Report: Saints 8-0 Buckland

By SFC Media Sun 13 Oct Womens Team
Photo by Isabelle Field

Southampton FC Women advanced through the second round of FA Cup qualifying with an utterly dominant display to put Buckland Athletic to the sword at Snows Stadium.

With Shannon Sievwright dictating play from midfiled and Rachel Panting running riot down the left flank, the visitors had no answer for Saints’ attacking play, which could have produced countless more goals.

The writing was on the wall when Marieanne Spacey-Cale’s side took a 2-0 lead inside 13 minutes through goals from Sophia Pharoah and Georgie Freeland.

A quick-fire brace from Panting either side of Shannon Albuery’s poacher’s finish made it five at the interval, before Panting completed her hat-trick.

Freeland's fine shot into the top corner was followed by a late eighth from her replacement Chloe Newton, who completed the scoring.

Saints twice went close even before Pharoah opened the floodgates in the seventh minute.

First Panting side-footed wide from the centre of the penalty area, before her clever pass released Albuery, whose low cross was somehow turned wide by Freeland from close range.

Georgie Freeland goes close to adding to her brace in a one-sided affair

But Saints were relentless and soon made the breakthrough, as Pharoah picked her spot with a curling shot from 20 yards that dipped just under the crossbar to beat goalkeeper Abigail Bond.

Buckland then caused their own problems when a back-pass was left well short, allowing Albuery to steal in and square the ball across goal for strike partner Freeland to score with ease.

Freeland might have been celebrating a hat-trick inside the first 15 minutes. Following her goal and earlier miss, the striker was sent clean through by a brilliant Panting pass, but just opened up her body a fraction too far and steered the chance wide. 

Saints’ defenders were virtual spectators, but right-back Ella Morris put her own stamp on the game with a sublime pass to open up the Buckland defence for Panting to run through and dispatch a well-placed shot past Bond to make it 3-0.

Three soon became four from the best move of the game, as Alisha Ware crossed from the left after some slick midfield interplay, picking out Freeland, who was denied by Bond before Albuery tucked in the rebound.

Abigail Bond in the Buckland goal was often left exposed and Saints took advantage

Only the crossbar prevented Panting adding a spectacular fifth, but the winger would not have to wait long, curling in another clinical finish from Pharoah’s classy flick as Spacey-Cale’s side turned on the style. 

Buckland did briefly stem the tide at the start of the second half, helped by a brilliant Bond save to keep out a header from Freeland, who wasn’t having much luck in front of goal.

But the visitors were powerless to prevent Panting completing her hat-trick in the 63rd minute, following in Albuery’s lob over Bond that was drifting wide until the winger forced the ball through the legs of the keeper. 

Freeland added the second goal her performance deserved to score Saints’ seventh midway through the second half, racing clear of defender Courtney Butt and finishing with an arrowing drive across Bond into the top corner for perhaps the goal of the game.

Panting then turned provider for substitute Newton to set the seal on an impressive performance from a home team whose intensity never dropped.

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