Exeter City Women go in to their final game of the 2021/2022 season with the incentive of knowing three points against Southampton Women’s FC will see them secure third position.
Southampton have enjoyed a successful campaign, currently sitting third and unbeaten in their last eight league games. The Hampshire side have faced the Grecians twice already this season; a late Mollie Taylor goal secured a point in the reverse league fixture, whereas City won 3-0 in the FA Cup tie between the two sides back in December.
With Aaron Smith’s team being familiar opponents, City will be well aware of the attacking threats. Sian Wylie has had a fantastic season, hitting sixteen goals, while Rachel Okoro and Britt Jeal have supported Wylie’s consistency with eight and nine goals respectively, Jeal with four in her last three games.
The two clubs have had a similar end to the season, with fixtures coming quickly as the race to the finish lane gathered pace. In a seven month season, both teams have had to complete the second half of their league campaign in just two months. The weekend’s fixture between the teams is the only and final game of the South West Division One season, with City trailing the visitors by two points in the fight for third.
Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s squad have had a progressive year, with consistency perhaps the only asset that has prevented a more sustained title challenge. No greater an example of that coming last week, when a faultless performance against AFC Bournemouth was followed by a disappointing evening in the County Cup Final five days later.
City will certainly need to be at their best this weekend and a third place finish would offer further hope that, with the experiences learnt by this group over the season, next year’s campaign may see Exeter City edge ever closer to that much coveted promotion place.