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Development squad win Hampshire league


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

A single point stood in the way of AFC Bournemouth becoming league champions and Bournemouth Sports, who with a victory could still compete for the league title themselves, served up an exciting match on a boiling hot Easter Sunday.

The match started superbly for the Cherries and they were a goal to the good within the opening 90 seconds of the game.

An attacking move saw the ball fall to Roza Bailey who, from 30 yards, let go a rasping shot that flew into the top corner of the net after a slight deflection from the onrushing Bournemouth Sports defender.

This excellent start to the match was the perfect tonic for any potential nerves from the home side and they were soon to produce another attack.

Erin Thickett was released down the left-hand side of the Bournemouth Sports defence and, having darted past her opponent, saw her low shot well saved.

As the half progressed, the away side began to get a grip of the game and created some chances themselves.

Following the break, it was Bournemouth Sports that scored the second goal of the game. Lucie Donnelly was judged to have fouled her opposing player on the edge of the penalty area and, although originally signalling a free-kick, the referee consulted with his linesman and a penalty was given.

Justine Mosely stepped up for the away side and calmly slotted into the bottom left corner.

As they have done all season, the Cherries immediately looked to bounce back, and it didn’t take long for the lead to be restored.

Norman-Tasker was put through on goal after a late run from midfield and saw her shot saved by the keeper, however the ball fell to EJ Stephens on the right-hand side of the penalty box, who emphatically smashed the ball high into the roof of the net.

The home side continued to look to add to their tally and had chances that they were unable to take and, with 10 minutes remaining, they were to pay for that.

A Bournemouth Sports corner was played well into the near post, where an onrushing attacker sent a bullet header into the back of the net.

With the away side now pushing hard for the winner, the final chance of the game was to fall to the Cherries on the counter-attack. A long pass forward was misjudged by the defenders, which allowed Thickett to sprint through, but her shot when one-on-one with the keeper was narrowly wide.

The final whistle was blown soon after and this sparked great celebrations from the home side and their fans.

Following the game, head of community Steve Cuss spoke with afcb.co.uk.

“We are very pleased with the progression of the Development squad, consisting of just two players aged over 21 and seven of the players having progressed through the youth system.

“To win the Hampshire League is a fantastic achievement.”

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