RESERVES | Five star Reds book a place in the semi-finals

Southampton Women’s Reserves stormed into the semi-finals of the Southern Region Chairman’s Cup as they ran out 5-1 winners over New Milton Town.

Goals from Faye Roberts and Kayleigh Tonks gave the Reds a solid cushion at the break before they pushed on in the second-half.

Tia Hooper, Mia Inglis and an own goal made sure of the victory with New Milton only able to score a consolation goal late on.

It had been a month since Steve Davies’ side last played following three postponements to this fixture already due to the recent winter storms and is side were chomping at the bit to get going.

The Reserves manager selected a strong side with youth and experience on his side against New Milton where the weather conditions were also to be considered.

Southampton had the brighter start with Hooper dragging a shot wide before Paris Payne raced down the wing to fire a cross into an empty box.

New Milton got the ball down and found their captain, Victoria Wardle, who got the best of the Southampton defence where her dangerous cross was quickly parried by Lauren Sayler.

Tonks tried her luck before Roberts was denied by a great save from the New Milton goalkeeper, Payne again with a great cross.

Just under half-hour played and Roberts finally broke the deadlock, dinking the ball over the keeper at the back post for her eighth goal of the season.

Five minutes later and the lead was doubled through Tonks.

The youngster forward has been scoring a few in University football and brought that form into club level poking in from close range from Hooper’s lovely low cross.

Moments later Roberts was gifted a chance to get her second when the keeper’s ball from out the back lacked the pace to find its target but the young striker couldn’t strike quick enough and was blocked.

The rain started to arrive for the afternoon at the break joining the bracing wind and the Reds had a comfortable lead with opportunities being carved out to score more.

A flurry of Southampton attacks greeted the second-half, Roberts denied a goal by some excellent defending before substitute Jennifer King saw a great shot claimed by the keeper.

Fullback Sarah Bradshaw was driving further forward her own effort going just over before her cross was cleared only as far as Rebecca Cork who also missed the target.

The dominance continued for the Reds as Davies and assistant Angus Scully asked more of their side.

In the 67th minute, Southampton found the target for the third, Hooper, with a lovely finish into the bottom of the goal.

It kicked on a spell which saw three goals in 10 minutes.

Five minutes later a fourth goal was nestled into the goal by substitute Inglis who through onto Hooper’s through ball.

In the 77th minute, a fifth was added, a lovely cross into the box was set perfectly for King looking for the volley but she mistimes her strike as a scramble ensued where the ball bounced off of the Milton Town defender beating her keeper.

Moments later King should have added her name to the scoresheet from a great delivery by Ava Berglin but the striker grazed her shot over the bar.

New Milton broke forward in the 82nd minute and shot on an acute angle to score a late consolation as time was against them for a possible comeback.

A superb win for the Reserves sees them into the semi-final of the Chairman’s Cup which sets up a tough encounter with Wycombe Wanderers on Sunday, March 15th.

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