LADIES FOOTBALL: Bristow fires Spits to Weymouth win

SWINDON Spitfires returned from the south coast with maximum points after a 1-0 win at Weymouth in the South West Women’s Football League Premier Division.

Spits came close to opening their account in the 27th minute when a throughball by Beth Turner saw Mel Bristow break from the right flank, but after cutting in the final shot came back off the near post before being cleared to safety.

It was down the right that Spitfires were the most threatening, with full-back Jess Dent playing numerous balls over or around the home defence for Bristow to utilise her pace, but Weymouth were a hard working unit and had the discipline to get back and defend in numbers.

Spitfires’ goal on 35 minutes stemmed from a Weymouth corner. Tamsin Kellett collected the loose ball before quickly releasing to Laura Stallard in the middle of the park, who in turn played an inch-perfect ball into the path of Emma Skinner.

Skinner’s cross was met on the run by Bristow who hit it first time past Weymouth keeper Beth Smith.

It could have been two a minute later when Turner got in behind the home defence, but she skewed her shot wide of the far post with just the keeper to beat.

In the early moments of the second half Kayleigh Reeves called Smith into action again with a smart save at the near post.

And another break from Bristow only found the side netting in the 75th minute when there were options for pulling the ball back instead of shooting.

Weymouth were belying their lowly position with plenty of hard graft and determination, and almost caught Spitfires out on a couple of occasions but for some timely interventions from Emily Sparkes, Sammie Smith, Emma Blackwell and Cara Costello.

But Spitfires were able to see the game out to claim the points despite being some way off their best.

Spitfires’ under 17s won by the odd goal in 11 at Bloxham in the Oxford Girls League. After falling behind in the fifth minute Spitfires levelled in the sixth when Sarah Uzzell latched onto a Hayley Shipp throw-in before out-pacing the defence to finish powerfully.

And within 60 seconds Spitfires had the lead as a quick break from defence saw Mya McKnight find Emma Broughton, whose ball over the top allowed Uzzell to claim her second. The third came in the 17th minute when Amy Matthews slotted home an Uzzell corner.

Bloxham closed the gap in the 27th minute and levelled the affair in the 38th minute, but right on half-time another Uzzell strike restored Spitfires’ lead.

Again Bloxham came back into the game, six minutes into the second half, before the pendulum swung back Spits’ way on 55 minutes, Uzzell playing a one-two with McKnight from a short corner before crossing for Lisa Matthews to chest the ball home.

Spitfires gave themselves security by creating a two-goal cushion in the 78th minute when Shipp delivered an inch-perfect free-kick from the left flank onto the head of Uzzell at the far post for the latter’s fourth of the game.

Bloxham were battling hard to salvage something from the game, but their final goal four minutes into stoppage time wasn’t quite enough and Spitfires were able to escape with a 6-5 win.

Spitfires Under 14s remain in second place in the Oxford Girls League going in to the Christmas break after a 2-0 victory away at Tower Hill. Ellie Lankester, Lauren Clark and Helena Butcher scored for Spits.

Elsewhere, Spitfires reserves won 15-1 at Lavington.

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