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Swindon Town Ladies 2 Exeter City Ladies 2

3 September 2014

Grecians earn last-gasp draw in Wiltshire

Exeter City Ladies battled to a 2-2 draw away at Swindon Town, who kept up their undefeated streak in the early stages of the 2014/15 campaign.

The game got off to a poor start for the Grecians – a goal was conceded after just five minutes, and then nasty head collision between defender Sophie Russell and a Robins forward saw the game halted for a lengthy period.  Both players were substituted, meaning Courtney Butt was introduced to action.

That meant for a change in formation for manager Roger Bonaparte – and the switch appeared to favour the visitors, as Exeter began to come to life.  Half an hour in, chances began to come thick and fast for Exeter and Lola Garcia Sanchez and Helen Kukor both came close – the latter had an effort cleared off the line.

Persistence paid for City when a delightful ball by full-back Carla Staddon found Kukor, and skilful bit of play by the forward allowed her to square for strike-partner Tash Knapman, who hammered into the roof of the net from inside the area to draw the teams level before the break.

As expected, Swindon brought the kitchen sink in the second half and a series of free-kicks and corners almost undid the Exeter resistance, but some great goalkeeping by Carley Barber kept the scores level.  City weren’t able to create too much until winning a corner, which was delivered by Kirsty Caunter and headed with power against the bar by Vicky Barter.  At the other end, Swindon were denied by the post and twice were denied goals by a linesman’s offside flag.

City felt like they had battled heroically for a point, so a 93rd-minute goal from the hosts felt heartbreaking.  But from the resultant kick-off, and with barely seconds to space, a ball upfield by Caunter was collected by Knapman who burst past her two markers and slotted inside the far post for a dramatic leveller – the full-time whistle sounded seconds later.

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