Exeter City Women made it eight wins from eight, progressing in another Cup competition, as victory at London Seaward took the team through to the Quarter Finals of the Women’s National League Cup Plate Trophy.
Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley chose to make just the one change from last week’s FA Cup win at Eastleigh, with Jaydee Seaman returning to the defence following her suspension. City would make a bright start, Zoe Watkins’ pass finding Connie Pengelly, the in form forward driving the ball home for an early lead. It was goal number twelve for Pengelly this season and the eighteen year old is certainly making this her breakthrough campaign, putting herself amongst the top goal scorers in the division.
On a heavy surface and in the driving rain, the first half would become tentatively even, City keeping their opponents at bay, whilst struggling to break Seaward’s backline for more opportunities to extend the lead. After a cagey end to the first forty-five, the Grecians came out keen to seal the tie. Anthea Kaptein sent a cross towards goal that was diverted in by a Seaward defender before City’s progression was sealed moments later, Emily Toogood delivering a cross that Sarah Stacey bundled home to give the Grecians a three goal lead with only five minutes of the second half played.
After a week in which Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley had been awarded the Manager of the Month, there was no curse present here. A professional second half display, in conditions not suited to City’s slick passing style, saw another clean sheet, the third in the last four games, and a safe passage through in another Cup competition.
Abbie Britton was delighted with her side, ending a weekend long stay in East London with the perfect result. “We are really happy with the win, on a difficult pitch, against a team who were up for a physical battle. We were very solid in defence with Abbi (Bond) not needing to make a significant save. The girls took on board the messages at half time and really put in an impressive fifteen minute spell to kill the game. The girls have come away for the weekend, had a great time, been thoroughly professional and got the result we all wanted.”
More Cup football is now on the horizon, a visit to Southampton Women in Round Three of the FA Cup will represent a big challenge this coming weekend, but one the team will be ready to take on. Eight successive wins, plenty of goals, clean sheets, awards and still involved in three cup competitions, all to go alongside an exciting battle for promotion. This is a team at the peak of its powers right now and one that really could achieve something special come the season’s end.