Leaders too strong for spirited Stourport

STOURPORT Ladies came up against their toughest test of the season in the shape of Investec National Conference West League leaders Buckingham and went down 3-0.

The visitors to Kingsway set the pace from the start and despite the efforts of Rene Johnson and Erin Preece and the midfield of Sophie Harris and Heidi Devey, linking with Sarah Cavendish and Katie Miller, Stourport could not contain Buckingham.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 20th minute when they sneaked the ball into the corner past keeper Sophie Wood’s foot.

Julie Whiting and Harriet Burns continued to cause Buckingham problems as they found them difficult to deal with, as they fed balls into Lora Symonds and Sade Gerald up front but Stourport got little reward for their efforts.

The hosts fell further behind before the interval when Buckingham finished off a neat attack down the left.

In the second-half, Stourport started to play with the same level of aggression as their opponents and won more of the tackles.

Player-of-the-match Georgi Burns was breaking down play and intercepting through balls, while some good interplay between Harris and Lauren Shilvock was starting to trouble the visitors.

Whiting had their best chance to pull a goal back from a short corner and forced Buckingham’s keeper into a good save.

The league-leaders were rattled by this battling and some rash tackles on Stourport’s Preece and Miller earned the visitors two cards in quick succession.

However, Stourport saw Harriet Burns carded.

As the hosts pressed for a lifeline, Buckingham grabbed a third goal to seal the contest.

They now entertain Swansea on Saturday (noon start).

In the Midland Feeder Conference West, the seconds defeated Stone 2-1 with second-half goals for Shilvock and Bethan Merriman.

Stourport’s third team showed spirit but lost 6-0 at Redditch in the Worcestershire League Division One.

The fourths went down 2-0 at home to Pershore in Division Two, while the fifths lost to Worcester fourths 3-0 in Division Three.

Meanwhile, the junior sections saw Sally Smith, under-18s, and Nicola Moss and Georgiana Bathurst, under-16s, took part in England trials at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre.

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