Report | Southampton book place in First Round Proper

A stunning first-half performance from Southampton sealed their place in the First Round Proper of the Women's FA Cup as they won 3-1 against AFC Bournemouth at Romsey Town.

Jane Yeates volleyed in the opener before a powerful low cross by Erin Bloomfield found the net off of a defender and Áine McKeever slotted home from a rebound to make it 3-0 before the break.

It was a different Bournemouth in the second-half and despite their pressure had to settle for a consolation goal from Erin Thickett in the 89th minute.

The game was subject to an early morning pitch inspection and passed with flying colours after the previous days rain meaning the game would not be postponed for the second time.

Aaron Smith made four changes to the team who drew with Chesham; Philippa Holden returned to the squad following an injury while Tia Hooper, Hannah Samiels and Laura Vokes all started.

From the start of the first-half Southampton were on the front foot and dominated much of the play.

Bloomfield fired the ball over the goal while under pressure early on from a Vokes free-kick before the winger then set up Yeates only to be denied by the offside flag.

The former Super League striker was soon given another chance but was unable to get enough control on Hooper's cross.

Attacks kept coming from the hosts as McKeever narrowly tapped the ball wide at the back post before Lauren Cheshire's shot was well blocked in the area.

A goal was soon found in with 22 minutes on the clock, leading goalscorer Jane Yeates breaking the deadlock.

Samuels with a perfect cross found an unmarked Yeates who volleyed the ball over the goalkeeper, Stephanie Small, into the back of the net.

The returning Holden nearly made it a dream return as she connected with Warren's ball over the defence but put it over.

A quick free-kick caught Bournemouth sleeping; Cheshire feeding Yeates down the line to cross for the awaiting Bloomfield just unable to direct the ball towards goal.

10 minutes before the break a second goal was found, a powerful low cross from Bloomfield hit the defender inside the six-yard box and beating the keeper.

Five minutes later and Southampton's dominance resulted in a third goal.

A well-struck Vokes corner found a lurking Bloomfield whose shot was parried by Small into the path of McKeever to volley back at goal making it 3-0.

There was nearly a fourth in injury-time as the ball pinged around the Bournemouth box, somehow the Cherries keeping the ball away from the net and breathe a sigh of relief when they won a free-kick for a high foot.

Comfortable on the ball and dominating the play it was an excellent 45 minutes for Southampton.

It was to be a different tale in the second-half as Bournemouth currently undefeated in eight games aimed to find a quick way back into the tie.

Rose Kite was called into action for the first time and made a crucial body save as Thickett raced towards goal.

The Cherries were looking hungrier and enjoyed more spells of possession but didn't truly test the Young Lioness in the Southampton goal who comfortably claimed several crosses.

With 11 goals to her name this season Bournemouth tried to get Meg Vella on the ball but she found a strong Cheshire in her path.

67 minutes played and the visitors had their first corner of the match which wasn't the cleanest affairs for the hosts; Kite spilling the cross before the ball was eventually helped out by the defence.

As the clocked ticked down Southampton endured the storm Bournemouth were creating.

Cheshire turned a defensive move into a quick counter with an excellent challenge on Thickett, McKeever launching the ball long for Bloomfield who was rewarded with a corner.

The setpiece was nearly turned in by Yeates looking to add to her season tally with a bicycle kick.

Substitute E-J May should have made it four as Small spilt a dangerous cross from Vokes but the midfielder just couldn't find the right turn to shoot at goal.

The pressure from the Cherries eventually paid off in the 89th minute.

A neat flick on the ball put Thickett through on goal with just Kite to beat which she did however, it proved only to be a consolation.

The final whistle came and victory for Aaron Smith's side meaning they progress into the First Round of the FA Cup.

Full-time: Southampton 3 AFC Bournemouth 1


Up next Southampton continue their time in the Women's FA Cup as Portishead Town are the visitors in the First Round Proper.

Kick-off is likely to be 2:00pm on Sunday, November 3rd at Romsey Town FC with entry £4 for adults, £2 for concessions and all accompanied under-16s get in for free.

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