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Kick off 14:00 (UK)

04 February 2024 Venue Ringwood Town FC Attendance

Kick off 14:00 (UK)

AFC Bournemouth
1 - 1
Exeter City FC
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Match Previews

📝 Women's Preview: AFC Bournemouth (A)

2 February 2024

Exeter City Women head into a top of the table clash on Sunday with a visit to AFC Bournemouth, both teams currently with 100% records in league action.

Steve Cuss’ side have had a stunning season, winning all ten league games with defeats only coming in cup competitions against Norwich City and Charlton Athletic. The Cherries have averaged close to five goals a game in league fixtures, conceding just six, to put themselves in the title race for the second half of the season alongside the Grecians.

Lucy Cooper, Gemma McGuinness and Helen Bleazard have been in strong goalscoring form, hitting thirty-six goals between them. McGuiness has certainly caught the eye of opposing managers, winning four player of the match awards in an outstanding season for the wide forward.  

Former Grecian Chloe Gilroy is a familiar face in the Cherries squad, the experience of Molly Barron Clark, Gemma Hillier and Erin Bloomfield providing a strong spine to the Dorset side. Cuss’ side will be keen to build momentum for the second half of the season, they have played twice to the Grecian’s four times since the turn of the year, a comfortable three points over Swindon Town and running riot against Southampton Women’s FC Reserves in the County Cup. 

After spending six months looking at each other's results, the teams will be glad to finally meet. The Grecians sit six points clear with a plus eighteen goal difference, but the Cherries have two games in hand and will be keen to put all the pressure back on City with a victory.

In a title contest where both teams have matched each other point for point, a City win, with a home game against AFC Bournemouth still to play, would see them edge into a favourable position in the race for promotion. 

Match Details

  • AFC Bournemouth vs Exeter City Women
  • Sunday 4 February, 2pm kick-off
  • Ringwood Community Hub
  • Free entry

How to Follow

You can keep up to date with the action by following Exeter City Women on Twitter: @ExeterCityWFC

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Match Reports

📝 Women's Report: AFC Bournemouth 1 City 1

An important point on the road for City Women

5 February 2024

Exeter City Women’s winning league run came to an end, but they will be delighted to bring a point home from Dorset as the top of the table clash with AFC Bournemouth ended all square.

The hosts came out the blocks quickly, turning the City defence with a series of lofted passes. Manfy Sharpe blocked an early Lucy Cooper cross as the Grecians backline were under significant pressure, not helped but giving away a number of free kicks for Bournemouth midfielder Molly Barron-Clark to pepper the penalty area with probing crosses. 

Kenni Thompson broke clear of a square City backline to force Abbi Bond into a fantastic save with her feet, the turn and shot from the follow up producing and even more impressive stop as Bond clung onto Thompson’s low driven effort.  

After the early pressure, City sprung a counter. Jenna Markham creating her own through ball to chase and firing over the Bournemouth crossbar on the stretch. It was a rare moment of quality in a game that soon transcended into a scrap, free kicks, yellow cards and a lack of any quality in possession had looked set to send the game into the break goalless. 

However, the games two most threatening players would combine to give the hosts the lead just before the whistle. Barron-Clark worked a yard to send in a perfectly weighted cross and Thompson powered home the header beyond Bond from close range. 

The second half required a City response and it came immediately. Phoebe Baker clipping a precise pass to Markham who deftly controlled the ball and fired home instinctively to level the game.  

Bournemouth hit back with an effort of their own, Thompson striking from the edge of the penalty area, the shot tipped onto the upright with a stunning fingertip save from Bond. The frame of the goal took another hit minutes later, this time Alisha Buckingham striking an effort onto the top of the crossbar. 

Barron-Clark struck a free kick into the top corner, Bond again at full stretch as she tipped the ball over her crossbar as the home side created all the chances to find a deciding goal. Jess Sandland’s back post corner just evading debutant Georgie-Marie Barbour-Gresham as close as City would come to claiming a winner for themselves. 

On a bobbly surface, City never came close to playing their fluid passing game, the game generally transcending into a pattern of defenders running towards their own goals as midfield was bypassed. City’s front two were unusually isolated and it was an afternoon for winning battles and giving everything, which the Grecians certainly did.

Last season a late Bournemouth winner ultimately cost City the title as they missed out on goal difference, Sunday’s hard-earned point could therefore prove all important as this title race looks set to go to the wire.  

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