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Match Reports

📝 Women's Report: City 5 Bridgwater United 0

22 April 2024

Match Reports

📝 Women's Report: City 5 Bridgwater United 0

22 April 2024

Exeter City Women took another step closer to the National League Division One title with a comfortable victory over Bridgwater United, leaving City just four points away from promotion.

The visitors had the game’s first big chance, Beth Everson latching on to some uncertainty in the Grecians defence and forcing Abbi Bond off her line to make the save. City were struggling to keep possession and it led to a scrappy start, United forcing regular turnover of the ball with the impressive Fiona Barry competing robustly. 

Jenna Markham raced clear in the Grecians first chance, forcing the save from United Goalkeeper Ellie Mitchell. City were wasteful again moments later, Sarah Stacey drilling a close-range effort at Mitchell before Markham headed the loose ball wide of the target. In the collision that had followed the initial shot between Stacey and Mitchell the City forward suffered an eye injury and was forced off. 

Stacey’s replacement, Ishbel Zuurmond, a welcome returnee for the run in, stole possession deep in the Bridgwater half and as the ball fell to Gillies she fired into the top corner for the lead. 

One quickly became two, Phoebe Baker breaking into the penalty area and taking the ball around Mitchell before squaring for Markham to convert from close range.  

Mollie Taylor headed a Zuurmond cross over the crossbar before Markham’s run and shot forced a stunning stop from Mitchell, City now finding some rhythm in what had been a disjointed half. Georgie-Marie Barbour-Gresham, who had settled a nervy defence early on, thumping an effort against the crossbar from distance. 

City would end the half with a third, Gillies with the perfectly weighted cross for Zuurmond to guide the header into the net. Comfortable at the break. 

Beth Ireland’s surging run and pass offered Zuurmond an early shooting chance as the second half began, Mitchell quickly off her line once more. Amber Pollock danced her way through United challenges to cross for fellow substitute Connie Pengelly on the hour mark, the forward guiding the ball into the bottom corner. 

Markham had a shot blocked before Bridgwater’s Chloe Snook had a big chance when through on goal, but she shot wide of the upright. Pengelly’s strong hold up play and perfectly weighted pass for Markham was the next big chance for the Grecians, the City forward slotting past Mitchell for her second and the team’s fourth. 

With tiring legs, the boundless of energy of Zuurmond began to dominate, the City midfielder finding Pengelly in the penalty area and her effort cannoning off the inside of the post. Another surging run and low cross picked out Markham, the City forward firing over from under the crossbar.  

With two games in three days, this was always going to be a challenge, but Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s side were effective in picking up three points. All eyes will be on AFC Bournemouth’s visit to third placed Moneyfields on Thursday evening, should the Cherries drop points then the Grecians could claim the title in this weekend’s visit to Portishead. If they do not, then the title will be decided on the final day when the two team meet. 

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