WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Skinner hits Spits winner
6:00am Tuesday 11th September 2012 in Latest News
SWINDON Spitfires retained pole position in the South West Women’s League with a slender 1-0 win at third-placed St Nicholas.
The first half saw little in the way of clear-cut chances for either team.
Each side’s best opportunity in front of goal came from free-kicks, but both were comfortably dealt with by the respective keepers.
In the second period the game opened up, and Spits almost took the lead when Beth Turner caught the home keeper off her line and produced a clever lob that bounced marginally over the crossbar.
Spitfires stopper Julia Caton was called upon to make a couple of good saves at players’ feet before she was beaten on the hour by an overhead kick, only to watch the effort bounce back off the bar and away to safety.
Spits’ Emily Sparkes then saw her effort hit the bar at the other end in the 77th minute, with Kayleigh Reeves unable to bundle the rebound home as the game looked to be meandering to a goalless draw.
However, the visitors snuck an important victory so early in the season with six minutes remaining.
A throw-in from the left found Emma Skinner, whose 20-yard volley dipped under the bar.
Elsewhere, Swindon Supermarine kept pace with Spitfires courtesy of a 3-0 win over Oldland Abbotonians.
Meanwhile, the Wiltshire Women’s League got under way at the weekend, with Spitfires’ reserves going down 5-2 at home to Melksham United. Emma Pinkney and Diane George grabbed the consolation goals for Spits.
In the Under 16 Division, Spitfires marked their return to the Wiltshire League with a 6-0 win at Lavington Juniors.
It took just four minutes for the visitors to open their account, Hayley Shipp outpacing the defence before finishing across the keeper into the far corner.
Three minutes later a Niamh Montague cross was turned in from close range by Mya McKnight, and it was 3-0 in the 12th minute, Montague turning from provider to finisher.
Defender Rosanna Hurst netted a rare goal in the 16th minute when she fired home from just inside the Lavington half, while Montague added a fifth in the 27th minute.
Georgia Coward missed a penalty for Spits just before the break but her teammates made amends in the second period when Hurst and Shipp combined to tee up Montague for her hat-trick.
Finally, Spitfires Under 11s chalked up an impressive 15-0 win at Warminster Highbury in their first league game of the season.
Morgan Ly Cully led the way with a double hat-trick, Courtney Gleed netted four, Lara Wilson three, and Emily Purvis and Georgia Miller one apiece.
Spitfires Under 12s played a friendly at Warminster, running out 16-2 winners.
Elsewhere in the under 12s’ league, reigning champions Frome Town ran out 4-1 winners over Westbury Amazons with goals from Katie Minty and Sapphire Fitzgibbon and an own goal.
Melksham were 3-0 winners over Derry Hill, with goals from Phoebe Collyer and Cicely Stanley (2), while newcomers Frome lost to cup holders Bath City 10-2.
In the Under 14 Division, champions Melksham opened their account at 9 v 9 with a 9-1 victory over Derry Hill with Ellie Burgess (3), Stacey Hyde (2),Maddy Brown(2), Beth Kelloway and Kelise Richards hitting the target.
The only other game saw the amalgamated team of Bath and Bradford run out 6-0 winners over Frome Town Ladies.
Highworth opened their account in the under 16 category with a 4-0 win over Wooton Bassett.
In the open age group, runners up FC Chippenham beat champions Highworth 5-2 and Melksham United finally got the better of Swindon Spitfires after three unsuccessful attempts last season, winning 5-2 with goals from Hannah Shephard (2), Chloe Timbrell, Kat Luther and Hannah Bishop.