Arrell at the double as Ladies march on
Sunday 11 November 2018 - by Stuart Smedley (Updated on 11 November 2018 at 16:08)
An Emily Arrell brace and a solid defensive display delivered a fourth successive win in the South West Women's Football League Eastern Division for Royal Wootton Bassett Town as they defeated Almondsbury 2-0.
Historically, games between the two teams have proven to be tight contests. And their latest meeting in Wiltshire was no different.
Bassett had the better of the opening exchanges, creating several chances but were unable to convert from them. Almondsbury were demonstrating that they were more than capable opposition too, but were unable to translate that into the creation of opportunities on goal.
Eventually Bassett would take the lead, capitalising on a set piece. Lisa Coe whipped in a dangerous corner that resulted in a goalmouth scramble, and - after several ricochets - the ball dropped for Arrell who slotted into the net.
After taking their lead into the break, Bassett were forced onto the back foot early in the second period as Almondsbury knocked on the door.
However, a stern rearguard display helped Bassett keep their visitors at bay.
And, after weathering the visitors' storm, the home side scored what proved to be a decisive second.
Following a good passage of play in the Bassett midfield, Arrell was set free on goal. Her initial shot was blocked by the Almondsbury 'keeper. But both Arrell and strike partner Hayley Huckin were queuing up for the rebound, and it was the former who would get to the ball first, making no mistake with a cool finish.
That goal seemed to knock the wind out of Almondsbury, and Bassett had chances to further extend their advantage before the end. A stunning save kept out at a Laura Jefferies free kick, with a Maddy Elliott shot from the resulting corner being placed narrowly wide.
Those missed opportunities were immaterial though, Arrell's brace having secured a vital three points, with the solid display at the other end also securing a first clean sheet since Bassett's opening league game away against Oldland Abbotonians.
In a quirk of fixture scheduling, the teams meet again next week in Bristol. And, with current leaders Frampton Rangers without a game, an identical result will see Bassett pull within just a point of them.