Torquay United Ladies kick started 2018 as they finished 2017. 3 points, 3 goals and a clean sheet the new year with a good victory over a much improved Downend Flyers team. Sian Chapman open the scoring in the 20th minute after a great cross from Georgia Mann. Mann was enjoying success on the right win and was able to deliver ball into the box with quality.
The back 4 remained untroubled, Adele Rogers, Becca Wakley, Captain Alex Sheppard and Naomi Binding were winning every ball coming their way. Mann and Sarah Smith were finding themselves with plenty of space down either wing and the midfield two of Hannah Eglon and Steph Beck were calm and patient on the ball. The clever feet of Beck were certainly causing problems. Chapman and Emma Mingo were holding the ball well up front and getting shots away. Downend continued to apply pressure, the visiting captain found the ball 20 yards out and managed to get a rare shot away which keeper Marshall saved superbly by tipping the ball over the bar. 1-0 first half.
The second half started lively with TULFC dominating the game. In the 65th minute, Emma Mingo closed down a defender and managed to win the ball and score. Danni Wyatt and Jodie Randall soon entered the field to replace Mingo and Mann respectively. Randall, coming back from injury, slotted straight back in showing some great control and skill on the ball.
The returning Dani Garland also came on to replace Eglon and wasted no time in getting herself involved winning a number of aerial battles. In the 80th minute, Smith picked the ball up 30 yards out and made a blazing run towards the edge of the box. She pulled the trigger, and to the delight of the fans and Smudge herself, the ball hit the back of the net to make it 3-0. Remaining substitutes Amy Evans and 16-year-old Kasey Dickson made her second appearance for TULFC.
Next Sunday TULFC face AFC Plympton in the semi-final of the Devon Women’s Cup (kick-off 2pm).
Report by Vicki Fannon.