25th March 2023: The Aztecs take a one goal deficit into the second leg.
Eleven players make the Aztecs squad for this home leg in Salisbury. Alicia Povey still injured from the Bolton game, and Leah Harris away.
A positive start for Southampton hosting the home leg at Five Rivers in Salisbury, creating chances right away. Unfortunately, the Greens found themselves a goal down within four minutes, but kept up the good attacking play, creating plenty more chances in the first half. After many good chances wasted, it was Kayleigh Tonks, assisted by Amy Maidment, who eventually drew the teams level.
In the second half, the Aztecs were throwing the kitchen sink at the visitors. How that net didn't ripple several times, we'll never know. Chances occurred that you would have bet your house on them scoring. Hartpury eventually scored two goals late on, taking the game to 3-1, with both goals coming from immediate counters following the Aztecs not taking full advantage at the other end. With two minutes remaining, the last throw of the Aztecs dice was to send on Jess Ebhodaghe, who scored a wonder goal with her first touch, bringing the game back to 3-2. With only one goal now separating the sides heading into the second leg, just how important could that goal be?
Lauren Sayler was voted player of the match for yet another strong performance between the sticks.
Watch the highlights back here.
View the whole match below.
Enjoy these photos from the game, taken by the talented Sheena Booker. You can view more of Sheena's excellent work in football here.
The return leg is April 22nd up in Hereford, for an 11:00 kick off. There is no away goals count double rule, so extra time and penalties could be on the cards if the Aztecs finish a goal up after forty minutes. The winner of the tie will face the winner of Bolton v Sunderland in the quarter final. Can we do it?
In other news, this will be the last game for Kayleigh Tonks before she heads off to Greece to work over the summer. We miss her already, and can't wait to have her back scoring goals in Aztecs colours next season. On Saturday, she finally scored her thirtieth competitive goal for the club. The first player to do so! Take a stroll down memory lane and look at her goals from the past two years.
The Aztecs will be travelling the length and breadth of England. Be sure to check our schedule to see when the team will be playing near you.
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