Wootton Bassett began their defence of the Wiltshire Women’s Cup they had won so emphatically last season, beating Swindon Spitfires 9-0 in the final by hosting Laverstock & Ford. The visitors play in the league bellow and the sides previously met last year when Bassett won 2-0 on route to last season’s final.
Many of the Bassett players were celebrating the wedding of a team mate the previous evening so were hoping there would be no hangover from there scintillating start to the season that had seen them dispatch Chipping Sodbury 7-0 in the FA Cup and record a mighty impressive 5-0 victory at Marine Academy Plymouth in their first ever game in tier five. I had every hope the honeymoon period would continue!
We started the afternoon in Bassett’s fine clubhouse watching the Everton versus Bristol City game on the FA Player while having a quick chat with Bassetts friendly joint-manager Jonny House before going outside to buy a very informative programme. As it was a county cup game the £2 entry fee introduced this season has wavered.
Bassett made a few changes from there regular line up started the stronger with Beth Kelloway pulling the strings in the centre of midfield. She played a beautiful ball to right-back and leading scorer, Hannah Gulliver, but the cross missed everyone.
Last season’s scoring sensation Hayley Huckin and teenager Sophie Smith were combining well and both of them had good chances to score early on.
Bassett’s early domination paid off on 21 minutes, just before referee, Shaun Tobin, gave the teams a water break, Smith played Huckin in who scored to put Bassett 1-0 up.
Kelloway had a good chance to double the home teams lead and to play in Huckin but both chances were wasted.
The hosts were not having everything there own way and Laverstock hit the post with a well taken shot. The rebound shot was well saved by Alison Farnell. This was a warning for Bassett who’d began to get a little sloppy.
Bassett manager, Jonny House was on his own for this game and was getting frustrated as his team were struggling to kill the tie off, that was until a corner by club captain Laura Jefferies led to a melee in the box and Gulliver picked up on the loose ball to score her fourth goal of the season, putting the hosts 2-0 up on the hour mark.
Laverstock thought they had got themselves back into the game with a free-kick but once again hit the woodwork!
Huckin and Lisa Coe had good chances to put the game out of sight and Huckin’s good work paid off as she was rewarded with a tap in to score her second of the afternoon, putting Bassett 3-0 up.
Coe played in substitute Eloise Hayward who put the ball in the net only for it to be given offside, but she wasn’t to be outdone and scored Bassett’s fourth and final goal from a pinpoint pass.
All in all a good afternoon’s work even if the scoreline slightly flattered the hosts. Laverstock will take great heart from this performance and were unlucky not to score having hit the frame of the goal twice. Next up for them is a mouthwatering FA Cup first qualifying round tie at home against Torquay in a South-West Women’s Premier Division matchup which I will be covering for you on Since 71.