Exeter City continued their cracking start to their South West Women’s Football League Premier Division campaign, notching up their second consecutive victory, with a 3-1 win away at Forest Green Rovers.
The Grecians arrived at Thornhill Park in good spirits, coming off the back of their strong 6-1 triumph over Ilminster City the week before. After an opening exchange of corners, City nearly raced into the lead in the seventh minute, when Dani Skinner put Amber Guy-Kemp through on goal. However, Forest Green’s keeper pulled off a reflex save to keep the scores level.
Fortunately, City were not made to rue their missed chance, finding the net just two minutes later when Skinner volleyed home smartly from a Jazz Hervin corner.
Forest Green responded well, and were unlucky not to level the scores soon afterwards. Having gained a free-kick in City’s half, they swung a high ball in over the heads of the City’s defenders. Although their striker managed to flick it towards the net, she was denied by a smart bit of glove work from Exeter’s number one Shannon Watts.
Buoyed by their defensive efforts, the Grecians went on the hunt for goal number two. It came in the 16th minute when the seemingly omnipresent Skinner turned provider, chipping the ball over the top to last week’s hat-trick hero, Kate Finch, who accordingly dispatched it into the back of the net.
City continued to pressurise the Rovers’ back line. After a couple of near misses, they were rewarded for their efforts in the 43rd minute when the tireless Finch won the ball and played in Guy-Kemp. She made no mistake with her second chance, planting it into the back of the net with aplomb.
The two nearly combined again on the stroke of half-time, when Finch played a one-two with Guy-Kemp. Her shot, however, scraped the crossbar on its way over.
The second half was an altogether different affair. Soundly outplayed by the Grecians before the interval, Forest Green emerged from the dressing rooms a different side, no doubt with the words of the manager ringing in their ears. Having crafted a clear-cut chance in the seconds after kick-off, Rovers managed to pull one back in the 50th minute when Marika Niekowal slotted the ball into the net.
The chances kept coming. However, Watts stood resolute between the sticks, pulling out a number of diving saves to ensure that the Grecians preserved their two-goal buffer.
Exeter City Ladies currently sit seventh in the table, with two wins from two, having played a full four games less than the league leaders. They are due to take on Keynsham Town Development at home on the October 29. The match, which will be played at Cullompton Rangers FC, kicks-off at 2pm.