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Women's Football News
Seahaven Harriers 1 Ebbsfleet Utd 4
On a weekend when many teams were involved in County Cup ties, a few FA Women's Cup issues remained unresolved from last week.
Seahaven Harriers' original tie against South East Combination side Ebbsfleet United was abandoned after just five minutes when a downpour rendered Seaford Town's pitch unplayable. This time, the Kent-based visitors successfully negotiated a potentially tricky tie with a 4-1 win to set up a local derby with Maidstone Town in the First Round on December 12th.
Harriers had achieved a fine win against Bexhill United in the previous round but Ebbsfleet play in a higher league and have some players with Premier League experience. Set against this, other commitments had left Fleet with just ten players and Seahaven set about making numerical advantage pay in the early stages. Moving the ball around fluently, the home team created several promising situations in front of Faye Baker's goal, the best of which saw Georgia Ungoed drive a powerful shot from 12 yards which the Fleet keeper held well and Vicky Phillips go close with a header.
Ebbsfleet were also dangerous, forcing several corners which troubled the home defence. A sliced defensive clearance against the post on seven minutes was a close call but the third corner proved decisive as Lisa Fulgence was allowed time to tuck a loose ball away on 15 minutes.
Emma Hatt went close to equalising from a Fran O'Callaghan cross but Fulgence scored again on 27 minutes, profiting from a lucky rebound to finish coolly. The tie was all but settled when Fulgence completed a hat-trick from the edge of the area after Naikita Hunt had made a fine save on 35 minutes.
Seahaven continued to pass the ball around very effectively, prompted by the outstanding Taylor Coade in midfield, but lacked a killer instinct in front of goal which left them three goals in arrears at the break.
Seahaven had a very good chance to get back in the game on 50 minutes when Coade skipped clear of the defence on the right and put over a perfect cross which Hatt headed over the bar from close in. Ungoed had another powerful shot well held by Baker a minute later but Fleet drew further ahead on the hour after Hunt had again made a brave initial save from Fleet captain Kelly Philpott, who made sure by tucking home the fourth goal.
The visitors had a number of chances in the final half hour as Fulgence, Jules Teague, Clare Gibbons and Hannah Chambers had efforts just wide or over Hunt's goal. Seahaven kept trying to construct passing moves from the back and were rewarded with a deserved consolation in the 89th minute from substitute Michelle Forshaw.
Ebbsfleet's depleted team did a good job, adapting gradually to the pitch and gaining in confidence and fluency to deserve their win. Seahaven Harriers, newcomers to the Premier Division of the South East Counties Regional League with a lot of very young players, play a good brand of football and have a backlog of fixtures to hopefully move up the league table in the coming months.
Seahaven Harriers: Naikita Hunt, Beth McKellar, Ellie Hawes, Kiri Canning, Sharnie Franks, Vicky Phillips, Taylor Coade, Fran O'Callaghan, Emma Bashford, Emma Hatt, Georgia Ungoed. Subs: Chloe Sharp, Steph Hamilton, Harriet McKellar, Michelle Forshaw.
Ebbsfleet United: Faye Baker, Bex Pattenden, Laura East, Emily Wells, Pip Lawrence, Claire Gibbons, Jules Teague, Hannah Chambers, Kelly Philpott, Lisa Fulgence.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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