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Three goals in a seven minute spell either side of half time proved to be decisive as Woodley Utd came from behind to beat Parley Sports 4-2 in the Southern Region League Cup Final.
On a wet afternoon and quick playing surface at Aldershot, United conceded a free kick on their left side outside the penalty area which Sports' Rosie Williams placed into the top right hand corner of Lisa Phillips' goal to open the scoring.
This followed a spell of midfield play with little goalmouth action with the best chance again falling to Williams when she put a second free kick narrowly wide of the Woodley goal. Gradually, United took control of the game and equalised with a goal worthy of a final on sixteen minutes. Ranai Bird received the ball on the right flank in her own half and beat two opponents as she ran towards the goal line and crossed for player of the match Deanna Peters to head wide of Sian Tilly in the Parley goal to level the scores.
Parley's best efforts again came from a Williams free kick that Phillips saved and Sab Kulan being pressured into failing to clear a ball that saw a forward shoot wide.
For Woodley's part they upped the pressure with Laura Woodley, Jessica Grimmett and Peters all narrowly shooting wide after flowing multi pass moves. However, United's pressure was rewarded in the second minute of stoppage time when left back Jo Walsh-Perks ran onto a low cross in Parley's penalty area to drive pass Tilly.
From the restart, United attacked the Sports defence and a failed clearance fell to the unmarked Woodley to extend the lead from ten yards, a minute after the kick off. Sports nearly replied immediately from a corner but a pass from the impressive Bird over the Parley defence was latched onto by Bird who rounded Tilly to score into an empty net on 51 minutes.
Sports rallied and were given a glimmer of hope when Atuma Asira headed what was to be the final goal of the match in the 63rd minute. United responded well to the pressure with captain Nicola Froud winning many important defensive headers whilst looking dangerous on the counter attack.
Bird forced a once handed save from Tilly while the same player produced a moment of magic to beat several players before forcing Tilly to parry the ball that fell to substitute Lauren Hosking whose goal was disallowed for offside. Another substitute, Nicole Sandhu fired over the bar in stoppage time after another move that saw Bird link with Grimmett.
At the final whistle, United were the cup winners for the first time and completed one half of what they hope will be a league and cup double.
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