Bristol Academy's Jasmine Matthews is called up for international duty
THREE Bristol Academy players have been called up to the England Under-23 squad for a tournament in Spain which starts later this month.
Defender Jemma Rose, pictured, midfielder Lucy Staniforth and winger Jasmine Matthews have been named by boss Brent Hills in an 18-strong party heading to La Manga for the Four Nations Tournament.
While Staniforth – a close-season signing from Lincoln – has been a regular with the Under-23s and Rose has also won caps with the same age group, it is Matthews' first call up to the squad at tournament level after previous appearances with the Under-17s and Under-19s.
She did come off the bench for the Under-23s when they beat Russia 2-1 in a warm-up game in La Manga in January.
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England start their Four Nations campaign against Sweden on February 28 and then take on Norway (March 2) and the USA (March 4).
Keynsham Town moved to within a point of SW Combination leaders Oxford United after a 5-2 win over Exeter City in a match which was switched to the Somerset club's home ground. Barrie Newton's side still have a game in hand on their title rivals
SW Women's League leaders Bristol Ladies Union opened up a six-point gap in the Premier Division as goals from Katy-May O'Hara-Nash and Amy Caswell secured a 2-1 win over Cheltenham Town on a heavy pitch at Newlands Park.
It was O'Hara-Nash's second goal in as many games with Caswell netting three minutes later as BLU struck twice midway through the opening period, although they had to hang on at the end after Cheltenham pulled one back with a minute to go.
"It was a real struggle," admitted BLU head coach Rich Sears.
"The football wasn't good from either side and it turned into a battle rather than a game. We had our chances to score more, but didn't convert.
"The girls worked extremely hard though and I am proud of them.
"The pressure is high to maintain our momentum and a lot is being asked."
Title rivals Larkhall Athletic now have three games in hand after suffering a heavy defeat to Yeovil Town in the Somerset FA Women's Senior Cup.
But Sears had praise for former Larkhall defender Sarah Gregory, rating the centre-back's performance the best he had seen from her.
Sears added: "She wanted the win, fought every battle, won every header.
"She had focus, vigour and strength at the back and probably ensured we won the game," he added.
Kate Michael (3), Nicola Glanville and Alana Willson earned Downend Flyers the 5-0 victory over Cirencester which secured a home semi-final against Bitton next month in the Gloucestershire FA Women's Challenge Cup
Bitton came through after a spectacular Amber Coates strike and Megan Bloomer's penalty earned them a 2-0 victory over Bristol & West.
The other semi-final will be between St Nicholas, who had a walkover against Stoke Lane, and holders Bristol Academy Reserves, who triumphed 4-1 at Forest Green Rovers.
The Academy's scorers included Sam McGarry, who netted on her return after 18 months out injured.
Longwell Green returned to the top of Division Two in the Gloucestershire County Women's League after Kirstie Mitchell's double helped them to a 5-1 win over BLU Reserves.
Amy Nicholson put Longwell Green ahead, then an own goal levelled things before the interval.
But Mitchell put the home side back in front and then rounded off the scoring after contributions from Sarah Price and Caitlin Saunders.
Brislington are through to the final of the Somerset FA Women's Junior Cup and a meeting with Bridgwater Town after goals from Emily Plummer, Zoe Gunter and Charlotte Reardon clinched a 3-0 win over Yeovil Town Reserves.