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Match Reports

📝 Women's Report: City 14 Selsey 0

Ruthless City extend lead at the top of the table with dazzling display

22 January 2024

Match Reports

📝 Women's Report: City 14 Selsey 0

Ruthless City extend lead at the top of the table with dazzling display

22 January 2024

Exeter City Women extended their lead at the top of the division with a strong performance over struggling Selsey on Sunday afternoon, hitting the visitors for 14 as the Grecians took advantage of an opportunity to improve their goal difference.

City were nearly ahead after only twelve seconds, Sarah Stacey striking from the edge of the penalty area only to see her effort tipped on to the crossbar from Selsey Goalkeeper Sophie Campbell. Stacey soon tested Campbell once more minutes later, following up a Mollie Taylor effort with a volley straight into the hands of the alert Seals Goalkeeper.  

Amber Pollock was causing the visitors a host of problems down the City left, her back post cross deftly controlled by Connie Pengelly whose shot on goal deflected past Campbell for the lead. Taylor’s deep cross then found Stacey in the penalty area, her touch and finish extending the lead with less than twenty minutes gone. 

Pengelly had scored a fantastic free kick in City’s previous game against Southampton, she repeated the trick with another stunner to make it three. The City forward has been in prolific form for the reserves since her return to the Club and, in her first start for the Senior team, was in the mood to take her opportunity, hooking an effort over her shoulder and into the top corner for a City fourth. 

Pengelly was denied by a series of blocks from a committed Selsey defence, before Stacey converted a neat short corner routine for the fifth. With City applying a front three for the game, the League’s leading Goalscorer was not going to be denied her moment, Jenna Markham racing away from the defence and slotting past the onrushing Campbell just before the half time whistle for a six goal advantage. 

There would be no respite for the visitors following the restart, Pengelly drilling in at the near post for her hat trick with only a minute played before Taylor’s precise cross gifted the forward the chance to chest the ball over the line for her fourth and the Grecian’s eighth. 

Pollock, playing with an engaging confidence, had been creating a host of chances for the forwards, but now took on goalscoring responsibilities for herself. Her well struck effort was too hot to handle for Campbell as she could only palm into the net before Pollock’s strike from distance wrong footed the Goalkeeper for a quick fire double as City hit ten. 

Understandably, Selsey were tiring under the waves of attack, Campbell, who had been working hard to deny the Grecians all afternoon, spilled a shot and the always lurking Stacey had the formality of tapping in the rebound.  

Pengelly lined up another free kick on the edge of the penalty area, this time choosing to play an inventive short pass for Stacey to turn and fire in her fourth. Jess Sandland’s corner was swung in for Matilda Franchi to rise and power home a header, the sixteen-year old’s first League goal for City as her consistent performances in the Reserve team are now being transferred to senior level. 

Zoe Watkins smashed in a loose ball from another Sandland free kick to complete the scoring, City recording their biggest win of the season and offering the opportunity for the squad’s talented young players to shine at National League level. 

A six-point gap, but with AFC Bournemouth having two games in hand, the plus eighteen goal difference may be the bigger factor in the title race for Abbie Britton and Aaron Wakley’s side. A break from league action this week as City face a League Cup Plate Quarter Final at Billericay, but next up is the top of the table clash against the Cherries and where this title race may be heading could be clearer after the two sides finally meet. 


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