Smith the catalyst as Gloucester City Devs come back to keep title race alive


Mirry Smith produced a Player of the Match performance to inspire Gloucester City Women Development to come from a goal down to claim a 6-1 win against Southmead CS Ladies keeping the GCWFL Division Two title race alive.

After Jordan Scowen’s opener, four goals in ten first half minutes saw City lead 4-1 at the break, before two late goals from Meg Prout added gloss to the scoreline.

Smith’s corner was recycled for Claire Gabb to nod home an equaliser, before the midfielder broke down the right side of the box and put her side ahead, just two minutes later.

Then, after Nicole Lewis won the ball on the edge of the box and tapped home after rounding the keeper, the City Captain, Lewis, would get her second – turning home Smith’s inviting ball into the Southmead box.

The hosts produced a professional second half display to see the game out and after surviving a missed penalty from Kira Sirrell, added two late goals through substitute Meg Prout.

Brett Salvage’s side move back to the top of the Division Two table, however, they have played three more games than second placed Longlevens Ladies – who are only one point behind.

But with the top two still set to face off, City know that all they can do is win their final four games of the season to give themselves a chance of lifting the league title.

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The game could have been a much different story, though, with Southmead flying out of the blocks and could have been two or three goals to the good before the equaliser came.

Dara Austin fired over in the first two minutes, before Scowen beat the offside trap to slot home an opener on 10 minutes.

Austin then had a glorious chance to make it 2-0 on 18 minutes, but after cutting back one way then the other, saw her effort saved by Aimee Hancock.

Four minutes later, Austin chased a long ball forward, but once again saw her effort saved by the feet of Hancock – as the hosts began to ride their luck.

But having weathered the storm, City levelled when Smith’s corner was turned back across goal by Nicole Lewis and defender Claire Gabb nodded home.

Within ninety seconds, Smith had dribbled into the Southmead half and was in on goal – with her finish buried into the far corner and the hosts were ahead.

Southmead were shell-shocked and it felt like the game was done just after the half hour mark, as Lewis won possession outside the Southmead box, rounded keeper, Leah Tutton, and made it 3-1.

City’s fourth goal in ten minutes saw the game over as a contest, as Smith’s whipped ball in from the left was turned into the bottom corner by Lewis, for her 22nd goal of the season.

With just over fifteen minutes to go, Meg Prout chased a long ball forward and lobbed Tutton to make it 5-1, before adding her second in injury time – following up after Lewis crashed an effort off the bar.

Next up for City Devs is a home fixture against Downend Flyers Women Reserves on Sunday afternoon.

Gloucester City Women Development: Hancock, Bury, Leeman, C Gabb, Sterry, Ireland, Smith, Robinson, Lewis, Chelsea Day, Z Gabb

Subs: Char Day, J Prout, M Prout, Griffiths, O’Neil

Southmead CS Ladies: Tutton, Everett, Hawkins, Quinn, Atwill, Cox, Bose, Austin, WIlliams, Scowen, Sirrell

Subs: Williamson, Stone, Easterbrook, Paul, Jones

C Martin Roofing Player of the Match – Mirry Smith (Gloucester City Women Development)

Cover photo taken by and copyright to Neil Phelps. Check out his Flickr account for all of his Gloucester City pictures by clicking here

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