University of South Wales Women’s 1st 4 – 1 Hartpury University Women’s 1st

Aimee Smith contests for the ball. Image by Callum Nixon.

by Joe Mansfield & Jamil Salih

KASEEM Taylor’s side made the perfect response to last week’s defeat to table-toppers Bournemouth University with a resounding 4-1 victory over Hartpury University.

Ellie Burgess started proceedings with a goal in the third minute. The goal came from a well-delivered corner. Forward Lucy McDonough forced the keeper to spill Hannah Miles’ header, Burgess pounced on the opportunity to tap in from close range.

The strike looked destined to find a home in the top corner, but keeper Kayla Kiap had other ideas as she leapt to her left to palm the ball dead.

USW thought they had doubled their lead in the 20th minute with a composed finish by McDonough but referee Mark Roberts adjudged McDonough to have been offside and the goal was ruled out.

The visitor’s striker Jade Grove came close to making the game all square as she rattled the bar with a venomous effort from outside the box.

Welsh international Miles showed her class in the final noteworthy moment of the half. The midfielder curled a right footed shot into the top corner from 25 yards. Kiap can take no criticism for the goal as the shot was simply unstoppable.

It didn’t take long for USW to continue to assert their dominance in the second half. In the 52nd minute, the hosts made it 3-0 as Hannah Miles ghosted into the box and rifled one into the top corner to grab her second of the afternoon.

Just five minutes later, Miles secured her hat-trick with a sublime effort from an almost identical position to where she scored her second.

The midfielder unleashed a venomous shot from the edge of the box which sailed into the top corner to make it a resounding 4-0 scoreline with less than an hour gone.

Hat-trick hero Hannah Miles takes a free-kick for USW. Image by Callum Nixon

Against the run of play, the visitors grabbed one back through Amy Wathan. Her looping free-kick left goalkeeper Meg Wordingham with no chance as Hartpury reduced the deficit to three goals.

As the game drew to its conclusion, Lucy McDonough was unlucky not to get on to the scoresheet. She weaved down the left wing to get herself into a goalscoring position but her strike cannoned off the woodwork to keep the score at 4-1 to the home side.

The victory means that USW end the calendar year on a high note and remain in second place in the BUCS Western 1A league, hot on the heels of league leaders Bournemouth.

Kaseem Taylor’s side return to action on the 30th January 2019, where they will travel to Hartpury to play out the reverse fixture against today’s opponents.

Star player: Hannah Miles