Ladies crust Hamlets Cup hopes
Hampton 3 Tower Hamlets 3 aet (Hampton win 3-1 on pens)
Hampton & Richmond Borough Ladies beat Tower Hamlets in a thrilling cup game which went all the way to penalties.
After playing at various grounds over the past month to allow the pitch to recover from men’s games, the Ladies team were back at the Beveree yesterday, for the first time since 26th October, to play their Russell Cup tie against Tower Hamlets. The last time these two teams met was in the same cup competition last year where TH got the better of the Beavers and won 3-2, this time round Hampton are a new side and under new management.
After a slightly delayed kick off the game got underway with Hampton put under pressure forcing keeper Emma Marlow into making a number of saves in the first 20mins. Hampton then came into their own with new signing Bianca Underhill making a number of runs down the right wing and the same from April Riley on the opposite side of the pitch. Dispite both teams having a number of chanses Hampton had the clearer chances in the last 15minutes of the first half but could not break the deadlock. 0-0 Half time.
After a very positive teamtalk from manager Leah Ambridge the team came out firing in the second half and opened the scoreline on the 50minute. Right back Kim Duffin slid in to keep the ball in play which fell to the feet of striker Katie Foster who dribbled the ball past two defenders before calmly chipping the ball over the keeper. The second came 20minutes after when Bianca Underhill crossed the ball from the right wing which found Fran Acharya at the back post, Fran volleyed the ball back across goal to find Katie Foster who slotted the ball into the back of the net. At 2-0 up TH woke up and stepped it up a gear scoring two goals within the next 20minutes making the scoreline 2-2 at Full Time.
The first half of extra time was a stale-mate with both teams creating changes but unable to put the ball into the back of the net. Tragedy struck with 3 minutes to go in the 2nd half of extra time when a rare lapse in concentration in the Hampton back four gave TH their third of the game and put the score at 3-2. With only 2 minutes left Hampton were geared on by manager, subs and supporters to keep their heads up… well it worked! With only 30 seconds left to play Lisa threaded the ball through the middle of the TH back four to find the feet of April Riley who slotted the ball under the diving TH keeper to level the scoreline at 3-3… meaning penalties were looming.
Winning the toss Hampton decided to take the 2nd penalty so up stepped the TH striker who skied the ball over the bar, April Riley stepped up to take Hampton’s first penalty and struck the ball like a pro into the back of the net (1-0). TH then stepped up to take their second penalty which was met by a excellent save from Emma Marlow, second up for Hampton was Katie Foster, there was never any doubt and Katie put the ball into the back of the goal (2-0). TH scored their 3rd goal and keeper Emma missed her pen by striking the cross bar (2-1) This did not put Emma off as she saved the next TH penalty putting the Beavers one goal away from winning. Up stepped new signing Bianca Underhill, despite the pressue, Bianca stayed calm and smashed the ball into the back of the net putting the Beavers through to the Quarter Finals of the Russell Cup.
The celebrations that followed the win included a bundle in the corner of the pitch and a lot of happy faces on the Hampton girls. Manager Leah was overjoyed with the performance and said: “this was a glorious victory for my team. The girls showed determination and a lot of team spirit to keep battling to the end. The team has come a long way since I first took over and I an extrmely proud of the performance and attitude of all players involved, this was a brilliant win and one which we will use to drive us forward and bring us one step closer to that cup! I am proud of all my players and they should be over the moon with their personal performances from keeper and defenders to midfield and strikers, we are a brilliant team and I know we can build on this and strive to keep winning.”
Next week the Ladies are back to league fixtures as they face London Phoenix at home (2pm KO).
Starting Lineup: Emma Marlow, Louise Harris, Allie Simmonds, Emily hogg, Kim Duffin, April Riley, Lisa Traynor ©, Hayley Lyon, Bianca Underhill, Kee Kee Kobus, Katie Foster
Subs: Candice Hayward, Fran Acharya, Terri Harper, Becky Payne
Player of Match: Katie Foster
For full album of photographs please visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andythephotographer/sets/72157649552344851/