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The Wiltshire County Cup Final at Wootton Bassett was a local derby between Swindon Town and Swindon Supermarine and it was the underdogs who triumphed 2-0 to complete a treble in only their second season.
Supermarine have won the Gloucestershire County League (as there is no Wiltshire County League) and League Cup but were up against Combination League opponents, albeit a team which has struggled in the South West Combination this season. Supermarine have acquired the services of several ex-Town players who starred against their former team in a deserved victory.
The opening minutes set the pattern with Supermarine pushing Town back and chasing down every ball to keep the pressure on Kim Reeves and her fellow Town defenders . Both defences looked well able to cope throughout a tight first half where set pieces provided the only real chances.
Hayley Huckin headed just wide from a Town corner while Michelle Rich sent in a dangerous free kick for Supermarine on 27 minutes which just evaded two attackers before reaching Natasha Chapman.
Catherine Read delivered a number of precise free kicks and corners for Town which nearly brought reward, but it was a Supermarine corner on 41 minutes which broke the deadlock, lofted to the far post where Michelle Brown guided a perfect header back across goal past Chapman and a defender on the line. Town nearly equalised just before the break when another Reid free kick was headed narrowly wide by Laura Morgan.
After the break it was Supermarine again who started the half better with Robyn Levett dominating midfield, sending over a dangerous cross and having a goalbound effort blocked in the first five minutes as Town adapted to the loss through injury of captain Reeves.
Reid responded with a fine right wing run and cross for Town but it was Supemarine who doubled their lead through Rich on 75 minutes. There seemed little danger when Levett was fouled 40 yards from goal on the left but Rich delivered a perfect free kick which dipped over Chapman and just under the bar for a fine goal.
Town continued to press forward and created a number of dangerous positions in front of Jodi Steenaart's goal but only once did she have a difficult save to make, from a Rachael Wheatman shot which she turned past the post on 85 minutes. There were a couple of goalmouth scrambles, but the excellent Supermarine defence always managed to get a block or tackle to deny Town.
The Final was notable for the use of rolling substitutions which, for example, enabled captain Reeves to receive treatment and later attempt to return to the game without Town being numerically disadvantaged and Serena Smith to play the first thirty and last ten minutes on the Supermarine right wing, alternating with Lucy March. The match was an enjoyable contest watched by a crowd over over 100 and capped an outstanding treble season for Supermarine.
Swindon Town: Natasha Chapman, Catherine Reid, Chantelle Lovell, Laura Stallard, Cara Stacey, Kim Reeves, Louise Corcoran, Georgia Walters, Laura Morgan, Kirsty Jones, Hayley Huckin, Subs: Amber Egerton, Rachael Wheatman, Emma Skinner.
Swindon Supermarine: Jodi Steenaart, Michelle Brown, Abigail Curtin, Stacey Long, Sam Quinn, Annabel Martin, Serena Smith, Kayleigh Smith, Claire Moreton, Robyn Levett, Michelle Rich. Subs: Alana Turner, Alice Smith, Lucy March, Kara Connolly.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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