Ladies leave it late to seal fine place
Sunday 17 February 2019 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 17 February 2019 at 16:38)
A Hayley Huckin goal five minutes from time secured a return to the Wiltshire Women's Cup final for Royal Wootton Bassett Town Ladies as they edged out Laverstock and Ford 2-1 in an enthralling semi-final encounter.
After Bassett had seen a half time lead cancelled out by a headed effort from the hosts, Huckin latched onto a fine Lauren Kayll pass with time winding down and proceeded to beat her marker in a foot race before coolly finding the net to finally break Laverstock's brave, obdurate resistance.
The goal came as a huge relief for Bassett, who were pushed all the way by an excellent Laverstock team, much-improved from the 5-0 defeat their visitors inflicted upon them in the league shortly before Christmas.
But, motivated by the opportunity to seal a place in the County Cup final, they gave their all.
The opening half was a tight affair, though Bassett were able to go into the break a goal to the good, benefiting from the fortune of an own goal.
They went close to doubling their lead shortly after the restart as Emily Arrell saw a shot blocked, with the rebound falling to Holly Baker who fired narrowly wide.
Laverstock then got back on level terms, as a hanging free kick was floated into the Bassett penalty area and headed home by Kelly Burton.
Both teams then pushed for that all important third goal of the game. And Bassett were left cursing their luck as twice Laverstock were able to muster goalline clearances to preserve parity.
On the first occasion, a deflected shot from Arrell went over via the crossbar. And from the resulting corner, Bassett were unable to force the ball in despite a scramble in the box.
Laverstock had their moments too as the second half progressed and were arguably on top in the game's closing stages.
Yet, with extra time looming, Kayll produced an outstanding pass that set up the speedy Huckin to deliver the goal that booked Bassett's place in the final.
And they'll now be looking to go one better than they did last season, and claim the county crown for the first time.