Montpelier Villa vs. Hassocks

Clinical Montpelier overcome determined Hassocks

Montpelier Villa 4-1 Hassocks

It was an attacking display to remember from Montpelier Villa on Sunday afternoon at Culver Road, as they ran out 4-1 winners over Hassocks in the First Round of the Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup.

The home side didn’t take long to start showing their quality going forward, with Katie Davyson picking up the ball in the box and finding themselves in a bit of space in the box to get a shot away, but Eleanor Moquet in the Hassocks goal reacted quickly to make a smart save.

This move proved to be a taste of things to come, with Villa taking the lead just 15 minutes into the game.

Number nine Tora Barratt was in the right place at the right time, with a loose ball from a corner dropping kindly for her, which she gladly took advantage of and slotted home, despite the best efforts of Moquet to keep it out.

The goal galvanised Hassocks however, and soon the away side started to put some nice attacking moves together, yet it seemed they were just lacking that clinical finish.

That was until the 27th minute, when striker Emily Spooner picked up the ball just outside the box, spotted Montpelier goalkeeper Hope Hawkins off her line, and sent a shot looping over her to nestle into the bottom corner.

Yet Hassocks’ joy was short-lived.

Straight from the kick-off, the Villa attackers were marauding forward and combining well, and once again Barratt was the grateful recipient of the move; controlling the ball on the edge of the box and striking her shot first time to send it past Moquet in goal.

Hassocks once again looked to hit back themselves, with Emma Flin having a good chance from a corner, but she was unable to keep her shot from going over the bar.

The second-half began in much the same end-to-end fashion as the first, with a big chance falling to Hassocks’ Lola Moon in the opening couple of minutes, who made a good run down the left side, and was able to get a shot away, but Hawkins in goal was able to watch it into her gloves.

Villa continued to make driving runs forward themselves, and just before the hour mark they had their two-goal cushion, thanks to Georgia Egner, who after a great run found herself one-on-one and kept her composure to place the ball beyond the reach of Moquet.

Any chance of a Hassocks fight back was then seemingly put to bed five minutes later, when Saskia Taylor-Doyle was played through on goal, and had the presence of mind to take a touch and lift her shot just over the onrushing Moquet to make it 4-1.

Taylor-Doyle continued to be a threat throughout the game, repeatedly driving forward on the wing, and finding herself in the box, but through unselfish play, was denied adding to her tally.

Indeed, with five minutes left of the clock, Taylor-Doyle came within a second of a certain fifth goal for Montpelier, but a remarkable last-ditch tackle by Kirstin Mair prevented her from getting her shot off, after one of her trademark runs saw her with just the keeper to beat.

In the end, it was a deserved victory for Montpelier Villa, who advanced to the Quarter-Finals of the Sussex Women’s Challenge Cup.

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)

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