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WOMEN'S AND GIRLS' FOOTBALL: Spitfires still great with eight
6:00am Tuesday 25th September 2012 in Sport
SWINDON Spitfires grabbed a 2-1 win away at Forest of Dean despite starting the match with only eight players.
A nightmare journey meant not all of the Spitfires squad were able to arrive in time for kick-off, but it didn’t affect them too much as they snatched the lead after only two minutes as Natalie Haigh split the defence for Emily Sparkes to slot home.
The rest of the Swindon side turned up 10 minutes into the game, and they soon began to dominate possession without being able to punish their hosts.
Their inability to find the net then cost them as the home side broke forward when a slip allowed Sam Morse in on goal to calmly slot past keeper Julia Caton.
Despite conceding their first goal of the season Spitfires continued to dominate, and made it count in the second period as Haigh scored with a second-half free-kick to keep her side top of the South West Women’s League table.
In the Wiltshire League, Spitfires’ reserves moved into first place with a convincing 23-1 win over Lavington Ladies.
Lavington, new to the league this season, were only able to field nine players so Spitfires also dropped down to nine but it made little difference as the reserves ran riot.
In the Oxford Girls League Spitfires Under 14s went down 5-2 to Kidlington Youth in and end-to-end game.
Kidlington took a 1-0 lead, but Spitfires struck back within a minute as Daniella Granato side footed home.
The Swindon side stepped up the pressure in search of the second goal, but they were caught out on a counter attack and the Kidlington striker finished well.
Spitfires levelled things up again after Granato saw her shot saved, but Amy Connaghan reacted instinctively and adjusted her body as the ball was drifting behind her to find the net But the second half was a different story, as three Kidlington goals took the game out of the reach of Spitfires.
Also in the Wiltshire League, Spitfires’ Under 12s hosted leaders Bath City and pulled off a fine 4-3 win to move to the top of the league.
The U16s performed less well, going down 12-1 at FC Chippenham with a Shannon Kinsella strike being scant consolation.
Swindon Town Ladies Under 15s moved to the top of the Berkshire County League with a 7-0 home victory over Reading Girls.
The Reds shot out of the blocks going 2-0 up in the first five minutes with a double strike from Jess Graham.
This was followed up with a smart finish from Lauren Hicks as Town dominated their opponents in a slick first-half display.
Far from taking their foot off the pedal, Town started the second half as they finished the first and a further strike from Sophie Boycott along with a well taken hat-trick from Amy Jolliffe ensured the Berkshire team left the Gas Club empty handed.
The under 16s also claimed a victory as they came out 5-4 winners away at Frome in a game where Swindon keeper Hannah Donovan saved two penalties.
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