Women's Hampshire Senior Cup Report: Bournemouth 3-1 Saints U21s

2023-24/Women's Team/Women's U21s/Matchday/20240513 AFC Bournemouth vs Southampton HSC Final/A25I3566_fqtffx

Southampton Women’s Under-21s were beaten in the Hampshire FA Adopt South Women’s Senior Cup final.

After an even opening, the Cherries took the lead through a Kenni Thompson penalty, before Kaylee Buckingham equalised with a powerful header.

The fourth-tier side regained the lead before the break when Lucy Cooper scrambled the ball home from a corner, and sealed the victory in the final minute of the game through Erin Bloomfield’s header.

Isabel Watts in action for Saints. (Photos: Isabelle Field)

In a rematch of last season’s final, both sides looked up for the contest from the get go at Aldershot Town’s EBB Stadium.

Mia King was tested early on in the Saints goal as AFC Bournemouth’s Gemma McGuinnes had the first opportunity with a volley that needed to be tipped over.

Saints’ youngsters looked comfortable in possession against their Women’s National League Division One opponents, but it was Bournemouth who posed the greater threat on goal.

The holders took the lead in the 20th minute from the penalty spot, after Thompson’s shot hit the hand of Kate Jeffery; Bournemouth’s winger took the spot-kick herself and converted to open the scoring.

A dangerous free-kick from Molly Barron-Clark was saved well by the knee of King, before Saints got back into the game on the half hour.

Isabel Watts cut inside from the right wing and found Madeline Hotston, but her shot from the edge of the box was comfortable for Daniela Kosinska to save.

The equaliser came soon after from Buckingham, who headed home Daisy Beard’s corner through a crowd to level the tie with her second goal in consecutive Hampshire Senior Cup finals.

Kaylee Buckingham celebrates her goal.

The holders regained their lead before half-time, however, as Lucy Cooper poked the ball over the line from Thompson’s corner amidst a scramble of bodies in the area.

In first half stoppage time, Bournemouth went close to extending their lead twice as Thompson fired wide with a shot from the left across goal, before Barron-Clark’s deflected strike was superbly tipped onto the post by King.

The second half began the same as the first, with Saints looking confident despite Bournemouth’s better opportunities on goal; Barron-Clark tested King again on two occasions.

With 15 minutes to play, Saints came closest to drawing level once more; time stood still as Jeffery struck a looping shot from distance that hit the top corner of post and crossbar, as Sky Bedwell blazed the rebound over.

McGuinness hit the post from close range as Bournemouth looked to put the result beyond doubt in the final ten minutes.

Then, in the final minute of stoppage time, victory was confirmed for the Cherries as substitute Bloomfield flicked a header into the back of the net from Barron-Clark’s free-kick.

Saints’ youngsters gave it their all but were forced to settle for defeat again at the final hurdle, as AFC Bournemouth made it back-to-back Women’s Hampshire Senior Cup wins.

AFC Bournemouth: Kosinka, Jones (Elkins 90+8), Smith, Venditto, Cooper (Gilroy 56), Barron-Clark, McGuiness (Bloomfield 86), James (Bowers 90+8), Hillier (Buckingham 76), Thompson, Treweek.

Subs not used: N/A

Goals: Thompson 20(pen), Cooper 44, Bloomfield 90+7.

Saints: King, Surin (Machado 90+4), Lucas, Jeffery (c), Beard, Nohasiarisoa, Hotston (Peachey 56), Mallon (Udebhulu 68), Watts (Henry 68), Bedwell, Buckingham.

Subs not used: Cornish.

Goals: Buckingham 38.

Attendance: 731.