REPORT | Exeter 0-0 Solent

Solent and Exeter couldn’t be separated in the BUCS Western 1A despite the Sparks having the better of the second half chances.

Solent Ladies has been looking to make it two from two against Exeter uni at the start of play, with two changes to the starting line-up for this trip. 

Emma McFarland and Emma Whitlock came in for Belinda Rodriguez and Perri Driscoll as in the absence of Rafa Citron, Paddy and Jordan Goddard took the reins. 

In windy and quickly darkening conditions the game started fairly evenly, both sides struggling to find passes on a heavy pitch. 

In the first five minutes Whitlock looked to play through Kayleigh Tonks, but her pass just had a bit too much pace on it. 

Exeter also threatened early on; Izzy Field was there to clear up following a break and win the foul in the process. 

Pictures: Louis Pollock

The home side also had the best of the early chances; a dangerous low cross from the right wing was met inside the six-yard box but whistled past Sara Luce’s post. 

Becka Tonks let fly from range for Solent in the best of their early chances but saw her shot deflected before it hit the target. 

Solent had to do a lot of the defending during the first half-an-hour; Emma McFarland in one instance covered her other defenders superbly by crossing the field to hault a counter attack. 

But following the half hour mark the visitors began to find their feet. Skipper Georgie Lowe was inches away from chipping the keeper following a great ball through by Whitlock. 

Moments later, Rosie Vina let fly from range and rattled the crossbar as Exeter started to be pegged back. 

The remainder of the half turned into a midfield battle, with both sides having an equal share of possession. 

The referee, seemingly a fan of using his whistle, stopped play on several occasions as both sides contested for the opening goal. 

At the break, the score lined remained level, a fair reflection on the opening 45. 

Pictures: Louis Pollock

The second half started much like the first ended; Exeter with the first of the chances as they force Luce to come and collect, before another long-range whip from Vina narrowly skims the crossbar. 

The Sparks were forced into an early second-half substitution; McFarland had played through an injury for most of the first 45 but had to make way for Jasmine Wier.

On the hour mark at Whitlock free-kick from the right side almost found B.Tonks in the box at the back post, but Exeter bodies surrounded her and cleared before a shot could come in.

Another glorious chance came for the Sparks as the game edged towards the 70th minute. Lowe found some space in the box and let fly, forcing a save from the Exeter keeper.

Minutes later Lowe was through again; lovely combination work from Whitlock, B.Tonks and Esther Lau-Mackaay saw the skipper through on goal but the onrushing keeper came and collected.

Solent kept on coming, following a marauding run out of defence by Aryana Cole, Lau-Mackaay was set through and would’ve got a shot away had it not been for a superb last second Exeter challenge.

The visitors had the lion’s share of possession and the second half’s best chances; Lowe was seemingly put through by Kayleigh Tonks before Exeter players tracked back. The skipper laid the ball off to Lau-Mackaay who’s curling effort was comfortably saved.

Into the final ten and it was all Solent; Lowe, K.Tonks and notably Perri Driscoll, who got on the end of B.Tonk’s deflected shot and forced a superb Exeter save.

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