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Larkhall Athletic became a new name on the Somerset FA Senior Women's Cup after they defeated Bishop's Lydeard 4-0 in the Final at Wells City FC.
The Premier League side ultimately proved too strong and experienced for their opponents but the margin was harsh on Lydeard whose players end the campaign with a league title and two Cup runners-up medals.
The pattern of the game was established early on with Larkhall playing their possession game but a well drilled Lydeard defence ensured there were not too many scares for their side during the opening stages.
Larkhall won a series of corners but could not fashion a clear cut chance, going closest when Kelly Cripps headed wide at the far post. Lizzie Barratt did get the ball in the net but an offside flag had already been raised.
Adele Hooper fired a shot over the bar but as the half wore on, Lydeard grew in confidence and with Rosie Williams and Holly Miller working hard in attacking positions, began to look more threatening.
However as Lydeard looked to have ridden out the pressure, Larkhall took the lead four minutes before half time. The Lydeard defence were unable to deal with an Emily Harrington corner and following a scramble in front of goal, Kate German was on hand to score from close range.
After the break, Larkhall wrested control of the majority of possession once again and were rewarded ten minutes after the restart. Barratt had looked sharp up front for most of the game and after picking the ball up on the edge of the area, she drove past two defenders before sidefooting past Amanda Hubbard for the second goal.
Lydeard tried hard to get themselves back into the game and it almost came when Williams made a powerful run down the left and took on Natasha Perry before drilling a low ball across the face of goal. Dawna Dennett slid in and hit a well struck shot goalwards but Nicki O'Connell managed to divert the ball away with the use of a boot.
The save was even more significant moments later as Larkhall attacked down the right and Harrington's cross deceived a back pedalling Hubbard and dropped inside the far corner of the net to put the Larks three ahead.
The fortuitous goal had all but put Larkhall's name on the trophy and the Lydeard players, who had played extra time in the Bristol Soccerworld Cup Final just four days earlier, began to tire rapidly. They soon found themselves four goals behind following an excellent Larks move, Michelle Munro clipping a fine pass out to Harrington on the right and the midfielder's low cross picked out German who tucked home her second goal from six yards.
Despite looking desperately tired, Lydeard continued to try for what would have been a deserved consolation goal for their efforts. They could not break down a Larkhall defence in which Perry impressed along with Amy Scrivens and the experienced Carly Bryant and the Larks could have added to their tally in the closing stages.
Sarah Saunders, on as a second half substitute, almost increased their lead from another good low Harrington cross but her shot flew straight at Hubbard. Saunders again went close with an angled strike which was narrowly over and Barratt was denied by a good Hubbard save but Larkhall were soon celebrating the achievement of winning a trophy in their first season under the management of Jack Edgar.
Larkhall Athletic: Nicki O'Connell, Natasha Perry, Amy Scrivens, Emily Harrington, Michelle Munro, Carly Bryant, Lizzie Barratt, Carly Symons, Kate German, Kelly Cripps, Adele Hooper. Subs: Sarah Saunders, Amanda Blakeley.
Bishop's Lydeard: Amanda Hubbard, Sarah Waygood, Amy Clegg, Jemma Bowker, Helen Knott, Natalie Poole, Holly Miller, Rosie Williams, Dawna Dennett, Sophie Buck, Gemma Chilcott. Subs: Emily Crook, Naomi Grant, Sophie Hart.
(top) Emily Harrington is challenged by Gemma Chilcott
(middle) Kate German scores her second goal and Larkhall's fourth
(bottom) Larkhall with the trophy
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