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WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: Argyle to face Clapton after seeing off St Austell

PLYMOUTH Argyle have been handed a home tie against Clapton in the third round of the Women’s FA Cup.

The Pilgrims booked their spot in the draw after beating lower league St Austell 4-2 on Sunday at Saltash’s Kimberley stadium.

Clapton, the lowest side left in the competition, caused a major upset at the weekend by beating Hounslow on penalties to become the first level seven side to ever reach the third round.

Argyle will be looking for another professional performance on December 12, like they showed on Sunday against St Austell.

The Pilgrims started on the front foot and had plenty of chances and territory, although St Austell always looked dangerous on the break.

But two goals in the space of a minute just before the half-hour mark put the Greens on the road to victory.

Gabi Alphous fired the hosts ahead after a good ball by Zoe Cunningham before Beth Ireland scored almost straight from the restart to make it 2-0.

That was how it stayed until the second half when former Plymouth player Lucy Solloway pulled one back for St Austell.

Yet that goal seemed to inspire Argyle who immediately went 3-1 ahead when Jemma Rose fired home a volley from a Rosie Train cross.

But St Austell kept going and they hit back again with Charlotte Whittmore getting in behind the home defence to make it 3-2.

Argyle, though, made the second round tie safe when Ireland scored a second in the 79th minute.

In the South West Women’s Western Division, a depleted Saltash United side went down 5-3 away at Feniton.

The Ashes were missing seven players due to covid and during the match lost Leah Johnson with a suspected broken ankle and then later lost Morgan Friend also to injury  and to finish the match with 10 players.

Jaz Hervin, Nicola Champion and Maddy Leppard scored for the Ashes.

There was better news for Saltash United’s development side, who beat Callington Town 4-2 in the Cornwall Women’s League Division One.

United took the lead through Rebecca Kench when she latched onto a through ball and slotted it home past the keeper. She soon got a second and then had the chance to claim a hat-trick with a penalty but it was saved by the goalkeeper.

But it did soon become 3-0 when a corner found Mia George and her long-range strike found the far-right hand corner of the net.

Callington got a goal back just before half-time to make it 3-1.

The second half started brightly for the Ashes as they continued to spread the ball around and they were soon rewarded for their dominance when they stretched their lead through Lils Bethann, who made a solo run and slotted it past the on-rushing goalkeeper.  Callington narrowed the deficit late on.

Saltash Borough also claimed a win in Cornwall Division One on Sunday. They edged out Bude Town 2-1 away thanks to goals by Abbey Shapland and Sam Metters.

In the Devon Women’s League Western Division, Activate stay top of the table after a 2-1 away victory at Halwill.

Activate had to play for a large part of the match with nine players but goals by Stacey Tonkins and Becky Eden were enough to pick up another three points and keep their unbeaten start going.

Signal Box Oak Villa stay in third spot after they beat Plainmoor Ladies 6-1 away. Abigail White bagged a hat-trick for Villa, who had Vicky Jasper getting two and Jessica Oaten also scoring.

Lakeside picked up their first point since joining the league this season with a thrilling 5-5 home draw with Teignmouth.

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