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AFC Phoenix rise to the occasion
 Women's Football English County and other Leagues News - 25 May 2018
AFC Phoenix Res 4 Islington Borough 2
AFC Phoenix Reserves completed a highly successful season with a 4-2 victory over Islington Borough to land the GLWFL Trophy.
Division Two South runners-up and Capital Junior Cup winners, Phoenix ran up an early three-goal lead before withstanding a fine comeback from Islington to claim the honours.
The second match of the GLWFL Finals day was an exciting affair from the first whistle. Carrie-Anne Layton nearly gave Islington the lead, Klaudia Kovacs tipping over her second minute shot.
Opposing keeper Diana Nkendrim made a stunning double save early on but was beaten on 17 minutes when a Rebecca May cross from the right was turned in by Raquel Arevalo.
The lead was doubled on 25 minutes with another good finish by Arevalo and May added the third just after the half hour after a defensive error to give Islington a mountain to climb. Chloe Copsey, later chosen as player of the match for her wholehearted display, gave the North Londoners some hope right on the break with a good finish.
Chances continued to mount up in an end to end second period. Kovacs made a superb save to deny Ornella Mbula on 51 minutes and Nkendrim did equally well to stop Olivia Bennett extending the lead. It was a free kick on the right delivered by May over the wall which saw Phoenix add to their advantage on the hour.
Islington were far from beaten, however, Layton firing over from the edge of the area. Arevalo was close to her hat-trick before Islington gave themselves hope when Ellen Maggs created some space in the area before steering a precise effort wide of Kovacs on 75 minutes.
Amazingly, Islington created enough chances to have taken the match to penalties in a frantic last few minutes. Copsey was denied by a last ditch challenge, Maggs had a header well held by Kovacs, then hit the post from an opportunist effort late on.
AFC Phoenix Reserves emerged winners from an excellent contest and matched the club's London & South East Regional League first team in celebrating simultaneous Cup triumphs on a remarkable day for the South Londoners.
AFC Phoenix Res: Kllaudia Kovacs, Maria Mendonca, Kajsa Eklof, Lois Dunn, Samantha Chapman, Eliene Steiner, Ella Bonner, Ana De Pellegrin, Olivia Bennett, Rebecca May, Raquel Arevalo. Subs: Marta Casanovas, Mary Loonstra, Jennifer McBean, Laura Hoole.
Islington Borough: Diana Nkendrim, Farley Morgan, Naomi Hunter-Bailey, Yasmin Bonsu, Chloe Copsey, Carrie Anne Layton, Charlotte Lynch, Ornella Mbula, Ellen Maggs, Ebba Karlsson, Eleanor Sherrard-Smith. Subs: Andreia Santos, Elisabetta Bonocore, Astrid Caloren-Bielz, Jenny Truong, Folu Abimbola.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)


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