In what will be viewed as a bit of an upset across the division, Swindon Town Women overcame early pacesetters AFC Bournemouth with a hard fought 3-2 victory at Foundation Park on Sunday.
James Lally’s side took a three goal lead which gave them a much needed cushion, with the visitors piling on the pressure as the minutes ticked down, with two goals ruled out for offside.
They eventually responded with two converted penalties to tighten the score line, forcing a cagey end to the tie, but Town held firm to claim all three points.
The hosts were out the traps quickly, creating the first chance of the game early on, as Helena Diaz-Butcher was sent clear on goal by Megan Attenborough, but her attempt to cross dangerously across the box was snuffed out by a Cherries defender.
It wasn’t long until Town’s early dominance paid off just after the half hour mark, as Annie Colston converted after Gipsy Viveash retrieved possession with an impressive tackle and started a deadly counter attack. All that was left was for the striker to compose herself and send the ball past the goalkeeper.
One soon became two as Colston netted hers and Town’s second of the tie on 42-minutes. Attenborough and Diaz-Butcher were involved once again and the latter was sent clear for a second time, and although her initial attempt to find Colston was unsuccessful, her second found the forward and she did the rest.
Into the second period, and the hosts were relentless in their approach once again and came out with the same intentions as the first, taking the game to their south-coast opponents in search of another goal, and it duly arrived.
The Diaz-Butcher and Colston double-act continued to cause issues for Bournemouth, as the pair combined again to make it three with the latter helping herself to the hat-trick with a simple, close-range tap in.
Despite the three goal deficit, Bournemouth switched things up, making five subs to try and affect the game and change the tempo, and it certainly paid off.
Town keeper Emily McGrogan was penalised for a foul in the box and awarded a yellow card, and Shannon Albuery stepped up to convert from the spot.
The Cherries turned things up a notch and made their efforts count as they were awarded a second penalty in rather controversial circumstances, and it was left to Albuery to beat the stopper once again from twelve yards to make it 3-2.
James Lally rang the changes himself as a tense last fifteen minutes ensued, with Kathryn Bach, Natalie Goodright and Rose Kent introduced to sure things up at the back.
Bournemouth almost snatched a last gasp equaliser with just minutes remaining, but McGrogan stretched well to tip the effort round the post to ensure a second home league win of the season for The Robins.
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