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PILCS reach League Cup Final
 Women's Football News 24 Jan 2015
PILCS reach League Cup Final   - 24 Jan 2015 - Women's Football NewsPILCS are through to the Final of the Welsh Premier Women's League Cup after winning a thrilling semi final 4-3 against Port Talbot Town in awful weather conditions at the GenQuip Stadium. 
The Gwent-based side looked to be on their way towards a comfortable victory as they led by three goals at the break but a rousing second half fightback by the home side almost saw them claw back the deficit.
The match was played in a gusting wind and driving rain which made conditions awkward for both teams. PILCS started strongly with the wind on their backs and Katrina French opened the scoring in the 12th minute after she had timed her run from deep to perfection to beat Port Talbot's back four.
Seven minutes later, Bethan Ellis in the home goal had been beaten for a second time - as Kate Jeremiah's free kick slipped through the keeper's fingers with a little help from the swirling wind.
With PILCS looking dangerous every time they went forward, Lyndsey Davies made it three from close range in the 26th minute, finishing at the second attempt after Ellis had blocked her initial effort to further wound the combative home side.
PILCS continued to threaten with the speedy Davies a constant threat but Port Talbot held firm for the remainder of the half to keep the margin at three goals going into the break.
The introduction of Lucy Edwards as a half time substitute gave Port Talbot fresh impetus up front and the striker brought her side back into the game just before the hour mark, capitalising on a misjudgement by PILCS keeper Bethan White to force the ball home from close range.
Five minutes later, Edwards turned provider with a pinpoint corner and a header by Courteney Thomas found the net courtesy of the underside of the PILCS crossbar and a game that seemed dead and buried in the first half was once again full of life.
PILCS were to regain their composure though and came up with an excellent reply. Ceri Hudson had impressed a lot in midfield and she was heavily involved in a fine team move which culminated with Jeremiah's low cross being finished off clinically by the impressive Davies for her second goal.
The goal clearly settled the PILCS players and Davies almost completed her hat-trick moments later but she lifted her shot just over. A similar good passing move nearly led to another goal but Jeremiah was denied by an offside flag.
Port Talbot were to rally once again though and brought themselves back into the game in spectacular fashion with eight minutes left. PILCS initially dealt well with an Edwards corner and looked to have averted the danger but Hayley Williams unleashed an unstoppable shot from fully 35 yards which sailed into the top corner of the net.
With Nicole Rawlingson and Rachael Ball displaying a good range of passing and Sian Scannell working hard, the home side pressed hard for an equaliser and won a number of late corners but PILCS stood firm under the pressure and closed the game out to reach their first major cup final.
Both teams deserve great credit for producing such an exciting game in unhelpful weather conditions and PILCS, for whom Hudson and Hope Suominen showed up well, were worthy winners over the ninety minutes. However Port Talbot can take great heart from their second half display and they can chase a top half place in the league.

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