Exeter City Women made it a magnificent seven wins as they continued their perfect start to the season with victory at Southampton Women’s FC.
City had already hit eleven goals in the week’s previous two games and started in a hurry on Sunday afternoon. Sarah Stacey dragged an early chance just wide of the goal before being twice denied by the home defence after intercepting an under hit back pass to Sirens Goalkeeper Sara Luce. Mollie Taylor drove an effort wide after a perfectly weighted Phoebe Baker pass, Jenna Markham then hitting narrowly over the crossbar with a driven effort. All this action with only five minutes on the clock.
City were creating chances steadily and the lead would come on eleven minutes, Zoe Cunningham’s through ball was turned towards Markham by Stacey, her effort rebounded to Ishbel Zuurmond who drilled her shot past Luce.
Zuurmond and Baker were denied by Southampton defensive blocks, Stacey then having her goal stricken off by the lineman’s flag as the Grecians dominated. Luce denied Jess Sandland, tipping her free kick over the crossbar, before a goal line clearance prevented Baker from doubling the lead.
With such a control on proceedings, City were having to remain patient and that was rewarded before the break. Cunningham’s corner was met by Stacey, her effort was blocked on the line and Markham turned to convert the loose ball.
Cunningham was the creative force again moments later, her cushioned free kick into the path of Sandland was fired into the top corner by the City youngster to give Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s side a well-deserved lead at the break.
The second half began with Stacey receiving an unnecessary push into the advertising boards, the City forward receiving lengthy treatment. As the game resumed it was the home side who struck first, the Grecians defence failing to clear the initial threat and the rebound fell to Erin Bloomfield to turn in from close range.
Any threat of a Sirens comeback was soon distinguished as Bow Jackson’s pass released Markham, the in form Number nine racing away before calmly lifting the ball over the onrushing Luce.
Zuurmond came close to adding to the lead, poking the ball past the post after a flowing City move. Britton and Wakley then rang the changes and it continued to highlight the strength of this Grecians squad, Amber Pollock racing clear to fire an effort at Luce that she could only palm into the corner of the net.
Pollock was testing tiring Southampton legs, her darting run and low cross slide into the net by Markham for her hat trick. It’s already the teenagers fourteenth goal of the campaign, only one less than she achieved in the whole of last season.
Zoe Watkins, making her 100th City appearance, went close as the game concluded. Although the hosts did strike the crossbar through a Bloomfield free kick in an attempt to reduce the scoreline.
A three-game week, nine points and seventeen goals, the Grecians can be pleased with a strong seven days. Next up the attention turns to the Women’s FA Cup and the visit of Torquay United to the Exwick Sports Hub.