Premier League South West Division One
THERE is no stopping top striker Natasha Knapman, who scored four goals to take her season tally to 21 in just six games, as Argyle Ladies made it six wins in a row.
We didn’t get off to the best of starts when Basingstoke raced up the field but were denied by goalkeeper Michaela Phillips. This should have been a wake-up call for Argyle but, instead, Kate Randell gave Basingstoke the lead in the fifth minute.
Thankfully, we gradually got our act together and deservedly drew level when Phoebe Baker raced down the left before crossing the ball to Knapman, who made no mistake, although we then had to rely on the reflexes of Phillips again for some critical saves.
We settled into the game much better in the second half and, once Knapman got on the end of a Cunningham through ball for her second goal, it seemed the shackles were off. Manager Travis Rowland made the first of his substitutions when Amber Pollock came on for Kayleigh Brown and two minutes later, Cunningham fired the ball into the top corner of the net for her third goal of the season.
Argyle then made a double substitution with Jessie Boston coming on for Darcey Hepworth and Mollie Taylor replacing Ezme Wells. It was Taylor who set up Knapman to complete her hat-trick by heading over the goalkeeper.
Knapman’s final goal was, according to the striker, ‘the best goal I have ever scored’, as she took off to volley in a stunning effort from a Becky Dandridge corner.
Squad: Michaela Phillips, Darcey Hepworth (Jessie Boston 70), Kate Middleton, Ebony Dover, Phoebe Baker, Kayley Lane, Kayleigh Brown (Amber Pollock 59), Zoe Cunningham, Becky Dandridge, Ezme Wells (Mollie Taylor 70), Natasha Knapman.
Goals: Natasha Knapman 4, Zoe Cunningham