Ladies make successful start to County Cup defence
Sunday 15 September 2019 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 15 September 2019 at 16:46)
Royal Wootton Bassett Town Ladies began the defence of their Wiltshire County Women's Cup title with a 4-0 first round victory against Laverstock and Ford.
While not as problematic as their 2-1 semi-final triumph against the same opponents en route to the final last season, they were nevertheless tested against by Laverstock, who twice hit the woodwork.
However, two late goals ensured the result appeared to be a relatively comfortable one and guaranteed a place in the quarter finals for Bassett.
Bassett went in front after twenty minutes, Hayley Huckin's goal being reward for an early period of the game that the home side controlled.
Hannah Gulliver and Sophie Smith had both shot wide in the opening minutes before the latter saw a shot that appeared destined for the top corner snatched out of the air. The Laverstock 'keeper then fumbled a Huckin effort before the visitors were just able to scramble the ball away.
However, Huckin eventually broke Laverstock's resistance. After good play out from the back, a deft touch from Smith fell to the forward, who coolly slotted home.
Huckin and Madeline Elliott then had further chances, none of which was put away before Amy Sanger struck the bar for Laverstock, with the resulting rebound being blocked by Alice Farnell.
That was a let off for Bassett, who knew that a second goal was needed. And that arrived ten minutes into the second half as Gulliver tucked the ball away at the far post after the Laverstock defence failed to deal with a Laura Jefferies cross.
The game still wasn't safe though. Bassett continued to have opportunities, with Huckin in particular a consistent threat. Yet that final finish was lacking.
And with twenty minutes to go Laverstock again came close to opening their account. Farnell tipped a free kick onto the bar before the rebound was headed onto the post.
However, with quarter of an hour remaining any nerves Bassett felt were settled when Huckin pounced on a loose ball in the box and saw her shot, while saved, trickle over the line.
Then with five minutes to go, Eloise Hayward tapped in at the far post following a fine cross from Lauren Kayll.