Saltdean United 5-0 Aylesford
Saltdean United reignited their survival hopes on Sunday, as they produced a five star display to claim a crucial three points against Aylesford at a sunny Hill Park! A double from Georgia Bridges, along with strikes from Paige Walder, Billie Phillpot and a wonder goal from Rebecca Thompson-Agbro sealed a perfect second half performances from the Tigers, who made up ground on the teams above them with their victory.
The first half began at a frantic pace with the home side creating some early openings. Saltdean almost took the lead after just two minutes when Chloe Winchesters low ball across the six yard box somehow evaded everyone in red and black. Walder delivered another teasing delivery moments later, which was just about scrambled away by the Aylesford rearguard.
The home side thought they’d opened the scoring on 10 minutes, when a lovely ball through from midfield set Bridges on her way to finish high into the net, only for the linesman’s flag to deny her the opener. Millie Carter and Thompson-Agbro also went close with curling efforts inside the opening 20 minutes as the hosts began to dominate proceedings.
Saltdean continued to be frustrated by a resolute first half display from the Aylesford back line, who defended valiantly to stop a number of dangerous crosses from reaching the dangerous Winchester.
Despite their dogged display during the first 45 minutes, the visitors would be undone by some fantastic finishing in the second half, as Saltdean found the net four goals in a 12 minute spell.
The Tigers came out with the same intense tempo after half time, and they found the crucial first goal barely five minutes after the restart. After winning the ball high into the Aylesford final third, Winchester did well to find Carter, whose cross was inch perfect for Bridges to head in from close range to send the Saltdean bench into raptures.
Aylesford had been dealt a sucker punch in the opening exchanges of the second half, and they found themselves 2-0 down after 50 minutes thanks to a goal of the season contender. After Carter had cleverly won a free kick on the left, Yasmine Poole’s high delivery was only partially cleared, allowing Thomson-Agbro to fire a sublime volley into the top corner from 12 yards, a fantastic strike to double the advantage.
Paige Walder made it 3-0 on 55 minutes with another well taken finish. This time Winchester turned provider as she cleverly evaded three Aylesford players, before slotting a great pass through to Walder who calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to surely put the game beyond all reasonable doubt.
Bridges added her second of the game on 57 minutes, when a long clearance upfield was not dealt with by the visitors defence, allowing Bridges to beat to onrushing Ella Abbott in the Aylesford goal and tap into an empty net to bring the score to 4-0.
With Aylesford now looking for a way back into proceedings, more gaps began to appear as they committed players forward, and they were punished again on 76 minutes. Another perfect pass set Carter and substitute Phillpott clear on goal, with the latter taking responsibility to stroke a precise effort into the far corner with relative ease for 5-0.
Despite their best efforts, Aylesford were unable to break down a resolute and professional Saltdean side, who remained determined to keep their clean sheet intact for the remainder of the second half to secure a vital three points in their fight for survival.
That win moved Joe Mctiffens side onto 10 points, just three shy of the first safety spot with three massive games remaining for his side, who face a trip to Millwall Lionesses in their last away fixture of the league season. For Aylesford, a bruising defeat on the road, they will look to use their games in hand on the other sides around them to pull clear of relegation danger themselves.