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Forest Green 6-0 Marine Academy

November 17th 2021
Ollie Smith

Forest Green Rovers Women ran out 6-0 winners in an impressive and imposing performance against Marine Academy Plymouth at Chalford Sports and Social Club on Sunday afternoon.

Captain for the game, Hattie Jones, led by example - bagging a hat-trick with three fantastic goals, while Kayleigh Hateley converted from the penalty spot to open the scoring, with Ella Hitchcox and Georgia Vandries also scoring in the second half to make up the dominant scoreline.

Head Coach Chris Hicks opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation for the fixture: with Beca Woods in between the sticks; Zoe Boyd, Sam Morris, Sophie Herbert and Rosie Dimery making up the defence; Hattie Jones and Kayleigh Hateley in the middle of the park, with Charlie Rowlands in the ‘number ten’ role; Nynka Rucker and Ella Hitchcox as wingers, and Georgia Vandries leading the line.

Rovers had the lion's share of possession and goal-scoring opportunities in the first half, with a chance falling to Nynka Rucker early on  - the right-winger’s effort bouncing away from goal off the crossbar.

The hosts broke the deadlock after 28 minutes of action, with Hateley calmly slotting her penalty past the Marine Academy ‘keeper after a foul on an FGR player in the 18-yard-box.

Four minutes later Rovers doubled their lead, with Jones firing home from just inside the box following a great passage of play down the right flank by Zoe Boyd and Charlie Rowlands.

Hicks’ side continued to enjoy plenty of the ball, with Hitchcox sliding Rowlands through with the latter’s strike hitting the bar in similar fashion to Rucker’s earlier attempt.

FGR went into the half-time interval with a well deserved two goal lead after a commanding first-half at Chalford.

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Sian Towler was brought on off the bench for the second-half, in place of Rowlands, and it didn’t take long for the Green to resume their dominance.

Vandries skipped away from a defender with ease, but the striker’s effort rattled the bar and rebounded out away from goal.

The recent signing from Bristol Rovers was involved once again minutes later, executing a one-two pass with Hitchcox on the edge of the box.

The left-winger surged towards goal and neatly finished past the visiting ‘keeper to put Rovers 3-0 up on the 52nd minute mark. 

Hicks’ side then made it two goals in two minutes, with Vandries bagging Rovers’ fourth goal of the game in quick fire fashion just 120 seconds later.

Sam Morris had carried the ball up the pitch out of defence, before passing to Rucker who fed an on-running Boyd through on goal.

The right-back smashed the ball goalwards, causing the Marine Academy keeper to palm her effort out to the 6-yard-box, where Vandries was on hand to tap the ball in and give her side a 4-0 lead with 36 minutes still left of play.

Beca Woods was then forced into action, after having little to do in the game so far. The visitors had a free-kick in a dangerous area just outside the box, but Woods was on hand to tip the strike over the bar to safety.

Marine Academy Plymouth were beginning to have more chances and luck on the ball, with one attempt even hitting the woodwork. 

Then, with 62 minutes on the clock, Jones put the game beyond all doubt, scoring her second of the game and Rovers’ fifth goal of the afternoon with a wonderful strike from outside the area into the bottom left corner of the net.

Rovers were full of energy and extremely organised, with their defence standing strong after a flurry of chances for the visitors.

The chances then went from one end of the pitch to the other, with Towler testing her luck from long-range, but her effort didn’t quite trouble the visiting keeper. 

After coming back on the pitch in place of Rucker, Rowlands was once again stopped from scoring herself by the crossbar, with the versatile forward striking the bar twice in the game, and Rovers hitting the woodwork four times in general throughout the afternoon.

Rowlands and Towler then combined, with the latter finding herself in a dangerous area in front of goal. This time, the attacking midfielder’s strike greatly tested the goalie, who was forced to get down low to the right to save Towler’s effort.

With Marine Academy legs starting to tire, Towler was picking up the spaces between the midfield and backline and attacking the defence regularly. Boyd slid Towler through, who beat the opposition’s offside trap, before the onrushing keeper came clattering into her while clearing the ball.

The clearance was poor though, falling straight to Jones, who then emphatically sealed her hat-trick with a sumptuous long-range lob - scoring Rovers’ sixth goal on the 85th minute mark.

The clash ultimately finished with a scoreline of 6-0 to the hosts - a great afternoon of work for Hicks and his side, who have now leapfrogged their opponents in the league table, moving up to 6th place with the impressive win.

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