WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Spits make winning start
SWINDON Spitfires tasted success in their first home game of the season as they saw off Cleeve West Town 3-0.
The hosts created their first opening early on when Kayleigh Reeves crossed from the right and after Ria Salleh’s shot was parried, Hayley Huckin fired straight into Salleh.
Generally the first half was a disjointed affair with neither side able to string a meaningful series of passes together.
Despite that, Spits created plenty of chances but Reeves, Emily Sparkes and Laura Stallard were all unable to finish.
The home side came close midway through the first period when an Emma Skinner free kick smacked against the bar, hit the back of keeper Natalie Brown’s head and bounced over the woodwork.
Spits finally made the breakthrough six minutes before the break, when Skinner sent Mel Bristow clear down the right and she lifted over Brown and into the far corner.
Thanks to good work by Sammie Smith, Jess Dent, Cara Costello, Emma Blackwell and Sparkes, Spits were able to deal with everything that Cleeve threw at them.
The lead was doubled just after the hour as Skinner stretched to win possession before finding Hannah Gulliver, who in turn picked out Huckin on the left and Huckin raced to the by-line before floating in a cross that a Cleeve defender headed into her own net.
Beth Turner then saw a shot blocked at the near post and Costello’s shot from the rebound was deflected off-target. From the resulting corner Debbie Rose headed a fraction wide.
Spits’ third came in the final minute when Huckin’s stormed away from Cleeve’s defenders and slotted under the diving Brown.
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