SWINDON Town Ladies dropped valuable points over the weekend, as they were beaten 2-1 by Southampton Saints in the South West Combination League.
With Saints’ home pitch unplayable the game was played on a 3G pitch and both sides took time to settle before the first real chance fell to the home side, when Krystal White fired in a free kick from 30 yards that Robyn Levett in Town’s goal held.
Mel Furrow split the home defence with a through-ball to find Georgia Waters who forced Saints keeper Hanna Houghton to dive low to save at the near post. At the other end, a Southampton corner caused a scramble in Swindon’s goalmouth but eventually Alice Smith cleared the ball off the line.
A neat ball from Chyna Collings found Beth Thompson, whose shot was just wide of the target. Play swung from end to end, Kat Littleboy headed over from a corner for Saints and Walters saw her shot scrape a post for Town.
Thompson then broke clear on the Town right but her shot was just wide of the far post. Saints were enjoying a good spell but were unable to find a way through Town’s defence and, in the dying minutes of the half, a drive from Collings looked destined for the net but Houghton did well to tip the ball over the bar.
Town made a better start to the second half and went ahead after 56 minutes. Walters swung a corner to the far post to find Collings, who nodded the ball into the net.
Swindon almost created a carbon copy of the strike moments later but Leah Shave headed the ball onto the Saints crossbar.
Swindon had the ball in the net again when Walters hooked past the advancing home keeper but to the crowd’s surprise the goal was disallowed. Town were pressing to build on their lead but Saints drew level in the 81st minute.
Smith tackled Amber Sibly and, as the ball spun clear to the keeper, the referee awarded a free kick for a backpass.
From the resulting set piece, Lucy Harper picked out Crystal White, who scored from close range.
Town threw everything forward in search of a winner but in the 87th minute they were caught out at the back when Sibly slipped past a defender to score with a low drive.
A miserable afternoon for the Town was completed in injury time when Ellie Maynard was dismissed for a second booking.