South West women



IN a battling display on a muddy pitch, Callington had the deadly set-piece deliveries of Sam Veal to thank in earning a huge win.

The 2-0 result sees them go top of the table on goal difference from Keynsham for the first time this season.

The game saw Callington take up a more defensive approach from the outset with Sam Burnham in front of the back four and the strategy was working well as Keynsham struggled to find anything meaningful on Town’s goal in the first half.

It was the home side who created the best chances throughout, one of which being a fierce shot from Chloe Williams which smashed off the post and away to safety, after five minutes.

Callington then forced a string of corners around the 15-20 minute mark. Sam Veal’s in-swinging deliveries were causing all sorts of problems for the Keysham keeper and their defenders. Then the pressure paid off as one of Veal’s corners curled straight in at the back post, right into the top-corner.

Fifteen minutes later Callington almost doubled the lead when Lucy Jones brought a great save from the keeper, who tipped the ball over the cross-bar. Callington continued to play the ball off Keynsham defenders in wide areas to win further corners.

Veal repeated her previous effort ten minutes before the break. Once again the deep in-swinging corner was curled into the top corner, despite the best efforts of the defender on the line to head it away.

With a two goal cushion Callington looked well in control of the match and got into half-time thoroughly deserving of their lead.

The second half saw Keynsham once again on the front foot but failing to find the all-important attempt on target they needed.

Keynsham were still a threat on the break and the pace of Rhianna Ben-Carew kept Callington’s defence on their toes but centre-backs Tyler Matthews and Amy Hemingway looked composed whenever they had to deal with any danger.

It was not until the dying minutes when Keynsham had their best chance to score when a cross at the back post was volleyed by an un-marked midfielder but her controlled and fairly tame effort was caught by the well-positioned Sara Rowe.

Player of the match was awarded to Lucy Jones.

After the match Callington manager Adam McPherson said: ‘This season we’ve been able to praise the players so many times for the way they’ve knocked the ball around, but today was about mixing it up and being prepared to battle on a heavy pitch.

‘We covered those elements of the game superbly and stayed organised at all times. We are the only side to keep a clean sheet against them this season, so we clearly got something right in that department. The players who came on the second half made a real impact for us as well. They gave us the freshness we needed with half an hour to go.’

He added: ‘We are fully aware that we won’t stay top for long with sides just below us having games in hand, but we are just so pleased with how the girls have adapted and improved over the course of the season.

‘We never thought we’d end up battling for a top third or fourth spot, so we are just embracing the challenges laid out in front of us.’