Women's Football News Archive
Westfield came from behind to beat a plucky Luton Town Res 2-1 in the inaugural John Greenacre Memorial Trophy Final and completed a League and Cup 'double' for the Woking-based side.
The triumph crowned a remarkable second half of the season for Westfield but was also tinged with controversy with the winning goal coming from a penalty hotly disputed by Luton. Westfield were just too strong for Luton's youthful side in a very well contested game at Stockwood Park.
With the wind at their backs, Westfield were quickly into their stride and almost took the lead in the second minute. Maxine Harvey broke down the left and cut the ball back for Hannah Searle who was denied a goal by a brilliant point blank save by Holly Staples, who also did well to claim the resulting corner under severe pressure.
Luton's promising moments in the early stages came from Laura Day up front and she twice produced efforts on goal but Westfield continued to do most of the pressing, Harvey again making a good run and her cross just eluded Lianne Noad in front of goal, although Nikki Baker's challenge was just enough to keep her out.
Searle hit the side netting following a good move and Luton survived a goalmouth scramble after Staples had again made a vital block.
With Anne Folan and Baker marshalling well in the centre, and more good handling by Staples, Luton held out under a wave of Westfield attacks before inflicting late pressure in the first half, firstly when the lively Day latched onto a pass from Leyah Maddix before firing over the bar and a miscued clearance from the Westfield defence found Claire Howe whose shot was saved by Louise Worsfold.
Luton started the second half well and Day was prominent again, this time making a strong run through before her shot was tipped past the post by Worsfold. The resulting corner, taken by Howe, was blocked at the near post but Kirstie Wright was on hand to plant a left foot shot inside the far corner to put Luton in the lead.
Westfield began to press for the equaliser with Searle controlling matters in the midfield area but Luton stood firm, Folan playing a captain's role in the centre of defence. Westfield were unable to find their shooting range at this stage, going closest when an Emma Barnes free kick was saved, before the match was turned on its head in a three minute spell.
Westfield were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal for a foul, a similar range to Barnes' effort a few minutes earlier. This time, Laura Hann stepped up and she drilled a glorious shot beyond the reach of Staples and into the top corner of the net to level the scores.
Two minutes later and Westfield were in front for the first time. Searle sent in a cross from the left for Hann who controlled well, her shot was blocked by Baker and, after a moment's hesitation, the referee awarded a penalty for handball. Luton protested the decision but the penalty stood and Searle calmly sent Staples the wrong way from the spot.
Luton almost hit back with Serena Lawrence heading just over from a Howe corner but Westfield were now in the ascendancy and Harvey, who had been a constant threat down the left all match, drove in a low cross which just eluded Noad and Hann in front of goal.
Noad went close as she drilled a shot just past the far post as Westfield sought a third goal late on and the Surrey side never looked like losing their lead during several minutes of injury time.
Westfield: Louise Worsfold, Maxine Harvey, Caroline Masterton, Lisa Hennessey, Debbie Lewis (sub Viktoriya Petrova 66mins), Sarah Brown, Hannah Searle, Lianne Noad, Rachel Stevens, Laura Hann (sub Clare Shell 85mins), Emma Barnes.
Luton Town Res: Holly Staples, Siobhan Little, Lauren Dunn, Stephanie Anes, Anne Folan, Nikki Baker, Jade Doherty, Kirstie Walker (sub Serena Lawrence 76mins), Laura Day, Leyah Maddix (sub Holly Sheridan 87mins), Claire Howe (sub Siobhan Collingwood 90mins).
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