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Women's Football News
East Riding County Women's League Cup Final - South Cave 3 AFC Preston 2
An epic battle between the respective Division 1 and Division 2 champions of the East Riding County Women's League was enjoyed by a large crowd at the East Riding County FA HQ in Hull.
Division 2 Champions South Cave got off to the worst possible start, conceding what looked like a harshly awarded penalty for hand ball after only 4 minutes with defensive stalwart Amy Wilson falling on to the ball after a less than helpful shove from behind. AFC Preston's Ellie Worsley stepped up and made no mistake from the resultant spot kick to give the Division 1 Champions the lead.
With their tails up, AFC Preston continued to pour forward and looked the most likely side to score again as a clearly rattled South Cave were doing all they could to stay in the game.
As the half wore on, and with Courtney McConville moved into the centre of midfield to support the tireless Elley McGlynn, Cave established a foothold and started to enjoy the lion's share of possession and with right-winger Luci Preston running the AFC Preston back line ragged at every given opportunity, a deserved equaliser was fashioned 5 minutes from the break.
Pressurising the back line once again, Preston forced a mistake and easily sprinted past two defenders before sending an inch perfect cross to Shannon Meyers.
Meyers could have hit it first time but instead coolly turned the ball back on to her favoured right foot, stepped inside the quickly retreating defence before stroking the ball beyond the reach of the wrongfooted keeper.
Cave continued to press at the start of the second half and got their just rewards when a well worked goal saw Wilson, McConville, Angela Pritchard and Preston exchange passes before Pritchard's lofted though ball saw Meyers clean through on goal and her first time shot once again gave the keeper no chance to make it 2-1.
Undaunted, AFC Preston fought straight back and were level almost immediately as some uncharacteristic confusion in the Cave back line saw the ball nervously played across the box when it should have been cleared into the stands or as far downfield as possible.
A grateful Paige Conlan was on the loose ball in a flash and fired an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net from just inside the box. 2-2 and all to play for.
With the huge pitch at ERCFA HQ beginning to take its toll on both sets of players, much to the joy of the supporters who didn't want the match to end, the game continued to flow from end to end with both sides in search of a winner.
That winner came from an unlikely source with less than fifteen minutes to go on the clock. Another sweeping counter-attack from South Cave saw the ball worked out to the right hand side and a fantastic cross from Angela Pritchard looked to have been spurned with Meyers narrowly failing to connect and the ball curling back out to what AFC Preston must have thought was relative safety.
Katherine Imrie, deployed much further up field than she normally would be, had other ideas and cut back in from the left before curling a superb shot into the top right hand corner.
It was a goal worthy of winning any match, particularly a Cup Final, and Imrie was understandably mobbed by her ecstatic and somewhat shocked team mates as the defender is not usually so prolific.
There was still plenty of time left for an equaliser and with AFC Preston being forced into committing more players forward, they were almost picked off on the counter attack by Cave again with Emma Osborne racing clean through on goal only to get a late offside call from the linesman and although AFC Preston tried as they might, Cave's defence were resolute and they held firm for a well deserved victory.
South Cave's Elley McGlynn was awarded the Player of the Match trophy by the match officials.
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