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Eastleigh 0 Moneyfields 3
Two excellent late long range goals saw Moneyfields to a 3-0 away win over Eastleigh in the Community on the opening day of the Southern Region Premier Division season.
Up until the strikes from Nat Bavister and Kim Whitcombe, Moneys were tested to the full by a dynamic display from the newly promoted hosts who shrugged off an early goal conceded after the break to dominate for much of the second half.
After an even first fifteen minutes, the visitors took control of the first half, moving the ball well from midfield to use the wings effectively. Several dangerous crosses were well dealt with by the Eastleigh defence. Whitcombe nearly scored direct from a corner on 17 minutes but Lauren Hill was well positioned to clear off the line.
Catherine Browning had Eastleigh's first effort on goal, a fine effort which clipped Lauren Sayler's bar on 22 minutes but Lucy Venables was the busier keeper for the rest of the half. She did well to save from Sheree Bell-Jack at her near post on 35 minutes then got a strong hand to another Whitcombe shot from distance on 38 minutes with Bell-Jack following up to head against the post.
With another effort rebounding off the bar before the break, Moneyfields had done everything but score in the first half. That was rectified within two minutes of the restart. A fine passing sequence out of defence released Emma Pinner for a run on goal. Venables made a good save from her first shot but Pinner tucked away the rebound on 47 minutes.
Eastleigh immediately upped their performance, snapping into tackles, winning the ball back high up the pitch and generally pressing the visitors out of their passing game. The Moneyfields defence stood up well to this examination but the hosts had several shooting chances and forced a number of corners. Sam Hide and Browning both went close with shots but the equaliser did not come.
Bavister, with a lofted shot from 25 yards, and Whitcombe with a perfect curled effort from wide left, gave the score a slightly harsh tone, certainly on the basis of a fine second half from Eastleigh. Newly promoted from Division One facing a team with a fantastic record at this level over the two curtailed seasons, Eastleigh, at their superb home venue with good support, gave a very good account of themselves on their Premier Division debut.
Eastleigh: Lucy Venables, Sarah Bradshaw, Kat Littleboy, Nicola Beeton, Lauren Hill, Lucy Nightingale, Manuela Naprta, Hannah Peachey, Hollie Agombar, Sam Hide, Catherine Browning. Subs: Emily Gardiner, Phoebe Whalley, Emma Simpson, Freya Phillips, Chelsea Bates.
Moneyfields: Lauren Sayler, Roxanne Lee-Stewart, Natasha Angel, Meghan McKeag, Kayleigh Tonks, Kira Vallely, Carla Nicholson, Kim Whitcombe, Sheree Bell-Jack, Natalie Bavister, Emma Pinner. Subs: Olivia Pinhorne, Sophie Kingsley-Cabell, Ellie Bloomfield, Ellie Bishop, Paige Seeley.
(REPORT BY PATRICK HIGGINS)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Lucy Nightingale tries to hold off a challenge from Natalie Bavister;
(middle) Sheree Bell-Jack shoots under pressure from Kat Littleboy;
(bottom) Sam Hide gets in a shot despite the efforts of Natasha Angel;
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