Exeter City Women begin a busy week with a trip to AFC Bournemouth on Sunday, the first of three away games in seven days as the Grecians will hope to extend their lead at the top of the National League.
AFC Bournemouth have once again had a strong season, currently sitting third in the division and fresh from a comprehensive victory over Portishead Town in their last fixture. Steve Cuss’ team have won five of their last seven games and, with this their penultimate home game of the campaign, will be eager to finish the season strongly.
Lucy Cooper has been in outstanding form for the Cherries with thirteen goals in her fifteen League games, Molly Clark has supported Cooper with seven goals of her own, three of which came in last weekend's victory over Portishead Town. Beth Everson has a strong record against City, with goals against the Grecians for both St Austell and AFC Bournemouth already this season. With England Beach Soccer players Katie Scadding, Katie James, Betty Baron and Clark also in the Bournemouth ranks, the task facing City on Sunday is significant.
The two sides have met twice already this season, with the Grecians victorious on both occasions. AFC Bournemouth were the visitors to SJP back in October as two Jenna Markham goals and a Mollie Taylor header secured three points in front of large home crowd. The teams were paired again in the FA Cup, City racing in to a three-goal lead before a late Cherries fightback was only halted by a Zoe Watkins penalty in stoppage time.
The Grecians will be aiming for a perfect week, with visits to St Austell on Wednesday and Keynsham Town next weekend. Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s side will play three times before Cardiff next play a league fixture and, should they be successful this coming week, the gap between the two sides could amass to ten points, increasing the pressure on their Title rivals. However, one game at a time, and games do not get much tougher than this weekend’s trip to Hampshire.