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Cambridge City Ladies and Cambridge United Women battle out draw in FA Women's National League, Division One South East

Megan Tonks and Mollie Coupar (16146718)
Megan Tonks and Mollie Coupar (16146718)

Mollie Coupar and Megan Tonks scored two goals each for their respective sides as Cambridge City Ladies and Cambridge United Women drew 2-2 in the FA Women’s National League, Division One South East.

Coupar got the U’s off to the perfect start but Tonks replied midway through the first half.

The roles were then reversed after the break as Tonks put City 2-1 ahead, only for Coupar to peg them back for the U’s.

The two goalscorers offered a fitting look into the future for women's football in the city.

Both showed a natural eye for goal, with predatory instincts to the fore, and it cannot be overlooked that they are both still in their teens - great signs for the future for their respective clubs.

The prospects for both teams also look promising.

A first point on the board will be welcomed by both to get them off the mark for the season although, equally, maybe each will rue the chance of not getting all three.

It did though feel as if both will just take a little time to grow into the league and the season, and the key would seem to be having that bit more confidence in what they are doing, with a touch of patience thrown into the mix.

It was an unrelenting first half, where the ball hardly seemed to go out of play and it started with a bang as well.

Amber Cantwell had already shown danger by racing into space for U’s and within the second minute, they had the opening goal.

Kelley Blanchflower dropped deep to find space and then put throughCoupar to beat City keeper Dominika Szary at the near post with a fierce strike.

There were very few clear-cut chances for either side, with defences on top, but city were back on level terms in the 24th minute, through a great strike from Tonks.

Having got the ball inside the area to the left, she cut inside and curled a great shot past U’s keeper Savannah Smith, who had no chance.

Charlotte Crisp went closest to breaking the deadlock before half time, hitting a 30-yard effort that went just over the bar.

Both teams were quick out of the blocks in the second half.

City went ahead as the ball fell into the path of Tonks, who turned neatly to tuck a shot into the net.

United struck back immediately.

Blanchflower got in on the right and slid a pass across the six-yard box which Szary fumbled and Coupar pounced on to equalise.

Chances were still at a premium though.

A neat corner routine saw United skipper Kayleigh-Anne Burt fire over in the 54th minute, but City nearly took the lead in the 81st minute, through United defender Abi Davies.

A deep cross to the back post by City winger Laura Mills was chested down by Davies at the back post, and thankfully for her it hit the post and bounced back into the arms of Smith.

There was a heart-stopping moment for Szary in the 89th minute.

Davies’ long-range effort from halfway seemed to be in the keeper’s grasp, but she let it slip through her hands and it went fractionally wide for a corner.

There was a final chance for City, as Beatrice Fitzsimons fired narrowly wide from the edge of the area in injury time, but a point apiece was fair on both sides.

Cambridge City Ladies: Szary, Reed, Fay, Bodily, Tomlinson, Castiglione, Flye, Fitzsimons, Gillies, Tolentino, Tonks.

Substitutes: Mhunduru, Phillips, Day, Shaw, Mills.

Cambridge United Women: Smith, Davies, Jenkins, Burt, Bennett, Howlett, Crisp, Hewitt, Cantwell, Blanchflower, Coupar.

Substitutes: Hodgson, Pamplin, Armstrong, Crook, Smith.

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