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Ladies report: St Nicholas 2 Exeter City 2

13 December 2016

Hill and Finch on target as City battle back twice to claim a point

Exeter City travelled to St Nicholas in the FA Women's Premier League on a wintery Sunday afternoon in Bristol and came away with a hard-fought and well-deserved share of the points.
 
Exeter started the game brightly with Manfy Sharpe and Molly Booth commanding the central areas of the pitch, but the first chance of the game fell to St Nicholas, which City goalkeeper Shannon Watts saved well.
 
A feature of the game was the midfield battle that continued throughout with Phoebe Licence and Karolyane Alencar assisting the central midfielders with gritty challenges that gave Exeter confidence.
 
I addition the central defence partnership of Dani Skinner and Beth Beale stayed strong and dealt with the constant aerial attacks from the hosts comfortably.
 
The first goal came for St Nicholas after a well-worked move resulted in a corner from which a back post runner picked up the ball and duly slotted past keeper Watts.
 
For City, a forced substitution before the break saw Kayane Alencar replacing Licence as they went into half-time trailing 1-0.
 
With Millie Pearce replacing Paige Longworth at half-time, Exeter came out from the break looking like they had a point to prove.
 
An excellent through ball from Molly Booth fell to Sarah Hill who hit a sweet strike on the bounce that slipped past the opposition goalkeeper to make it 1-1.
 
St Nicholas fought back and Exeter had to stay strong with some fantastic defending from wing-back Emily Toogood that halted St Nicholas' stride.
 
However, a second goal came for St Nicholas when a strike at the near post deflected in past Watts.
 
Exeter regrouped and resulted in a brilliant run from Alencar who won a corner. The corner was lofted in and Kate Finch's great first touch and volley flew into corner to make it 2-2.
 
In the last few minutes the game fizzled out as both teams looked weary from a frantic end-to-end game.
 
This game was great entertainment for the neutral and it saw Exeter pick up their first away point of the season.
 
Manager Adam Grove, said: "Exeter players worked exceptionally hard today and I'm very proud of them. The grit and strength we showed when winning the ball back was pleasing to see and to come from behind twice, away from home, shows real determination to want to succeed."

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