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Women's Football News
PILCS 3 (Jeremiah 67, Thrupp 73, Davies 75) Swansea City 2 (Slack 45, Hosford 81)
PILCS lifted their first major trophy when they came from behind to beat Swansea City in a well contested Welsh Premier Women's League Cup Final at the GenQuip Stadium.
Three goals in a devastating eight minute spell during the second half turned the game in PILCS' favour although they had to withstand a late surge of pressure from Swansea before they could get their hands on the trophy.
In front of a good crowd which included Wales manager Jayne Ludlow, it was Swansea who settled down the quicker and they had the better of the early exchanges but without really troubling the PILCS defence.
In fact it was PILCS who almost took the lead with their first meaningful attack but Amanda John was well placed to come to the Swans' rescue with a clearance off the line to deny Lyndsey Davies.
As the first half progressed, Swansea continued to press with Jodie Passmore looking lively up front while Katy Hosford and Emma Beynon making headway down the flanks. Once again though, they could not quite fashion any clear cut chances, going closest when a Chloe Lloyd shot was just off target.
Just as it looked as though PILCS had survived going into half time, Swansea took the lead with the last touch of the first half. Kelly Newcombe floated in a delightful corner from the right and Carrie Slack gave Bethan White no chance with a firm downward header to put her side into the lead.
The second half started with PILCS having a claim for a penalty turned down when Amy Thrupp went down under a challenge from Emily Hancock but, despite looking stronger in midfield, at this stage they were struggling to make an impression against a strong Swans back four.
However as the midway point of the half arrived, the match was turned on its head. Lauren Price initially did well to win her side a corner and although the kick was initally cleared, the ball was returned out wide to Kate Jeremiah who cut in and lobbed a shot over Ffion Ashman for the equaliser.
The goal visibly lifted PILCS with the goalscorer now showing her best form and they were almost ahead three minutes later when Price powered a header inches over the bar from another corner.
Another three minutes and PILCS were ahead for the first time. A long ball forward was chased by Thrupp, Ashman came off her line to clear but collided with Alicia Powe and Thrupp showed great composure to steady herself and guide the loose ball into the back of the net.
Before Swansea could recover from the setback, they found themselves two goals behind. Davies had been well marked by Slack up until this point but after the ball broke kindly for her on the edge of the area, the prolific striker showed her goalscoring qualities by taking one touch before planting her shot past the oncoming Ashman to increase her side's lead.
It could have been four as another Jeremiah corner just evaded Price in front of goal and Shauna Pentney fired over from six yards.
The eight minute spell had stunned Swansea but they managed to rally and were unlucky not to pull a goal back when a looping header from Passmore dropped inches over the bar. They did however get the goal they craved with nine minutes left on the clock, Hosford meeting a corner with a neat glancing header at the near post to reduce the arrears.
The introduction of Stacey John on the wing had given the Swans fresh impetus going forward and one good run down the right saw her cut the ball across goal but just too far in front of Passmore and White gathered safely.
Swansea threw everything they could at PILCS in search of an equaliser but could not break them down. A few nervous clearance caused moments of anxiety but with Pentney in fine form in the centre, they stood firm under pressure.
It took an alert piece of goalkeeping at the other end from Ashman to deny Jeremiah a breakaway goal but PILCS held on for the win and captain Ceri Hudson, who had worked tirelessly in midfield for her side all game, received the trophy from Jayne Ludlow amidst lively celebrations.
PILCS: Bethan White, Katie Burridge, Amy Griffiths, Fiona Dodge, Shauna Pentney, Ceri Hudson, Lauren Price, Amy Thrupp, Lyndsey Davies, Kate Jeremiah, Abigail Powell. Subs: Caitlin Tew, Alice Morgan, Katie Adams, Anna McNally, Charlotte Hastings.
Swansea City: Ffion Ashman, Alicia Powe, Emily Hancock, Sophie Hancocks, Carrie Slack, Emma Beynon, Kelly Newcombe, Chloe Lloyd, Amanda John, Jodie Passmore, Katy Hosford. Subs: Sarah Adams, Sam Sweeney, Stacey John, Laura Braithwaite.
(top) Amy Thrupp steadies herself before scoring PILCS' second goal
(middle) Lyndsey Davies shields the ball from Carrie Slack
(bottom) A delighted PILCS side with the trophy
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