REPORT | Warren hits winner in Winklebury victory

Kellie Warren scored the winner in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Exeter City. Photo credit John Bilcliff.

Kellie Warren scored in a tight 2-1 win over Exeter City for Southampton Women's in the FA Women's National League Division One South West.

The Reds took an early advantage from a lovely Laura Vokes goal but Danielle Tyson had other ideas as her goal meant it was level at the break.

It wasn't to be as Warren tipped the ball over the unsuspecting City goalkeeper in the second-half to secure Southampton's ninth win of the campaign.

With games constantly under threat from the winter washout that's threatening to become a soggy spring Southampton Women hosted their Devonish opponents at Winklebury Football Complex in Basingstoke.

The opening exchanges were even for both with neither able to take a hold of the game; Southampton falling short in the final third while Exeter found the home defenders rather than their attackers.

Erin Bloomfield and Vokes caused some early trouble with the latter being handed the chance to break the deadlock when Hannah Samuels was fouled on the corner of the Exeter penalty area.

The experienced winger made no mistake with the set-piece striking a lovely floated efforted over everyone in the box and into the goal with the ball neatly nestling under the crossbar.

Laura Vokes scored and assisted to aid Southampton to their ninth league win. Photo credit John Bilcliff.

Exeter looked to exploit the gaps through the midfield but their crosses in the final third didn't find a target.

Up the other end, Bloomfield had a couple of chances, Kyanna Orchard spilt a direct Samuels free-kick but reacted quickly to smother before the striker could poke home.

The keeper a minute later denied the former Super League striker again as they faced off one-on-one just deflecting the shot out.

Despite the chances for the hosts the visitors grabbed an equaliser in the 21st minute.

An unmarked Tyson was picked out in the Southampton area for a great finish to galvanise her team.

Neither team truly created much as the game steered towards the break, Southampton worked the ball into the box well but despite good deliveries from Gracie White and Vokes no one was there to shoot at goal.

The hosts had a bright start in the second-half through Bloomfield who had her driving run body blocked by Orchard.

Despite the block the rebound was controlled by Holden who struck the ball goal-bound with Orchard outside her box but the keeper stretched out her hand giving away a free-kick and only picking up a yellow.

While playing on an artificial surface there were plenty of March showers that the players endured.

Just over ten minutes into the second-half Southampton restored their lead through vice-captain Warren.

Another Southampton free-kick was swung in by Vokes which Orchard might have had however, she didn't spot the run behind her from Warren who stuck out her leg and tipped the ball over and in.

Abbie Britton settled on the ball for Exeter her good feet holding up play but she was unable to deliver the right cross to create an opportunity.

An hour in the changes started to be made; Jane Yeates replaced White while Lucy Mear came off for young Mireia Perez Sanchez - making her home debut.

Southampton's build-up play came across the pitch and Yeates was a lively substitution but didn't get the weight right on a through ball for Warren.

The substitute attacker thought she'd grabbed a third when she poked home Warren's cross, however, the assistant referee adjudged her to be offside.

Goal of the season was inches away for Vokes in the 89th minute.

Jumping like a gazelle in front of goal the winger volleyed on a pinpoint cross from Emma-Jane May but Vokes couldn't direct the ball towards the goal.

Into injury time Rose Kite was called into action, first claiming a shot from 18-yards and then five minutes extra played the young Lionesses was quick to dive low and parry a late shot.

The final whistle came, Warren's goal the deciding factor on the day putting the Reds on 29 points after 12 games.

Full-time: Southampton Women's 2 Exeter City 1

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