WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Late Huckin strike gives Spitfires the points
A Hayley Huckin strike five minutes from time earned Swindon Spitfires maximum points after letting a 2-0 lead slip against Bridgwater Town.
Spitfires had beaten the Somerset side two weeks ago but this time had to work a lot harder for their win.
Spitfires started brightly enough with Beth Turner firing Karyn Coombs’ cross over inside 40 seconds. Then in the ninth minute Ria Salleh Cara Costello could only shoot wide from Turner’s pull back.
Spitfires were rewarded for their pressure in the 12th minute when Coombs latched on to a great through ball from Huckin before beating keeper Daisy Goldsmith at the near post for her first goal for the club.
Coombs almost doubled her tally from Salleh’s cross two minutes later.
Samantha Brass was the first to test Spitfires’ ‘keeper Tamsin Kellett with a perfectly placed shot at the top left corner, that required a real top-draw save to preserve Spitfires’ lead.
Spitfires got their second in the 23rd minute when Hannah Gulliver played the ball through the middle of the defence for Salleh to outpace her marker before rolling the ball calmly past the advancing Goldsmith.
Bridgwater halved the defecit after a stroke of fortune in the 43rd minute. An innocuous Spitfires back pass hit a divot just as Kellett was about to kick it, bobbling over her foot and into the net with no Bridgwater player within 25 yards.
Bridgwater were buoyed by the freak goal and pulled level before half-time, Anusia Rourke placing past Kellett and into the far corner.
Spitfires tried hard to regain the lead in the second half but Bridgwater were a different side than a fortnight ago and were in no mood to surrender the points without a fight.
Sarah Uzzell and Skinner kept Goldsmith busy, with a series of efforts that the Bridgwater ‘keeper had to be alert to.
Spitfires had a potential winner chalked off on 81 minutes when Katie Wadey rounded Goldsmith and found the net before being pulled back by an offside flag.
Four minutes later Spitfires got their deserved breakthrough.
Skinner and Wadey combined to win the ball in the middle before the former found Huckin wide on the right, and the seasoned striker calmly lifted the ball over the head of the advancing Goldsmith and into the net from the edge of the 18-yard area.
It was tough on Bridgwater who worked hard but over the game as a whole Spitfires were deserved winners.
Next Sunday Spitfires host Swindon Town Ladies in the semi-final of the Wiltshire FA Cup.
The game is a 2pm kick-off at The Elms in Highworth, entrance is free.
Spitfires’ under 17s kept their Oxford Girls League title hopes alive with a 5-0 win over Bloxham, with Sarah Uzzell netting four times with Cheyenne Clarks’ getting the other.
The under 12s racked up an 8-0 win over Harwell & Hendred with goals from Aimee Prinzi (3), Shannon King (2), Courtney Gleed, Genevieve Bayliss, and an own goal.
In the Wiltshire Girls League the under 13s were 9-2 winners over Frome Youth thanks to goals from Tamzin Davis (3), Gipsy Viveash (2), Lois Beer, Sophie Roberts, Hollie Timbrell, and Ashleigh Warwick.