Round-up of Sunday’s women’s football action in the South East
Herne Bay retained a vice-like grip on the South East Counties League Cup, which they won for the first time last season, with an emphatic 7-1 victory over Abbey Rangers.
In their first defence of the trophy, they overpowered their lower-league challengers to book a second-round tie against fellow Premier Division side Parkwood Rangers.
Unbeaten Bay were shocked into action after going behind to the Surrey side, who are in their first season in Division One West, when Amber Walker scored.
Carly Farrow equalised after half an hour before a sensational period of stoppage time, added on because of an injury to goalkeeper Holly Nunn – in which Bay scored three times – twice through Vicky Holness and once through Issie Tulett.
Kate Foster added a fifth just after half-time before Farrow completed her hat-trick with two late goals.
Manager Anthony Deer told Sent Her Forward: “We were outstanding today.”
Seahaven Harriers also reached the second round with a big win, triumphing 6-1 over fellow Division One West side Milford & Witley. Georgia Ungoed scored a hat-trick, and there was a goal apiece from Katie Franks, Lauren Smith and Taylor Coade.
Dartford Royals took advantage of Herne Bay’s league absence to overhaul them as leaders following a 3-3 draw at Long Lane.
Meridian are also ahead of Bay for the time being after being handed a walkover against bottom club Crockenhill.
Herne Bay have a game in hand over Dartford and three over Meridian.
In the only other match played in the Premier Division, Burgess Hill Town continued their recent improvement with a 3-0 victory at Eastbourne.
In Division One West, Worthing Minors stretched their lead after extending their remarkable winning run since the season began to eight games.
Phoebe Thorpe and goal machine Dani Lane – with her 17th in eight games – scored the goals as Minors beat local rivals Adur Athletic 2-0.
Prince of Wales and Ashford pulled away at the top of Division One East with high-scoring victories.
Prince of Wales beat Charlton Athletic Development 4-2, while Ashford won 5-1 at Aylesford Reserves, who are now just one point off the bottom after Castle Colts enjoyed a surprise win at Thanet Colts.
Performance of the day in the Kent Division came from struggling Swale, who won 5-1 at Teynham Gunners.
Brighton took advantage of half the FAW Premier League programme being wiped out, beating Queens Park Rangers 2-0 to go three points clear at the top.
Spurs remain in contention for the title after adding to Keynsham Town‘s woes with a 5-1 win at the West Country side.
Wendy Martin scored two more for the north London side. The others came from Avilla Bergin, Lucia Leon and Bianca Baptiste.
The win takes Spurs up to fifth, ahead of West Ham, whose game against previous leaders Cardiff City was one of three to be postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
Portsmouth were also unable to press their own claims for the title – their game at Copsewood Coventry called off, too. And Charlton Athletic‘s hopes suffered a similar fate when their match at Plymouth Argyle was postponed.
In the division’s only other game to survive the weather, Lewes earned a 3-1 victory at Gillingham to leave the Kent side struggling in the bottom three.
Catherine O’Hagan scored twice and Ashleigh Goddard bagged another before Lauren Phillips grabbed a late consolation for the Gills in front of another three-figure crowd at the Priestfield Stadium.
Imogen Alabaster made her first-team debut in goal for Gillingham.
There was little change at the top of the London & South East Regional League, where only two games survived the weather.
Carshalton Athletic moved up one place, to third, after drawing 1-1 with KIKK United. The goals came from Laura Curtis and Sophie Le Marchand.
Only two fixtures survived in the FAW Premier League Division One South West, too, Southampton Saints missing the chance to go top, losing 2-1 at Exeter City.
Instead, Swindon Town head the table, thanks to the fourth of their goals in a 4-0 victory at St Nicholas. They are level on points and goal difference with Forest Green Rovers but have scored a solitary goal more than their West Country rivals.
Plenty of goals in the FAW Premier Reserves League, with leaders West Ham beating Spurs 4-0, second-placed Charlton Athletic beating Crystal Palace 4-2 and Brighton moving from fourth to third after defeating QPR 4-1.
In the league’s other match, C&K Basildon won 3-1 at Bedford.
Lewes’s Development Centre won for the first time in three games to preserve their slender lead at the top of the Sussex County Women’s League.
They beat Worthing Town 4-0, courtesy of goals from Emily Guthrie, Charlotte Russell, Chloe Evans and Danielle Farrell.
Crawley Wasps are right on their heels, ending Lancing‘s 100% record with a 4-3 victory at Ewhurst Playing Fields.
Jarvis Brook hammered another six goals past Henfield‘s leaky defence to pull away from the bottom.
Crawley Town‘s under-18 side crashed out of their Surrey Women and Girls League Cup, losing 5-3 after extra-time to Beecholme Belles.
Southampton Saints won the south Hampshire derby to move even further away from Portsmouth at the top of the Under-18 Division of the Hampshire County Women’s Football League, winning 3-1.