SWINDON Spitfires regained second spot in the South West Women’s League Division One with a 2-1 win over Nailsea United.
With Nailsea having held Spitfires’ promotion rivals St Nicholas to a goalless draw a week earlier, Spitfires expected a tough challenge from their guests. Spits made a positive start, with Sammie Smith coming close in the third minute when her cross from the right bounced off the top of the Nailsea crossbar.
The early warning sign was not heeded by Nailsea, however, and Swindon took the lead four minutes later. Home keeper Tamsin Kellett found Nat Haigh with a quick throw and the midfielder exchanged a quick one-two with Smith before slotting past Ellen Bridges.
Nailsea had a good spell leading up to the interval, winning several corners and throw-ins deep in Spitfires’ half, but were unable to unduly trouble Kellett through some wayward shooting.
Having scored seven minutes into the first half Spitfires did the same in the second, Hannah Gulliver slotting the ball through Nailsea’s back line for Smith to break down the right and lift her shot over Bridges.
Further chances came to Spitfires but the visitors’ goal was leading a charmed life and in the end it was Nailsea who netted in bizarre circumstances in the 84th minute. Kellett’s clearance from a back-pass hit Jenna Blake and landed kindly for Lauren Richier to roll the ball home with Kellett desperately scrambling to recover.
Spits came strong again, with Kerry Walklett firing over a Haigh cross from five yards out when it looked easier to score and she brought a great save from Bridges a minute later, but the hosts could not manage a third.
The win leaves Spitfires one point behind leaders Swindon Supermarine and three ahead of third-placed St Nicholas. Spitfires are away to Forest Green Rovers reserves next Sunday, before hosting Cirencester Town the week after.