With AFC Bournemouth Women having won promotion to the FA National League, it seemed an apt opportunity to look back at their three top moments of the 2020/21 season.
Despite it being a disrupted campaign, Steve Cuss and his side still played 15 fixtures, be it cup games, league games or simply friendlies.
Take a look below as we review the top three highlights across a season like no other:
3 | Southampton Women 1-3 AFC Bournemouth
Our first test against National League opposition makes the grade at number three.
Having lost by the same scoreline to the same team just last season, the Cherries were determined to right the wrongs when they met for the second consecutive year in the FA Cup.
Taking place at Alresford Town, it took Cuss’ side just six minutes to open the scoring, Gemma Hillier smashing home on the half-volley from inside the area.
The score was soon levelled up when Hannah Samuels struck five minutes later, but it didn’t stop the visitors in their tracks.
Good work from Helen Corbin up top saw the ball fall to Molly Clark, who took a touch and rifled a shot home as the Cherries regained the lead.
However, the moment of the match was still to come, with Abby Jones brought down in the box and the referee pointing straight to the spot.
The right-back, who had missed in the penalty shootout win over Moneyfields the week before, stepped up and duly converted, sparking big celebrations from the side who had all but booked their place in the next round.
2 | Oxford City 0-11 AFC Bournemouth
Number two on the list involves the side’s only league game this season.
Due to a spectacular FA Cup run, as well as disruptions due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Cuss’ side actually only completed the one fixture in the Southern Region Women’s Premier League.
It came away to Oxford City at the end of October, with the Cherries already having played four FA Cup games and two friendlies.
Eager to get their league season underway, they did so in emphatic style with 11 goals at Court Place Farm.
Clark and Hannah Bennett both bagged hat-tricks, while Maisy Smith, Helen Corbin, Larissa White and Becky Barron got on the scoresheet too.
It was also a memorable day for Lily Humes, who scored her first goal for the side and helped them come away with all three points.
1 | AFC Bournemouth 3-1 Buckland Athletic
Sitting in top spot has to be our 3-1 win at home to Buckland Athletic, which sealed the club’s place in the first round proper of the FA Cup for just the second time in our history.
It was an eagerly anticipated game, with all four previous rounds taking place away from home.
With the side having already knocked out Southampton Women of the National League, confidence was high that a similar outcome could be on the cards against Buckland.
In torrential rain, Clark opened the scoring 36 minutes in with a sensational strike from 25 yards, giving the visiting ‘keeper no chance.
Just seven minutes later and the lead was doubled, once again through the midfielder, who booted home the rebound from her headed effort six yards out.
As Buckland pushed for a route back into the game, it didn’t stop Clark from completing her hat-trick, as she robbed the centre-back of the ball and coolly slotted into the bottom corner.
A late strike from Sarah Stacey didn’t threaten a comeback and Cuss’ side made it through to round one.
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Thank you for your support
Bournemouth University for being our main girls and women's team sponsor, and iPRO and Vitality for supporting the womens' programme.