The 2021/2022 National League South West Season kicks off in familiar fashion for Exeter City Women, as Poole Town Ladies provide the opposition for the second successive year.
The Dorset side have had a difficult twelve months, finishing the previous curtailed league campaign with six defeats from their six games. However, the return to football in spring and early summer has seen a more productive spell for the team. After a compressive victory over Shaftesbury in the Semi Final of the Dorset County Cup, the Dolphins beat Holt United 3-0 in the final with thanks to two goals from Faye Hawkins and one from Sacha Paynter.
Poole will arrive in Devon under new Management, Matt Light has taken charge of the team for the forthcoming campaign, joining the Club after a recent spell at the helm of Wool United’s Men’s Team. The Dolphins have had a varied preseason campaign, however they were victorious in a recent visit to Devon, beating Marine Academy Plymouth by two goals to nil.
Many of last year’s First Team Squad have been retained, Samantha Chrippes excelled in her last game against City, making a string of excellent saves, and will be tough to beat on Sunday. Emma King, Becca Witherington and Tiara Cheney will form a strong spine to the team, with Katie MarshallSay already showing her attacking threat, with a hat trick at Shaftesbury in the County Cup Semi Final.
On the last visit to Speeds Meadow, the visitors raced in to a two-goal lead, Danielle Maidment with both strikes in the opener fifteen minutes. Goals from Ella-Mae Miller and Esme Kilburn-Thompson put City back level before half time, before a further strike from Kilburn-Thompson and a clinching goal from Meg Robinson sealed the three points.
With hopes that Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s side will be making a Title challenge this season, it will be key to get off to a positive start on Sunday. After a Devon County Cup win in May and a positive preseason filled with goals, it looks set to be an entertaining afternoon on Sunday.