WOMEN’S FOOTBALL: Argyle can secure their safety in midweek match at Saltash

PLYMOUTH Argyle will guarantee their survival in the FA Women’s National League Southern Division if they pick up a point on Thursday against Bridgwater United at Kimberley Stadium (7.45pm).

The Pilgrims virtually made sure of another year in the third tier of women’s football in England by beating bottom side Hounslow 5-0 at Manadon on Sunday.

That moved them out of the relegation zone and three points clear of Cardiff City, who now occupy the final drop spot. Cardiff only have one game left – away at already-crowned champions Southampton – whereas Argyle play Bridgwater on Thursday before visiting London Bees, who are just one place above them, on Sunday.

The Pilgrims took just five minutes to open the scoring against Hounslow, with Gabi Alphous settling any nerves with a cool finish.

Six minutes later, Argyle doubled their lead when Zoe Cunningham fired in a long-range free-kick that the Hounslow goalkeeper fumbled into her own net.

The hosts continued to press and got a third goal in the 29th minute through Natasha Knapman after a good cross by Alphous.

Argyle added a fourth goal before half-time with Alphous bagging her second of the afternoon.

Straight after the interval, Kayley Lane added a fifth.

The Pilgrims had a host of chances after that but just could not convert them.

Meanwhile, Saltash United found Helston too strong for them in the Cornwall Senior Women’s Cup final on Friday night, going down 4-0 in front of more than 250 people at Sticker.

The Ashes battle hard and the match was close in the first half.

Helson took the lead with an own goal and then crucially scored just on the stroke of half-time through Eve Moore.

That meant Saltash had to throw caution to the wind and Helston pulled away in the second period with further goals from Beth Prouse and Sasha Sparkes.

But there was better news for Saltash United’s development squad who ended their Cornwall League Division season on Sunday with a 5-2 home win over Penryn.

The experienced Rachel Finch bagged a hat-trick in the win, with Rebecca Kench and Kirsty Lambert also netting.

The Ashes’ development side do still have the chance of some silverware as they are in the semi-finals of the Cornwall Supplementary Cup.

Saltash Borough still have a chance of winning the Cornwall League title after they beat Callington Town 5-0 on Sunday.

The prolific Sam Metters hit four of Borough’s goals, with Abby Shapland scoring their other.

In the Devon Women’s League, Signal Box Oak Villa are certain to finish third after they beat Shaldon Villa 3-2 away on Sunday thanks to goals from Poppy Glass, Freya Jackson and Chardonnay James.

Lakeside are finishing the season strongly and enjoyed a 6-3 evening victory over Halwill. Rebekah Rose has made a big difference to them and she scored a hat-trick to go with goals from Carmen Thorntown, Jordan Kendall and Roxanne Byrne.

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