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Surrey won the South East Counties Championship Final with a brilliant 5-0 win at the Winklebury home ground of the holders Hampshire on Tuesday.
The new format of the competition led to a Final between two group winners and the appalling winter weather had meant that some counties were unable to complete fixtures, but on paper this looked a close contest to determine the overall South East County Champions. In fact, Surrey dominated from the first minute and were not flattered by the final result, sweet revenge for a number of heavy defeats suffered at the hands of Tuesday's opponents in previous seasons.
Laura Streeter crossed for Surbiton Town team mate Wendy Martin to bury a first time finish after thirty seconds to set the tone. Hampshire responded strongly with their best spell of the match, Cassie Thorp going very close at the far post from a Krystal Whyte cross but it was Surrey's Gemma Shepherd who doubled the lead with a fine overhead kick from a corner around the half hour.
Martin further extended the lead four minutes later with another fine headed goal as Surrey showed clinical finishing during a half where possession had been fairly even.
Hampshire showed some fight after the break without ever really threatening Toni-Anne Wayne's goal. At the other end, the Surrey front line was a constant menace with pace and movement pulling the Hampshire back four all over the place and excellent set piece delivery providing further threats. Zoe Clifford's corner provided Streeter with a header which she buried to make it four on 76 minutes.
Streeter was denied an immediate second by a fine save by Izzy Taylor, then Martin sent a header just over from another corner before succeeding with a cool finish from fifteen yards on 82 minutes to complete the scoring and her personal treble.
Manager Lou Cooper's team had thoroughly deserved their comprehensive victory with Chelsea duo Emma Delves and Sokhara Goodall solid in central defence, Lizzie Laws using her experience and precise set piece delivery from right back to find the forwards Kerry Knott, Martin and Streeter who all had excellent matches. Vanessa Raynbird's Hampshire teams have won the South East or South West title seven times in twelve years but they had more than met their match on this occasion.
Surrey: Toni-Anne Wayne, Lizzie Laws, Charlie Powell, Clare Rogers, Sokhara Goodall, Emma Delves, Gemma Shepherd, Zoe Clifford, Laura Streeter, Kerry Knott, Wendy Martin. Subs: Katy Ling, Rhia Collins, Caroline Sheppard, Laura Smith.
Hampshire: Izzy Taylor, Charlotte Brown, Jade Kirby, Lauren Murphy, Laura Oakes, Kirsty McGee, Leeta Rutherford, Krystal Whyte, Cassie Thorp, Stacy Niven, Lisa Langrish. Subs: Hannah Haughton, Justine Mosley, Jodie Prince, Becky Miles, Cally Beaumont.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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