Stevenage ladies lift County Cup
PUBLISHED: 10:36 16 March 2015 | UPDATED: 10:36 16 March 2015
Match report: Hemel Hempstead Ladies 0 Stevenage Ladies 3
Cameo County Cup
Stevenage Ladies claimed the Cameo Kitchens Women’s County Cup in Letchworth after beating Hemel Hempstead Ladies.
In a close first half, it was Hemel who had the first sight of goal when Kayleigh Baker connected sweetly with a drive from 30 yards out only to see Stevenage keeper Chrissy Roberts get in the way.
Eight minutes later it was up to Hemel’s keeper, Ruth Gorin, to keep out the opposition. Gorin twice collected bravely at the top of her box to deny livewire Stevenage striker Nicole Perschky.
As the first half continued, Hemel began to find a rhythm against their higher ranked opponents with the Greater London’s Women League team frustrating Stevenage with a well drilled offside trap and some tidy possession play.
It then took an incredible reflex save from Gorin to deny Gemma Darvill from putting Stevenage ahead in the 26th minute from point blank range.
The Tudors responded well to Stevenage’s pressure, and could feel unfortunate to have not broken the deadlock in the last 15 minutes of the first half.
Nat McConville used superb technique to sting Roberts’ fingertips from 25 yards out, before Suz Read rolled a side-foot shot inches past the Stevenage post in the 40th minute.
However, only seconds before half-time Stevenage created arguably the best chance of the half. Perschky danced past a player on the right before whipping an in-swinging cross for Alex North, who saw her header clip the wrong side of the post.
After the restart, Stevenage came out with a rekindled passion and they were nearly rewarded seven minutes into the second half when Perschky beat the offside trap to go clean through with just the keeper to beat.
However, Gorin lived up to her billing as a one on one specialist by blocking the striker’s shot.
The Hemel keeper wasn’t so lucky three minutes later, when a defensive mix up allowed Stevenage to open the scoring. Donna McGuigan was the benefactor as she slotted home in the 56th minute.
Going a goal behind didn’t deter Hemel, and in the 64th minute Roberts denied the Tudors by saving a deflected Steph Cripps effort.
Read saw another one of her attempts go a whisker wide of the post 10 minutes later as Hemel continued to look for a way back into the game, whilst Stevenage started to look dangerous on the counter attack with sub Holly Jardine causing problems with her pace.
Boro were rewarded for their play on the break in the 80th minute when McGuigan was brought down in the area for a Stevenage penalty.
Josie North, Stevenage’s player/manager, then stepped up to the convert the spot kick low to Gorin’s right.
North was on hand again in stoppage time to seal a victory for Stevenage, sweeping a low finish inside the far post after excellent play on the wing from Perschky.
After helping her side lift the trophy, North said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic to get the win, and the effort level from all the girls was incredible. It’s great to see our revolution at Stevenage progressing after being appointed only two years ago.
“I thought we started off slow, but we spoke to the girls at half-time about how we could improve and you could see the difference it made in the second half.”
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