Exeter City Women will be looking to bounce back from Sunday’s defeat at AFC Bournemouth as they travel to St Austell on Wednesday evening (7.45pm KO)
Promoted as Champions from the South West Premier Division last season, St Austell have endured a tough season in the National League. With only one win from their fourteen fixtures, they sit bottom of the division after conceding seventy-one goals in the campaign to date.
The summer departure of top scorer Charlotte Whitmore, followed by the early season loss of Beth Everson to AFC Bournemouth, was always going to leave The Lillywhites with significant gaps to fill and the step up to tier four has proved challenging.
Promising performances against Swindon, Selsey and Southampton Women's followed the Cornish side's first league victory over Portishead Town, but a double figure loss at Cardiff and defeat in the Cornish County Cup on Sunday has halted recent momentum. The two sides met back in September, Everson’s goal giving St Austell the half time lead before goals from Connie Pengelly, Sarah Stacey, Zoe Watkins, Jess Sandland and Mollie Taylor staged an emphatic second half comeback.
Simon Parnell’s side have not struggled to find the net this season - Lucy Solloway with an impressive eight goals. In fact four teams have scored fewer than St Austell and they will hoping to pick up points in important fixtures in the coming weeks to push them clear of the relegation zone.
For Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s side, they enter the final third of the season knowing that all games are must win. Whilst Sunday’s defeat handed the initiative back to Cardiff, the Welsh side have plenty of difficult fixtures ahead that may well see momentum shift back to the Grecians.
With the next three games against sides in the bottom four, all away from Devon, three wins from three is a necessity if City are to keep pressure on Cardiff in an intriguing title race.