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After two successive promotions as title winners, Sheffield FC Ladies are celebrating a third season of silverware after they lifted the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Cup for the first time with a 4-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday Women in the Final at Stocksbridge.
Carla Ward and Natasha Cooke were denied by fine saves from Danni Maslin as Sheffield went close to forging an early lead. The first half was generally an even affair with Emily Scott (with an effort from wide out on the left well saved by Jess Horsley) and Laura Naylor providing Wednesday with their closest to a goal.
The second half was a much different affair, chiefly down to the interval introduction of Ellie Gilliatt who made an immediate impact as she opened the scoring from wide on the left within 90 seconds of the restart. Three minutes later Gilliatt played a key part in the build up before she slid the ball to Jodie Michalska who made no mistake from fifteen yards to all but settle the destination of the trophy.
Michalska netted her second from near the penalty spot on 73 minutes following Lisa Giampalma's low ball in from the right and Leanne De Silva's header from Kayleigh Mitchell's corner a few minutes later completed the scoring.
Maslin had appeared in the 2009 final when Wednesday, beaten 5-0 by Doncaster Rovers Belles, were still under the Ladies banner before splitting from the Junior section and becoming Women. Also on the losing side that day were Sarah Hobson-Donohoe and De Silva. Sheffield's Steph Spence, who was on the winning side in the Cup's first two finals (with Wednesday Ladies in 2000 and 2001) and record scorer Clare Holmes made cameo appearances in the last 15 minutes.
Sheffield FC: Jess Horsley, Natalie Crofts, Natasha Cooke, Lauren Davids, Mel Cook, Leanne De Silva, Jodie Michalska, Kayleigh Mitchell, Lisa Giampalma, Carla Ward, Kerry Parkin. Subs: Steph Spence, Nicolle Jepson, Ellie Gilliatt, Clare Holmes.
Sheffield Wednesday WFC: Danni Maslin, Dominique Balmond, Louise Hunt, Katie Nutter, Sarah Hobson-Donohoe, Evie Robinson, Hollie Barker, Emily Scott, Laura Naylor, Sarah Burke, Jess Tait. Subs: Laura Windle, Abbie Mullen, Lauren Asquith, Codi Melia, Jess Birtles.
(Report and photo - Julian Barker)
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