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Women

Women's Development Squad do the double

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

The AFC Bournemouth’s development side headed into their final game of the season, the Invitation League Cup final, off the back of securing the Hampshire County League title the previous week.

A double from both Emily Gard and Helen Corbin, a solo effort from Sofia Sinaguglia and a Rosie Nicklen penalty all helped the Cherries lift the silverware.

However, it wasn’t plain sailing for the Cherries, who found themselves 2-0 down against Widbrook inside the opening 20 minutes.

Not to be rocked by this, Bournemouth were quick to respond as Gard was on hand to convert an Erin Thickett cross at the back post.

An immediate response from Widbrook saw them again further their lead when a long ball forward was not dealt with by the Bournemouth back-line and the onrushing attacker was able to poke the ball past Steph Small in the Cherries goal.

In an end-to-end game, it was AFC Bournemouth who struck next to close the gap to just the one-goal before half-time, as Gard scored her second, once again converting a Thickett cross.

Just after the hour mark, the game saw its sixth goal, when Widbrook picked up a loose ball in midfield and unleashed a fierce shot that flew into the Bournemouth net off the underside of the bar.

However, another quick response saw the Cherries attack from kick-off and win a penalty, which Rosie Nicklen dispatched into the top left-hand corner to close the gap to 4-3.

With the clock running down, Widbrook restored their two-goal cushion when they headed home a corner in the 70th minute.

AFC Bournemouth were working hard to create more chances to score the next goal and in the 72nd minute Sofia Sinaguglia was presented with the opportunity to do just that.

After being slipped through the opposition’s defensive line on the left-hand side of the pitch, she raced through one-on-one with the keeper and calmly rolled the ball into the far corner to take the score to 5-4.

Building on momentum, the Cherries wiped out Widbrook’s two goal lead in just four minutes, as Helen Corbin then netted a long through ball from Chiara Andreotti.

The winning goal came with ten minutes to go, as top goal-scorer Corbin netted her second of the afternoon and 41st goal of the season. She raced clear of the Widbrook back-line and was just able to poke the ball underneath the onrushing goalkeeper, giving Bournemouth the lead and securing the win.

Speaking following the game, coach David Staddon told afcb.co.uk: “The whole squad showed fantastic spirit and to come from behind as often as we did is a testament to the never give up attitude of the group.”

Summing up the season, head of community Steve Cuss added: “The progression of the Development Squad throughout the season has been very pleasing, resulting in the league title and cup final victory.

“Predominantly made up of players under 21 and players progressing through the youth system, the pathway provided has proved beneficial to the individual player progression.”

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