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AEK Boco ended the unbeaten run of Bitton by winning their local derby match 2-1 in Division Two of the Gloucestershire County Women's League.
Bitton had gone into the game having only conceded one league goal all season but their lead has now been cut to a single point, although they have a game in hand over their local rivals.
The game was played in a strong wind at Greenbank Road and Boco used it to good advantage in the first half as they put the Bitton defence under pressure. They went in front in the 24th minute as Jess Segesdy burst into the area before planting a low shot past Chloe Gallagher and into the far corner of the net for her 23rd goal of the season.
Bitton were further hampered as they lost central defender Meg Price to injury and they could have fallen further behind while re-organising, confusion in the Bitton defence leading to Segesdy shooting just wide.
Boco were having the better of things in midfield at this stage and their defence stayed strong against Bitton's lively strike duo of Sharifa James and Becky Hurst, who went closest when Hurst fired wide following a clever back hell by Becky Jones.
The second half saw Bitton try and pick up the pace with Leanne Jones prompting in midfield but it was Boco who were to double their lead ten minutes after the restart. Sasha Ferris broke into the area where she was brought down by Kirsty Stone and a penalty was awarded. Lucy Dinham stepped up and buried her shot emphatically into the top corner, giving Gallagher no chance.
Alice Durston went close to adding a third but could not direct her header on target from a Ferris corner. Boco continued to press with wide players Kelly Cutler and Sophie Wyatt impressing and Bitton needed some alert defending to keep themselves in the game.
Bitton started to push forward in an attempt to get themselves back in the game but 33-goal striker James was well shackled by Sammi Hollis who had an outstanding match in defence for Boco. Nevertheless the league leaders snatched a lifeline with seventeen minutes remaining, Hurst curling home a well taken free kick from just outside the area.
Now Bitton sensed an equaliser and won a number of corners but Boco stood firm under the increasing pressure. Bitton had penalty appeals rejected when Grace Baker went down under a challenge while at the other end, it took a great saving tackle from Charlotte Knight to deny Lorna Miller the chance to increase Boco's lead.
With both defences in good form, chances were restricted and the final opportunity of the game came in injury time as James cut in from the left but lifted her shot high and wide.
Bitton are still firm favourites to land the Division Two title despite this setback and have a League Cup semi final with Cam Bulldogs to look forward to this week, but AEK Boco - whose oldest player is 21 - demonstrated that they also have much to look forward to in the future.
AEK Boco: Gemma Street, Briony Harris, Vicki Barlow, Lucy Dinham, Sammi Hollis, Kelly Cutler, Sasha Ferris, Alice Durston, Sophie Wyatt, Lorna Miller, Jess Segesdy. Subs: Louise Jacomb, Natalie Gadsby, Kerrie-Ann Smith, Lara Ferris.
Bitton: Chloe Gallagher, Charlotte Knight, Laura Tugwell, Meg Price, Kirsty Stone, Robyn Scrase, Becky Jones, Sharifa James, Grace Baker, Leanne Jones, Becky Hurst. Sub: Kaylee Haim.
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