Bideford Town made the long trip from North Devon to Wiltshire to play Royal Wootton Bassett Town in this South West Premier Division match in tier five of the women’s football pyramid, due to cup games the league was unbalanced but Bassett were well placed in second place with three wins and a loss in their four games and three games in hand and only six points behind leaders Callington Town. Bideford themselves were sitting in sixth place in the ten-team league.
Bassett’s regular keeper Abi Footner was injured so promising 16-year-old, Alice Farnell was called upon in between the sticks.
Bassett started the stronger, hitting the post early on as well as veteran striker Hayley Huckin missing with a long-range shot. Bassett’s version of Xavi and Iniesta, Kelloway and Coe, which sounds more like a firm of divorce lawyers were trying to make Bideford ‘pay’ with there slick movement and pinpoint passing.
It was the visitors however who would take first blood against the run of play with a thunderbolt of a shot on 15 minutes from 20 yards out from Kate McKane, the goal gave Bideford extra confidence as they played some good football in search of a second but were met with some resolute defending from the home team particularly from Amber Eggerton and another one of the clubs extremely talented teenagers Lara Wilson.
Bassett threatened with an equaliser and were rewarded on the half-hour mark when Lauren Kayll scored from a good move, both teams looked to go into half time ahead, Bassett had to rely on there inspirational skipper Laura Jefferies who had a terrific game with some last-ditch defending, whilst at the other end Kayll teed up Lily Withers but the shot was well defended as the very talkative referee Steve Higgins who resembled a school teacher blew for half time.
Bassett looked much more composed in the second half as Huckin hit the side netting from a superb solo run, Bassett’s Lisa Coe got hit full on the face from a ball, I was more concerned if she would be able to eat the chocolate I’d bought her for scoring a 30 yard wonder goal in a previous game, but following some onfield treatment she got up and continued the game being the warrior she is!
The home team took the lead on the hour mark with a great pass from Eggerton on the left that was met by Huckin who duly put the ball into the net, both teams had good chances late on. Bassett managed to hold on for the win mainly due to the calm head of there captain fantastic affectionately known as ‘Jeffers’ and a couple of fine saves from their young keeper.