Ladies look to complete first part of league and cup double
Monday 11 March 2019 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 11 March 2019 at 08:00)
Royal Wootton Bassett Town Ladies aim to complete the first part of a possible league and cup double on Sunday when they face Swindon Spitfires in the final of the Wiltshire County FA Women's Cup (Swindon Supermarine, 2pm kick off).
They will also be seeking to be crowned county champions for the first time, having finished as runners-up in the knockout competition on two occasions previously, including last year.
Spitfires, meanwhile, are hoping to lift the title for the second time in three seasons after they were crowned County Cup winners in 2016-17 following a 4-3 victory against Trowbridge Town.
Bassett, by virtue of their position at the top of the South West Women's Football League Eastern Division, will go into the game as slight favourites. But they are facing the only side to defeat them so far in the league, with Spitfires having recorded a 2-1 triumph when they met at the Gerard Buxton Sports Ground in October.
However, Bassett exacted revenge for that loss with a convincing 4-0 victory in the return fixture in January.
Bassett, who defeated Spitfires 7-0 at the semi-final stage of the County Cup last season before going on to lose narrowly to Swindon Town Development in the final, enjoyed a stress-free start to their journey to this year's showpiece.
In the opening round they saw off County League Salisbury 7-1 as Holly Baker and Zoe Shellard both notched braces. Bassett then thrashed Melksham Town 15-0 in the quarter final. Baker was again amongst the goals, scoring four times, but was bested by Lauren Kayll who notched five. Emily Arrell also bagged a hat-trick in that fixture.
In the semi-final Bassett were paired with league rivals Laverstock and Ford. And that tie in south Wiltshire proved to be a far tougher proposition. An own goal gave the visitors a half time advantage, but Laverstock equalised early in the second half. Both teams then pushed for the decisive third goal, which Hayley Huckin provided late on for Bassett.
Spitfires were awarded a first round bye and then had their quarter final tie against FC Calne awarded to them. They then faced league rivals Trowbridge Town at home in the last four and booked their place in the final thanks to Lani Dickinson's solitary goal.
Sunday's final should therefore be a fascinating one.
And it would be great to see as much support for Bassett as possible as they aim to be crowned County Cup winners for the first time – and take the first step towards securing the double!