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London Corinthians 2 Lowestoft Town 3
Lowestoft Town, of the Eastern Region League Premier Division, grabbed a place in the FA Women's Cup Second Round with a dramatic late Paige Shorten winner against London & South East League Premier Division side London Corinthians at Well Hall.
Two very good teams provided an excellent contest on the 3G surface and the home team can count themselves unlucky to have not at least taken the tie into extra time, having drawn level on 83 minutes after long periods of second half domination. Lowestoft have won every match they have played this season, including beating WPL opposition in the last round of the Cup, a feat which Corinthians had themselves matched.
The home side started much the sharper, Emily Hart on the right wing going close in the second minute but gradually Town played their way into the tie. Home keeper Jade Charlton made a good save to deny Hannah Waters from a from Shorten through ball on 19 minutes whilst her opposite number one, Amy Bell did well to turn away a powerful effort from Katherine Long.
Lowestoft's Anna Larkins put in a free kick from the left but a header against the post was from an offside position. Bell made another good save from Corinthians Adele Keech, but was responsible for Corinthians opening goal, kicking straight to Long on the edge of the area who finished coolly on 39 minutes.
Just when it seemed that Corinthians would go to the break in the lead, the visitors equalised with a well worked move involving Shorten, Waters and scorer Jodie Drake who drilled a shot from 20 yards into the right side of Charlton's net. Lowestoft completed the turnaround in fortunes two minutes after the restart when Natasha Thomas beat the defence to a loose ball and slotted home past the advancing Charlton.
The home team were far from disheartened by the double blow and proceeded to batter the Lowestoft defence with a good brand of passing and movement which created a series of chances. Long was denied by excellent covering from Megan Cletheroe but from the corner, the hosts went very close in a scramble before Bell grabbed the ball. The Town keeper made a good save from Long and an even better one when a brilliant run from Hannah Titchener took her past two defenders before Bell dived to parry her low shot. Lowestoft were very lucky when another corner was headed goalwards and was somehow deflected on to the underside of the bar before being scrambled away off the line.
Finally, Corinthians got the leveller they had threatened for so long. A strong run down the right by Hart was followed by a centre which was met first by Long then by Megan Mansfield for the equaliser on 83 minutes.
Corinthians looked the more likely winners at this stage as they continued to press forward but it was Lowestoft who found the winner with a lovely one-two in midfield which sent Shorten clear of the defence for a powerful left foot finish beyond the diving Charlton on 87 minutes.
The delight of the Lowestoft players, management and travelling supporters at final whistle was a sign of how hard they had been tested by a very impressive London Corinthians display on the day. The host club had made every effort to ensure the match was a success with provision of all weather facilities and a very informative programme and were rewarded with a good crowd and a fine effort from the home players. However, the prolific Lowestoft attack made excellent use of their limited chances to take their place in the Second Round and hope for a home tie in Monday's draw.
London Corinthians: Jade Charlton, Alex Fagan, Katie Taylor, Holly Ryde, Adele Keech, Hannah Titchener, Jane Simpson, Emily Hart, Megan Mansfield, Katherine Long, Lauren Wallace. Subs: Grace Gibbs, Emily Farrell, Claire Williams.
Lowestoft Town: Amy Bell, Marcie Prettyman, Anna Larkins, Megan Cletheroe, Katie Pasque, Broghan Scully, Natasha Thomas, Paige Shorten, Hannah Waters, Chloe Hoffman, Jodie Drake. Subs: Georgia Paul, Zoe Cossey, Jody Wells, Charnelle Riggall.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Marcey Prettyman in a chase with Megan Mansfield
(middle) Katherine Long tries to get past Hannah Waters
(bottom) Winning goalscorer Paige Shorten runs clear of Alex Fagan
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