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Chelmsford City advanced to the next stage of the Essex County Women's League Cup with a 7-0 victory against their own Reserve team.
After several weeks of bad weather, this long-awaited League Cup encounter between Chelmsford's two senior sides finally got underway on the 3G surface at the Upper Plume School in Maldon.
A strong start saw the first team go closest in the opening minutes when Steph Pennefather Evans was thwarted by a strong block from Reserve keeper Clare Pearson. The Reserves then had the best of the opening exchanges, breaking down their club mates' attacks and being quicker to the second ball. The central defensive pairing of Anna Watt and Jessica Lobell were particularly strong for the Reserves as was Emma Sharpe in the heart of midfield.
The first team introduced Chloe Woolaway and Ciara Meeking into the action and the change paid off immediately as Woolaway's excellent run down the left flank saw the ball find Rosie Coe whose square pass to Pennefather-Evans ended in a shot beyond Pearson to give the Firsts the lead. Three minutes later the lead was doubled when Elspeth Arkell broke down a Reserves attack and drove forward. Her long through ball was collected by Lisa Overall. One touch was needed to control the ball and the second saw the ball fired home across the keeper.
The second half saw the Firsts much more organised and five more goals found the back of the net as the Reserve side were forced to play much deeper. Overall netted her second on 51 minutes, finishing off a sweeping move while the impressive Gaby Freedman saw a speculative shot from distance go over the bar just after the hour mark. Moments later the same player headed narrowly over as she attacked a pin point corner.
On 76 minutes, Pennefather-Evans got her second, cutting in from to collect a pass and coolly finish and minutes later Briony Gardner made it 5-0 as she got her body across Pearson and smashed in a close range half volley.
The Reserves never stopped working hard and went close to breaking their duck in the final minutes. A strong lofted drive from Angela Holden looked to have beaten Jade Oyler but the 'away' keeper's outstretched arms made just enough contact to guide the ball over the bar.
In the 88th minute a goal from First team captain Anna Thomas following an excellent interchange between Ciara Meeking and Gardner from 30 yards before Overall bagged her hat-trick in injury time, tapping in from two yards following a strong run and shot from Gardner.
"It was surreal seeing both teams playing each other competitively," said Simon Horne. "The game was played in excellent spirits and this sentiment was echoed by League Chairman, Jim Quilter who commented on 'an excellent game of football'. From our point of view, I'm relieved to have won. I was a little disappointed with our start but the goal and substitutions settled us and we showed what we're really about when we have possession. I was glad to see Steph hit a brace and we'd like to congratulate her on the arrival of her new born daughter.
Chelmsford City Res: Clare Pearson, Megan Hunter, Anna Watt, Jessica Lobell, Becky Segal, Emma Sharpe, Rebecca Bowers, Charlotte Barnard, Nicola Hatfield, Daisy Dobbs, Angela Holden, Clare Lawrence, Alice White.
Chelmsford City: Jade Oyler, Anna Thomas, Brogan Lambert, Elspeth Arkell, Alisha Bull, Gaby Freedman, Bobbi Cubberley, Briony Gardner, Steph Pennefather-Evans, Rosie Coe, Lisa Overall, Ciara Meeking, Chloe Woolaway, Beth Morrell.
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