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Herne Bay retained the Kent FA Plate with a 7-1 victory over Bromley LFC at Sevenoaks FC, with a hat-trick from Kate Foster earning the player of the match award.
Goals of real quality were the hallmark of a commanding performance by the holders who were four goals to the good by half time. Bromley, having an excellent debut season, played with real spirit and were rewarded with the consolation goal which rounded off the scoring.
Foster gave early notice of her goal threat with a powerful drive in the third minute, beaten away by Bromley keeper Lisa Whitnall. Bromley then had their best spell of the match, penning Bay in their own half for several minutes, winning five corners and forcing desperate defence. Breeze Handley made a brave save from Kristy Higginson and the pressure was relieved.
Vicky Holness opened the scoring on 15 minutes with a sweet volley after a Sarah Holmes free kick was headed on and Herne Bay took command. Harriet Chapman went close with a header from Emma Brown's cross before Foster notched her first, a powerful header from a Holness cross from the right on 36 minutes.
Two more goals in the last minutes before half time gave Herne Bay a comfortable lead. Lesley Kay scored arguably the best goal of the evening, a 25-yard first time drive from wide on the right, then Foster added the fourth with a near post header from a Holness free kick wide on the left with the last touch of the half.
Bromley again opened the second half promisingly but were soon under pressure again. Chapman added a fifth after a neat move left her free to shoot home from the edge of the area on 53 minutes, Brown went close from nearly 40 yards, Whitnall doing well to save at the second attempt. Foster was accidently clipped as she ran on to a through ball and converted from the spot for her hat-trick.
Carly Farrow added a seventh with a solo run and near post finish on 72 minutes but Bromley continued to fight hard. They went very close on 75 minutes when a Rebecca Bays header from a corner was saved on the line but the loudest cheer of the night came from the large band of Bromley supporters when Tanya Holley burst through the middle and scored after Handley had saved her initial effort.
Herne Bay had simply too much pace and movement for the Bromley defence to handle on the night and clinical finishing to match. The defeated team gave their all and still have plenty to play for in the Greater London League Division Two South and the Russell Cup.
Herne Bay: Breeze Handley, Emma Brown, Rachel Tracy, Beth Nugent, Debbie Blackmore, Lesley Kay, Kate Foster, Sarah Holmes, Carly Farrow, Vicky Holness, Harriet Chapman. Subs: Lauren Wiltshire, Isabelle Tullett, Bella Smith, Emily Hayward, Charlie Hayes.
Bromley LFC: Lisa Whitnall, Ceylan Hureill, Emma Jones, Lucia Carini, Emily Reed, Tanya Holley, Chloe Robertson, Kelly Newbound, Kristy Higginson, Rebecca Bays, Rhiannon Davies. Subs: Charlotte Bryan, Shanna Williams, Hollie Gallione, Catherine Stowell, Samantha Tyler.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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