WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Leaders Swindon beat closest rivals to stay top
SWINDON Town Ladies won their top-of-the-table clash with second-placed Forest Green Rovers 4-0 in the South West Combination on Sunday.
With Forest Green’s home pitch unplayable the game was staged on a 3G pitch at Tewkesbury.
Town made a shaky start and within the first minute Forest Green won a corner which Michelle Rich, playing at centre-back, headed clear.
A speedy Beth Thompson break was cleared at the expense of a corner that resulted in Georgia Walters’ shot dropping just over the bar.
Rovers’ Sarah Stacey tried to lob Town keeper Robyn Levett but she saved comfortably and then did well to save from Charlotte King at the second attempt.
In the 17th minute, Chyna Collings sent Beth Thompson away and the nifty forward evaded two challenges before putting the ball into the back of the net.
Town began to gain confidence and Ellie Maynard twice went close A Rovers attack finished with Robyn Levett in the Town goal saving low at the post from Annie Martin.
The Robins doubled their lead in the 31st minute when a neat move involving Kelly Nightingale and Maynard opened up the home defence for Thompson to score.
By now play was flowing from end to end with both keepers in action.
After the break, Rovers started the second period well and Charlotte King saw her shot rebound off the Town crossbar.
Nightingale and Mellissa Farrow combined down the Town left to free up Walters, whose shot hit the bar and then the post before being cleared.
Collings was fouled out on the Town right and, from Walters’ free-kick, the ball was cleared as far as Rich who smacked it goalwards, forcing Rovers Charlotte Greaves to push the ball over the bar.
From the resulting corner Walters curled the ball into the far corner of the net. Town were very much in control and Farrrow’s drive was just wide of the mark before Ellie Olds did well to clear Thompson’s shot off the Rovers’ goalline.
In the 78th minute a Town corner fell to Walters who, from 25 yards, drove the ball into the roof of the net to secure the points for the Town.