Exeter City booked their place in the third qualifying round of the SEE Women’s FA Cup with a superb performance against Keynsham Town on Sunday.
The Grecians, who raced into a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes, comfortably won the match with hat-tricks for Sophie Gillies and Sian Chapman and a double from player-manager Abbie Britton.
City, set up in an attacking 4-3-3 formation, started the match strongly and were rewarded in 13th-minute when Jana Richards’ cross was only half cleared and Gillies hit a shot that took a deflection on its way past Keynsham Town keeper Shawna Hannam.
That set up a purple patch as Chapman added two more goals in the six minutes that followed. The first came from a good run and cross from the impressive Ella Mae Miller, while the second was a real poacher’s goal as the City No. 9 followed up on a shot from Richards, that was spilled by Hannam, to fire into the roof of the net.
Sian Chapman celebrates one of her first-half goals against Keynsham Town
Keynsham were still a threat at this stage though and stand-in goalkeeper Bille Denny did well to race off her line and block an effort from Libby Sims just before the half-hour mark. However, three minutes later the visitors grabbed a route back into the game as Jessie Osbourne floated a 30-yard free-kick over Denny and into the City net.
Player-manager Abbie Britton fires home the goal of the game
The Grecians hit back five minutes later though as Abbie Britton sent a right-foot shot, from 20 yards out, into the top corner of the net for the goal of the match.
Chapman then added a fifth shortly after the break with a long-range strike of her own. Then Chapman and Richards combined well down the left to cross for Gillies, whose neat turn and finish, off the underside of the crossbar, made it 6-1 to the Grecians.
Britton then added her second, and City’s seventh of the match, with a shot into the corner of the net after 65 minutes. In the final half hour of the match the frequency of the chances reduced for the hosts, but they were still very much in control of the game as Richards had a volley blocked by Hannam and then three City players had close-range efforts thwarted as the Keynsham Town keeper made a number of good saves in a goalmouth scramble that really should have produced the eighth goal.
Sophie Gillis completes her hat-trick with a shot into the bottom corner of the net
However, that goal did eventually come in the 88th-minute as substitute Carmen Morrison had a shot saved only for Gillies to follow up and complete her hat-trick.
Exeter City: Billie Denny; Ella Mae Miller (Erin Romanowski, 65), Manfy Sharpe; Jaz Hervin, Kelsie Miller; Abbie Britton, Georgie Barbour-Gresham (Carmen Morrison, 45), Zoe Watkins (Hana Bennett, 72); Sian Chapman, Sophie Gillies, Jana Richards. Subs not used: Shannon Watts, Louise Isley.
Keynsham Town development: Shawna Hannam, Lucy Bidgood, Casey Quick, Jessie Osbourne, Kierra Minnall, Leilah King, Hannah Sims, Kirsty Smith, Hannah Thompson, Emily Plumme, Libby Sims. Subs: Megan Wiltshire, Abbie Saunders, Maisie Sparks.