Swindon Town Women narrowly missed out on a place in the second round of the Women's FA Cup, after a last-minute winner for current league leaders AFC Bournemouth Women at The County Ground on Sunday afternoon.
Town opened the scoring in the first half through an Annie Colston penalty, (which was her 50th goal for the club), but Bournemouth unfortunately scored two goals with 20 minutes left to play.
It was end-to-end in the opening section of the first half, with Town pressing high early in the game.
However, it would be Bournemouth who test the opposing keeper first with an effort inside the box that thankfully would see keeper Emily McGrogan hold comfortably.
10 minutes later, an opportunity fell to Town’s way, but Grace Purnell was not able to make the most of the chance, as Swindon continued to push for the opener.
It was a quiet 15 minutes after a spell of chances in the earlier stages of the half until Grace Purnell was brought down inside the penalty box, awarding Town the opportunity they deserved.
Reliable goalscorer Annie Colston stepped up to take the penalty, which was fired into the back of the net to get her 50th goal for Swindon and give Swindon the narrow lead as half-time approached.
With a few minutes before the break, the away side became a threat to Swindon’s back-line, but McGrogan was again on hand and concentrated to make a brilliant stop just before the break.
Unfortunately, after winning the penalty for her side, Grace Purnell’s game time got cut short by a collision with a Bournemouth player, which saw the defender stretched off the pitch with seconds left to play in the first half, as the club wished her the best and a speedy recovery.
Half-time: Swindon Town Women 1 AFC Bournemouth Women 0
Straight into the second half, captain Georgia Clifford produced a big defensive block early on, with Bournemouth’s denied by a deflection off the post as Town looked to maintain its narrow lead.
It was Town who nearly made the most of the next opportunity with a lot of space for goal scorer Colston who managed to run past her defender but her shot drove just wide midway through the second half.
The game would quieten until around the 75th minute, and unfortunately, this is when Bournemouth began to flip the advantage, as they would equalise through Gemma McGuinness, leaving the Town girls looking to respond in the final moments of the game.
However, a late chance fell the way of Bournemouth in added time and resulted in late heartbreak for Swindon Town Women, where Chloe Gilroy latched onto a loose ball and showed the composure to slot the ball into the back of the Town net and leave Swindon disappointed with the final result.
Whilst the result was ultimately frustrating for Swindon, they will take confidence in going toe-to-toe with the current league leaders, as they now look to focus on the league fixtures, with their next challenge in the FAWNL against Torquay United next weekend.
Swindon Town Women: McGrogan, Viveash, Graham (Strippel 65), Randall, Jarvis (Hull 79), MacDonald, Colston, Diaz-Butcher, Purnell (Haynes 45+8), Beck-Esson, Clifford (C)
Goal: Colston (P) 37
Subs not used: Greenslade, Evans, Mugford, Haines
AFC Bournemouth Women: Kosinska, Jones, Treweek, Blezeard, McGuinness, Venditto, Cooper, Barron-Clark, Hillier (C), James, Buckingham
Goals: McGuinness 76, Gilroy 90+2
Subs: Scadding, Smith, Gladwell, Gilroy