The opening game of 2019 saw AFC Bournemouth Women’s development squad travel to Horndean, looking to start the year with a win and maintain their solid league record.
The game started brightly for the away side as they created four corners in the opening three minutes and locked Horndean in their own half for long periods.
Great credit must go to the home side who defended in numbers and, with their two centre backs in excellent form, AFC Bournemouth were finding it hard to break them down and create goal-scoring opportunities.
Shooting opportunities arose for both Erin Thickett and Roza Bailey on the 20-minute mark, but both were saved well by the home goalkeeper.
The deadline was soon to be broken and it took a magic moment from under-16 debutant Grace Morgan to find a way past the stubborn goalkeeper. Receiving the ball on the edge of the box, Morgan flicked the ball into the air before volleying a high strike over the keeper and into the net.
The home side were not without some counter-attacking threat and did cause some trouble to the AFC Bournemouth backline, but never really forced Steph Small into a save. It was from one of these attacks that the Cherries added their second goal of the game.
Sofia Sinaguglia, defending the left side of the penalty area, regained possession in the 44th minute and ran the whole length of the pitch before clipping the ball coolly over the goalkeeper from an almost impossible angle.
The second half followed a similar theme to the first and, despite an injury forcing the team to change their shape, the result was never really in danger and the game was seen out comfortably.
Speaking after the game, coach David Staddon commented: “I am pleased with the result today and for the debutants that came into the team.”
“Grace, playing in her first game in senior football, took her goal well and looked very composed throughout, which is really promising for the future”