French fires late second to seal points
Lodway Ladies 0 Mid Somerset Ladies 1st 2
Mid Somerset overcame struggling Lodway to get 2013 off to the best possible start.
The visitors started strongly and moved the ball well but the final pass often went astray as they lacked their usual precision. When chances were created, Mids were denied an opener by the Lodway keeper.
Mids continued to up the ante after the break and good work by Kirsten Vowles and Donna Phillips brought a series of short corners before Nicole French smashed a reverse-stick strike past the unsighted keeper to break the deadlock.
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The goal settled the visitors but, despite excellent midfield work from Martha Hodgson and Claire Malcomson, they were denied further goals by some excellent keeping.
And it looked like Lodway might snatch a bizarre equaliser when a long ball cannoned off the upright and spun across Mids' goalline but, with both umpires unsighted, a goal could not be given.
Mids refused to be rattled and good work by Rosie Palmer brought another short corner. The initial shot was saved but French slotted the rebound past the stranded keeper to finally put the result beyond doubt.
Player of the match: Helen Pearce.
Mid Somerset Ladies 2nd 3 Winscombe Ladies 3rd 0
Mid Somerset remain second in the table after seeing off Winscombe in comfortable fashion.
The home side did not have it all their own way, though, and Combe's early attacks were rebuffed by a Mids defence led by captain Terri Wipfler.
Shirley Hartshorne, Vicki Pagett and Gill Harvey all went close for Combe, while Amy Knapman made several penetrating runs after good passes from Alice Sloman and Helen Sinclair.
After 20 minutes, the hosts started to open up and Sarah Dowden scored the first goal from a penalty corner. This was quickly followed by a second from Poppy Wilson – a result of a well-timed run.
Mids came out full of confidence in the second half and Jessica Thompson excelled in midfield, giving her opposite number no room for manoeuvre.
She was instrumental in the home side's third goal, linking defence and attack effectively as a flurry of passes travelled from Mary Dowds to Emily Halstead, who provided a perfect cross to the edge of D.
Gillian Buzzard completed the move with a cracking shot which bounced off the keeper's pads and against the backboards.
To their credit, Winscombe's heads did not drop and 13-year-old Ella Byrne continued to work hard but their efforts proved in vain.
Players of the match: Gillian Buzzard (Mids) and Rachel Wallace (Winscombe).