Match Preview: Saints vs Buckland

By SFC Media time Fri 13 Sep Womens Team

Games are arriving thick and fast for Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side, who currently sit joint top of the FA Women’s National League (south west).

They remain unbeaten, but were held by local rivals Southampton Women in a Wednesday night clash at AFC Totton last week, which ended 0-0.

Cheltenham Town are also hot on Saints’ heels, locked on 10 points with both Southampton-based sides, but have a far inferior goal difference - Cheltenham themselves travel to AFC Totton in league action in just over seven day's time.

As for Saints, they’re undefeated record, dating back to January this year, remains in tact as they enter a run of three back-to-back home ties to round off the month of September - their most recent triumph was last weekend's 4-0 drubbing of Swindon Town.

Head Coach Spacey-Cale has spoken in recent weeks about being encouraged by the crowds visiting their games at Testwood Stadium, not least the recent Southampton derby, which was attended by over 550 people.

And local fans will have plenty of opportunity over the remaining weekends of September, as Saints host Buckland, Cheltenham and then fifth-placed Larkhall Athletic consecutively.

Indeed Spacey-Cale is confident her side are beginning to find their rhythm in a new league, particularly at home, as she explains how the competition posed by surrounding teams is spurring her young side on.

"We've got to remember that we're new to this league, and so nothing is familiar," Spacey-Cale said. "There's a really good level of competition and we're already enjoying that battle at the top.

Alisha Ware during the FA Women's National League, Div One South West match between Southampton FC Women and Southampton Women, at the Testwood Community Stadium, AFC Totton, Southampton, 4th September 2019(pic by Isabelle Field)
Ella Morris in action in front of a season-high crowd at AFC Totton

"There's only one promotion place so, realistically, we're probably going to have to remain unbeaten if we want that place.

"I think fans have had a taste of the kind of football we want to play, especially at home, and it's incredible to see the boost that the girls get off the crowds at Totton.

"It's important that these girls feel like they've got the backing of the Southampton family. We're pushing every day to get better and show the pride associated with playing for this football club."

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