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Tottenham Hotspur won the London FA Senior Cup for the first time at Harrow Borough FC with a 4-0 victory over MSA.
A fine hat-trick from player of the match Wendy Martin and a Bianca Baptiste effort was enough to see off a spirited effort from London and South East Regional League Division One (London) opposition. MSA had arrived in the final when both their semi final opponents were ejected from the competition but the Walthamstow-based team did themselves proud with a highly competitive performance. Martin's opportunism and all round threat was the main difference between the teams backed up by solid work from the rest of the winning squad.
MSA, who operate three leagues below Spurs, needed to avoid conceding early but Martin was left with a simple tap in after a hopeful lob from out wide rebounded off the angle of post and bar on five minutes. The second was a cool finish past Natalie Burnett from an inch perfect through ball on 18 minutes. The MSA attack showed some neat touches but was unable to trouble Jo Ayre in the Spurs goal. Just before the break, Spurs nearly went further ahead, firstly through a Derrie O'Halloran run and shot, then from a Martin near post header
The underdogs made a promising start after the break, forcing two corners and going close when Irisha Smith ran from inside her own half, with her low cross just failing to find Katrina Smith at the far post. However, Martin completed her treble with another clever lobbed finish to settle the outcome on 65 minutes. A series of substitutions and injuries broke up the rhythm of the match in the latter stages after Baptiste had driven a low shot past Burnett for a fourth on 68 minutes but any higher margin of defeat would have been cruel on MSA, who had competed well all over the pitch.
A good crowd of around 200 cheered Sam Pittuck as she raised the cup, Martin for a deserved player of the match award and the runners-up, led by skipper Atefah Heivary. Karen Hills' team have established themselves in the Premier League Southern Division this season and now have silverware to add to a successful campaign.
Tottenham Hotspur: Jo Ayre, Vicky Elcome, Kirsten Thomson, Jess Cheeseman, Sam Pittuck, Robyn McEvoy, Robyn Downie, Derrie O'Halloran, Miranda Hall, Wendy Martin, Jenna Schillachi. Subs: Bianca Baptiste, Ryah Vyse, Nicola Cable, Emma Sherwood, Siobhan Wilson.
MSA Ladies: Natalie Burnett, Kate Shipley, Atefah Heivary, Devina Albert, Ayo Okenuga, Emma McIntosh, Irisha Smith, Ose Onaghino, Faye Callaway, Ruth Bereket, Katrina Smith. Subs: Nikki Wright, Keeley Jeffery, Ashleigh Andrews, Rebecca McKenna.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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