WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Spluttering Spitfires still on course for top three

SWINDON Spitfires kept alive their hopes of a top-three finish in the South West Women’s Football League Premier Division with a laboured 4-2 win over Weymouth.

They made a bright enough start and were 1-0 up inside two minutes after Emma Skinner found Hayley Huckin on the right wing, and then met the cross to drill past Beth Smith in the visitor’s goal.

However, the Dorset side elected to play up the slope in the first half, packing five into midfield to restrict Spitfires as much as possible. And the plot worked with the home side struggling play the ball on the floor, additionally hampered by the wind and bobbly pitch.

Spits couldn’t add to their total before half-time but scored a second in the 53rd minute, when Huckin exchanged a quick one-two with Karyn Coombs on the right before controlling a superb lofted shot over Smith from the corner of the 18-yard box.

Weymouth were still a threat though, and halved the deficit a couple of minutes later when Spitfires gave them too much time and space in midfield before Annie Redding got in behind Spitfires defence to slot past Kellett.

Huckin then fired against Weymouth’s cross-bar in the 56th minute as again Spitfires put them on the back foot, forcing a series of corners that came to nothing.

A third goal came in the 77th minute, however, as Sammie Smith’s corner was headed home by an unlucky Weymouth defender.

Five minutes later another terrific corner from Sammie Smith found Shipp at the far post, who calmly tapped home for her first competitive goal at senior level.

Weymouth reduced arrears when a hopeful long-range effort from Shannon Peaty somehow squirmed through Kellett’s hands in the 84th minute, but Spitfires were good value for their win.

Meanwhile, a Katie Wadey brace earned Spitfires’ reserves a share of the points in a 2-2 draw at FC Chippenham in the Wiltshire League.

Spitfires Under 17s lost their penultimate league game 4-3 at Chinnor in the Oxford Girls League.

Sarah Dougall opened the scoring for Chinnor and Megan Sharp added a second for the hosts before half-time.

After the break, Emma Broughton pulled a goal back and then hit the crossbar but Chinnor scored their third against the run of play through Jo Taylor.

Sarah Uzzell saw a goal chalked off for offisde and, with Spitfires’ players lamenting that decision, Taylor put the game out of sight for the hosts.

Uzzell scored Spits’ second from the penalty spot and then grabbed another just before the final whistle - but the late rally wasn’t enough.

Elsewhere, Spitfires’ under 14s drew 0-0 with Kidlington and the club’s under 12s were 2-1 winners over Tower Hill thanks to goals from Genevieve Bayliss and Georgia Miller.

Spitfires Under 13s rattled 14 past Warminster Highbury without reply.

The goalscorers were Gracie Bridge (3), Lois Beer (2), Georgia Brown (2), Tamzin Davis (2), Sophie Roberts (2), Hollie Timbrell (2) and Lauryn Isaac.

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