return to league action next Sunday when Nailsea United are the visitors.
In the Oxford Girls League, Spitfires’ under 14s comfortably saw off local rivals Highworth Juniors 6-1.
Spits opened the scoring through Charley Reynolds, Amy Connaghan added a second before half-time and in the second period goals from Meghan Larkin (2) and Daniella Granato saw off Highworth, while Connaghan completed her hat-trick.
in a split second to release Meghan Larkin to strike home.
Spitfires’ under 13s were also in action, securing a 4-2 win away at Tower Hill.
Spits started strongly from kick off and opened the scoring in the ninth minute, Ellie Scott firing home from outside the area.
Tower Hill were always a threat on the counter attack, but on 20 minutes Spitfires found a second goal courtesy of Katie Donnovan, from close range. The home side pulled a goal back five minutes from the break after springing the off-side trap but Spits raced out of sight early in the second half as Scott completed her hat-trick. Tower Hill grabbed a late consolation.