Saints go joint top after Bournemouth win

By SFC Media time Sun 31 Mar Women's First Team
Photo by Matt Watson | Chloe Newton

Sunday's top-of-the-table clash with AFC Bournemouth was dominated from start to finish by Southampton FC Women, who ran out comfortable 4-1 winners at Verwood Town.

Star of the show Chloe Newton fired Saints into a commanding first-half lead, completing her hat-trick within 37 minutes, before a fine second-half strike, her fourth of the game, made the points certain.

In league terms, the Cherries remain top, by virtue of a favourable goal difference, but Marieanne Spacey-Cale's side have drawn themselves level on points with two games in hand, and now look odds on favourites to claim the title.

Striker Newton was a menace all game, and had added a treble to her mounting personal goal tally before the half-time whistle.

The first, arguably the most important, but also the most fortuitous, was scored in the 18th minute, as she benefitted from the good work of Rachel Woods, turning in the rebound from close range.

Phoebe Williams was the creator of the second, whipping a corner into the danger area, which was met by the head of Newton and powered home after 25 minutes.

Georgie Freeland's solo run presented the perfect chance for a third just before the break, and it would have been unlike Newton to pass up an opportunity to find the net once more.

Freeland's pace was far too much for Bournemouth's tiring defence, and she also had the awareness to pick out Newton centrally, who applied an empathic first-time finish to a perfectly weighted pass.

Bournemouth clawed one back just after the restart, but such was Newton's ruthless form, the three-goal lead was soon restored. She latched onto a Woods through ball in the 64th minute, shifted onto her favoured foot, before smashing into the roof of the net.

Saints' quality, and that of their star striker, shone throughout, as they move level with fellow title challengers Bournemouth, making it a perfect 13 wins from 13 played.  


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