Cherries make Ladies’ latest FA Cup experience a sour one
Sunday 03 September 2017 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 03 September 2017 at 20:10)
Royal Wootton Bassett Town Ladies were defeated 5-2 by AFC Bournemouth in their SSE Women's FA Cup first qualifying round tie.
Gerard Buxton Sports Ground, 3rd September 2017
AFC Bournemouth's attacking prowess proved too much for Royal Wootton Bassett Town Ladies, as they were on the receiving end of a 5-2 thrashing in the SSE Women's FA Cup first qualifying round.
The Cherries' vibrant front four, comprising wingers Emma Davis and Aimee-Rose Collier and strike pairing Rose Eden and hat-trick hero Chloe Tape, caused Bassett's defence no end of problems throughout the contest.
And they combined to give their team a 4-0 half time advantage, which was quickly extended to a handful within three minutes of the restart.
While Bassett did get goals back, controversially through Laura Gammon and then in fine fashion through last season's top scorer Hayley Huckin, they were well beaten in the end.
Bournemouth's flowing forward play was on show from the first whistle, with Tape forcing a save from Bassett 'keeper Lisa Mathews with less than five minutes on the clock.
The visitors were ahead after eight minutes though as their next attack unlocked the Bassett defence. Tape and Eden played a one-two that set the former free in the right channel. After bearing down on goal, Tape saw her effort blocked by Mathews, but the rebound fell for Collier who swept home.
While dangerous going forward, Bournemouth were being tested defensively by Bassett. And in the game's 19th minute, Beth Westlake clipped a perfectly weighted through ball for Huckin to run onto. The forward's pace took her past the last defender, and she cut inside before forcing a great save from Kate Guthrie with a shot from a tight angle. The ball then broke for Gammon, but her follow up was blocked.
Having survived that scare, Bournemouth quickly broke. And while Davis was denied by Mathews, who tipped around the post, her team got their second from the resulting corner. The ball evaded Mathews as she came off her line to try and snare Davis' delivery, and Ana Hnatiw was on hand to steer into an unguarded net.
Their third came shortly after. Tape, who had truck narrowly over from range after her quick feet took her away from two defenders moments earlier, was the player to score as she coolly tucked away from Eden's cut back.
For most teams, being behind by three goals would signal that the game was out of reach. But Bassett still sensed an opportunity.
And they almost snatched one back as half time approached. Huckin's brilliant flick on set Thompson in behind the Cherries' defence. The former Swindon Town player then surged towards goal, cutting a pass back from the byline, which was just out of the reach for Huckin, who would have had a tap in.
Whereas Bassett lacked that clinical edge, Bournemouth were firing on all cyclinders, and the contest was put beyond doubt with a pair of Tape goals either side of half time.
Two minutes before the break, she raced onto Collier's ball over the top before arrowing a low drive into the bottom corner beyond Mathews.
She then completed her hat-trick three minutes after the restart. Davis' storming run inside the left wing ended in her seeing a shot blocked, but the ball broke for Tape who made no mistake from close range.
Bassett were now in damage limitation mode, yet were fortunate not to concede a sixth when Jasmine Hughes curled narrowly wide from the edge of the area.
The hosts then managed to get a goal back, albeit in bizarre circumstances. Guthrie picked up a knock, which brought an immediate halt to play, when she bravely saved at the feet of Huckin. After the 'keeper had got back to her feet, Gammon was tasked with playing the ball back to her, but saw Guthrie unable to corral her pass, which ended up in the back of the net.
It was a controversial way to get on the scoresheet, but it was apparent that the outcome was one which Gammon did not intend.
Bassett proceeded to grab a second three minutes later as they were enjoying a brief spell in which they were on top. Gammon broke up play in midfield and played a perfectly weighted through ball for Huckin. She bore down on goal before firing a shot, which Guthrie got a hand to but was unable to prevent from creeping over the line.
Try as they might though, Bassett were unable to get any closer. Westlake came closest to narrowing the deficit when she shrugged off the attentions of full back Aimee Burridge but could only place into the side netting.
At the other end, two outstanding pieces of defending prevented Bournemouth from stretching their lead any further.
With twenty minutes remaining, a close-range snap shot from Eden was superbly blocked by Jess Dent. Moments later Davis' tight angled strike was tipped onto the bar by Mathews. Danger hadn't been averted and it appeared a simple tap-in was on hand. However, Bassett captain Laura Jefferies threw herself at the ball and her brilliant goalline clearance helped ensure only a corner was conceded.