An attacking display of energy and intent and some quality finishing saw Oldland return from Chippenham yesterday with a 4-3 victory though the scoreline flattered Chippenham as Oldland could easily have scored double the amount that they did.
The Abbott's stuck to the 4-3-3 formation that was introduced the previous week although the personnel was different due to injury and unavailability. Jayde Holcombe continued in goal with Meg James getting her first start of the season at right back.Vicky Mundy was moved back from Central Midfield into the centre of defence alongside Courtney Hobbs with Laura Elphick at left back. Anne Johnson, Nicky Hawkins-Hoare and Jade Scammell were the midfield trio with Beth Dale on the left wing, Laura Garlick was moved forward from right back to right wing and Annie Hawkins-Hoare was in the strikers role.
Chippenham started the first few minutes the brighter of the two teams but once the Abbott's took a sixth minute lead the result never really seemed in doubt. Scammell found Dale on the left wing who cut in and curled a spectacular effort into the top right corner from 20 yards.
It was just three minutes later when more fluent attacking play saw Annie Hawkins-Hoare find the marauding Scammell who smashed a 25 yard shot over the keeper. Oldland really had their tails up and nearly made it three when Nicky Hawkins-Hoare sent a diving header just wide. Holcombe was a virtual spectator in goal and only really had to deal with back passes but the hosts pulled a goal back on 17 minutes when they scored against the run of play as their pacy striker outstripped Oldlands defence to slot home despite the best efforts of Hobbs.
To Oldlands credit, this didn't deter their streaming intent and Annie Hawkins-Hoare struck the bar with a dipping free kick just two minutes later and after 29 minutes Nicky Hawkins-Hoare saw a bullet header from a Scammell corner thump the bar with the keeper beaten. The front three of Annie Hawkins-Hoare, Dale and Garlick were linking to great effect and with Scammell and Nicky Hawkins-Hoare making some probing runs from midfield and the impressive James looking to get forward at every opportunity, the Chippenham defence were at sixes and sevens.
There was a touch of frustration on 35 minutes as once again, completely against the run of play the Abbott's were caught on the break and Chippenham scored an identical goal to their first. Instead of being three or four goals to the good which they could have been Oldland found themselves pegged back to 2-2.
Oldland kept up their pressing strategy and good pressure in midfield saw Chippenham once more lose the ball and Annie Hawkins-Hoare found Scammell once again who found the bottom corner with just the keeper to beat.
Scammell could have had a hat trick in the first half and nearly got it in the first minute of the second half when some slick passing found her on the edge of the box but her powerful strike went straight at the home keeper. With several injury stoppages, the second half became a little more of a scrappy affair than the first but Dale and Annie Hawkins-Hoare went close with further efforts.As the game entered the last ten minutes it was two of Oldlands subs that combined for Oldlands fourth goal as persistence up front from Amy Street saw her win the ball from a Chippenham defender and her quick pass found Aisha Anderson who smashed past the keeper from close range for her first ever Oldland goal.
With the last kick off the game,Chippenham pulled a goal back despite a seemingly obvious foul on Scammell in the build up but as soon as Oldland took the restart the ref blew for full time.
A pleasing win with an eye catching first half display that will surely breed confidence, Oldland at last showed what they are capable of with a deserved victory that moves them five places up the table into seventh.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH---Laura Garlick--Moved forward from her customary Right Back role, her tenacity and directness was the catalyst for many of Oldlands attacks.