AFC Bournemouth Women’s Development Squad travelled to Reading last weekend to face Tilehurst Panthers and came away with a superb 5-4 win.
The game started well for the visiting side, but they were unable to create any clear chances in the opening stages.
A series of corners, excellently delivered by Jade Hockey, put extra pressure on the Tilehurst defence but the Cherries still were not able to find an opening goal.
Against the run of play, the hosts took the lead following a swift counter-attack in the 30th minute, which saw their striker run from just inside the Bournemouth half and then curl a shot high into the top right-hand corner.
This sparked Bournemouth into life and, within two minutes, Helen Corbin had struck an equaliser when she broke through the defensive line and dispatched confidently into the bottom corner.
The second half was a goal fest, with both sides serving up a total of seven goals between them.
The first of the goals was to be for the Panthers, who raced past the Bournemouth back-line and curled the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.
Once again, the Cherries were to respond immediately when Corbin completed her brace following a cool finish past the goalkeeper, Hockey’s through ball breaking the defence.
Tilehurst continued to attack and pushed ahead for the third time in the match, scoring after a corner was cleared by Dave Staddon’s side.
Ayuma Asira, on as a half time substitute, would draw the game level when she broke through the defensive line and slotted into the bottom corner with 20 minutes to go.
Tilehurst refused to be disheartened and took the lead again for the final time in the 75th minute, after an excellently executed shot from distance flew into the top corner, leaving goalkeeper Grace Reynolds with no chance in goal.
Corbin, however, quickly drew the away side level and completed her hat-trick when she pounced on a loose ball in the Tilehurst area following some good build up play.
With momentum on their side, Staddon’s team pushed for the winner and they had the chance when Corbin was fouled in the penalty area in the 80th minute. Corbin stepped up confidently and calmly rolled the ball into the right-hand corner, leaving the ‘keeper stranded.
The Panthers side pushed for an equaliser and had the opportunity to take a point in the final two minutes, but they were denied by an excellent point-black save from Reynolds, who ensured that all three points were heading back to Bournemouth.