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Reading's Fran Kirby makes history by turning pro

Fran Kirby has scored 29 goals in 22 games for England Credit: Reading FC

Francesca Kirby is set to become the first player in the history of Reading FC Women to turn professional.

The prolific striker has already enjoyed a dream campaign, scoring on her England debut in a 4-0 victory over Sweden and finishing as the country's top goalscorer at club level with an astonishing 29 goals in 22 games.

Kirby, who has been with Reading since the age of seven, helped the Royals to a third placed finish in WSL2 - emerging as one of the female game's brightest stars.

"This is huge for me," she told "Being able to train every day and do what I love to do on a daily basis is amazing. Hopefully next season we can get promoted and more girls can follow in my footsteps by turning professional."

Signing professional terms will be a huge boost in her side's promotion hopes ahead of the start of the new season in the summer of 2015, whilst Fran will even train with the club's male Academy players as she makes the transition to full time football.

Fran has been at Reading since she was 7 Credit: Reading FC

Bournemouth's Cargill scores debut goal for England Under 20s

Bill Cargill made a stunning start Credit: AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth defender, Baily Cargill, made a stunning start to his England Under 20 career with a debut goal in last night's match against Canada.

The 19 year old scored with a header to make it 2-1 at Dean Court, but Aidy Boothroyd's men conceded a late equaliser as the game finished 2-2.

Cargill is enjoying something of a breakthrough season, having also made four first team appearances for the Cherries - all in the League Cup - after being sent out on loan last term.

He will be very keen to play in Bournemouth's next tie in the League Cup, at home to Liverpool in the quarter-finals, next month.


Video: the latest generation of elite rowers

Last month the Olympic rowing champion Katherine Grainger announced she was coming out of retirement and is hoping to take part in the Rio Olympics in 2016. She'll be fighting for a place in the British team alongside the latest generation of elite rowers.

The youngsters who've been selected for the British rowing START programme have to learn to juggle schoolwork with intense training both in the gym and on the water. Penny Silvester has been to see some of them.

Gillingham dream of a trip to Wembley

Gillingham manager Peter Taylor has his sights set on Wembley Credit: PA

Gillingham will discover their opponents for the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Southern Area semi-finals on Saturday morning.

Following the completion of all quarter-final matches last night, the Gills know they will face League One table toppers, Bristol City, Coventry City or Leyton Orient in the last four.

If they do progress they will be in the Southern Area final - played over two legs - with a trip to Wembley awaiting the winners of that tie to face the Northern Area victors.

Peter Taylor's side made it into the Southern Area semis after a 2-1 win at Crawley on Tuesday night

FA Cup first round : Results in the South

What they're all playing for Credit: PA

Ryman Premier League side Maidstone claimed a replay after a 0-0 draw at League Two Stevenage.

Aldershot also earned a re-play after holding Portsmouth to a 2-2 draw at Fratton Park.

And Gosport put up a brave fight but were overwhelmed by Colchester, losing 6-3.

Gosport's Justin Bennett Credit: PA

Super sub Long continues Saints' super season

Shane Long scored twice after coming off the bench Credit: PA
Saints players mark a minute's silence before the game Credit: PA

Shane Long brightened up a dank afternoon at St Mary's, netting a brace after coming off the bench against Leicester to continue Southampton's best-ever start to a top-flight season.

Eyebrows were raised when Saints forked out £12million to bring in the Ireland international from Hull during a well-documented summer of upheaval on the south coast.

On this wet afternoon, though, Long followed in his club's footsteps by confounding the doubters, scoring twice shortly after coming on as second-half replacement to secure Southampton a 2-0 win - their fifth successive victory in all competitions.

In truth, few had expected Ronald Koeman's men to come a cropper against former Saints boss Nigel Pearson, yet it had looked like out-of-form Leicester would be taking a point from this war of attrition.

Last-ditch defending during an impressive, stubborn display from the Foxes looked to be enough until eventually buckling 15 minutes from time.

Long, introduced just seven minutes earlier, coolly slotted home after a neat Graziano Pelle lay-off, before latching onto a fine Victor Wanyama ball to net another in the 80th minute.

The 27-year-old almost completed a hat-trick in stoppage time of a match which ended in a far more entertaining fashion that it began.

Manager Ronald Koeman Credit: PA

The first half was a miserable as the conditions, with both sides struggling to create chances of note as the rain fell at St Mary's.

Jeffrey Schlupp, one of two Leicester changes, did well to stop a fine Ryan Bertrand cross finding its intended target in a rare opening, while Saints did their best to keep Jamie Vardy quiet.

Both sides' defensive resilience, coupled with poor passing, meant the first shot of the afternoon did not arrive until 21 minutes and that Nathaniel Clyne effort was one which Kasper Schmeichel easily dealt with.

Wes Morgan powered over a header four minutes later as Leicester threatened for the first time, although it was Saints on top in the driving rain.

Sadio Mane blazed over from an acute angle after an initial cross deflected back to him off Marcin Wasilewski, before just failing to latch onto a Dusan Tadic through ball.

The match was becoming an increasingly physical fare as half-time approached and, soon after fellow midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin received the afternoon's first booking, Steven Davis was forced off.

The Northern Ireland captain looked to have injured his hamstring during a strong tackle by Schlupp, with the Saints midfielder's replacement, Jack Cork, screwing wide shortly after his introduction.

Shane Long celebrates Credit: PA

It took until the second half for Saints to produce the kind of link-up play that has become a hallmark this season - with Mane playing through Tadic, whose cutback was directed over the bar by Pelle.

It would not take long for Schmeichel's goal to be breached, though, as Mane directed home a Bertrand cross from close range. Unfortunately for the home celebrating home fans, offside had rightly been called.

Toby Alderweireld entered referee Michael Oliver's notebook for blocking Vardy when play swung to the other end, although Esteban Cambiasso wasted the resulting free-kick.

Andy King hit the side-netting soon after but it was Saints on top, with Pelle striking wide and having a close-range header deflected wide before full-backs Clyne and Bertrand had efforts.

Jose Fonte, Schneiderlin and substitute Long all had efforts blocked as Saints had a string of corners.

However, just as the finish line was coming into sight, Leicester finally succumbed.

A lovely clipped ball from Cork was held-up impressively by Pelle, who laid off for Long to curl a first-time, left-footed strike into the bottom corner.

Things got better still on an individual and collective level just five minutes later. Wanyama, so impressive for Saints this season, sent a fine chipped pass and Long confidently slotted past Schmeichel.

Substitute Chris Wood wasted a glorious chance at the other end and Pelle had a stoppage-time penalty appeal rejected, but the afternoon belonged to Long, who almost completed a hat-trick at the death, but his close range effort went wide.

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