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Eastleigh gained their first ever win in the F.A.Women's Cup at the Silverlake Stadium to earn a First Round Qualifying tie with Basingstoke Town after a 5-0 victory over Boscombe Albion in an entertaining match where the scoreline did not not reflect a well contested match.
Eastleigh's Alice Thorne scored a super hat-trick but the Dorset County League team, mainly through the outstanding wing play of Kerry Shiers, threatened to score from start to finish. The first foul was not penalised until the sixty fifth minute which emphasises how both sides played the match in a very sporting manner which did County League football great credit.
Boscombe started the better in their first ever F.A.Cup match, right back Louise Tucker ending a great run with a shot just wide and Nicky Maidment going close.
The Spitfire Girls needed a moment of magic from midfielder Connie Brazier to break the deadlock. Picking the ball up thirty yards out, she measured a sweet right foot shot into the top corner on 34 minutes. Thorne extended the lead two minutes later from close range and it took a superb save from Boscombe's Rachel Bodger, diving to keep out another Thorne effort right on half time to keep their hopes alive.
Boscombe nearly reduced arrears straight after the restart from a Shiers corner but Eastleigh had the greater firepower and experience. Fiona Baldwin extended their lead with a fine finish from ten yards and Thorne scored with a cross shot in the 58 th minute to give the scoreline an unreal look. Back came Boscombe and home keeper Alex Brooks and defender Emma Hebdige combined to preserve the clean sheet.
Boscombe continued to attack and were worth at least a consolation but they just could not find a finish to match very fluent and inventive approach play. In fact, Eastleigh, who went very close to promotion to Regional level last season, scored a fifth when Thorne completed a fine hat-trick with a solo run through the defence and round the keeper five minutes from time to complete a good win.
Both teams should be proud of their efforts and the match finished with prolonged and deserved applause from both sets of supporters.
Eastleigh: Alex Brooks, Abi Strode-Gibbons, Nicky Beeton, Natasha Gwyther, Emma Hebdige, Rachel Heda, Fiona Baldwin, Connie Brazier, Amy Boucher, Alice Thorne, Darcey Read. Subs: Laura Watson, Sarah Kingston, Kim McClean.
Boscombe Albion: Rachel Bodger, Louise Tucker, Nicky Maidment, Alex Bellinger, Sophie Parsons, Kerry Deacon, Rachel Grierson, Kerry Shiers, Rachel Patterson, Carly Reeves, Rebecca Jamolkleicz. Subs: Nicky Edwards, Amy Palmer, Sammy Ewers, Catherine Self, Lydia Gyngell.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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