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Women's Football News
In a very good match in front of a large and passionate crowd, Darts finally proved too strong for a well organised and committed Aylesford team, a superb 74th minute strike by Emily Vaughan settling the outcome in Dartford's favour.
Despite almost constant pressure, it took Darts 38 minutes to take the lead. Aylesford defended with bravery and keeper Sade Rider made a string of top class saves including a miraculous reaction stop from a close range Nicha Dyett header. When Rider was beaten by a low shot from the edge of the area, Stacey Glover was well positioned to clear off the line on 31 minutes.
The Dartford opener came from excellent work by Emily Read whose low cross was unfortunately turned home by a defender on 38 minutes. Read's battle with Aylesford's left back Alison Draper was a highlight of the match, both players emerging with great credit.
Aylesford had put together several good attacking moves of their own on the break, the best of which saw skipper Beth Hulme fire across goal and just wide but Dartford were good value for their interval lead.
A super first time finish by Alicia Gibbs from another Read cross gave Dartford a second four minutes after the restart but this seemed to inspire Aylesford into attacking mode. Darts keeper Jade Charlton made an acrobatic save to keep out an Alex Whitham header from a free kick but was beaten on the hour by a fine finish from Hulme who had got free on the left.
With the outcome back in the balance, Darts continued to press forward and were rewarded when Vaughan powered in a shot from 25 yards when there seemed to be little danger on 74 minutes.
Charlton made another good catch from a Whitham header but it was Rider in the opposite goal who made the final save, turning away another low shot to deny Darts a fourth goal late on.
Both teams deserve great credit for an entertaining final, fiercely but fairly contested and including some fine individual performances, but it was Dartford who went home with the Kent FA Cup.
Dartford: Jade Charlton, Kimberley Green, Joanne Woodgates, Charlie Torry, Emily Read, Lizzie Adams, Isabelle Michalski, Shauni Griffiths, Alicia Gibbs, Emily Vaughan, Nicha Dyett. Subs: Katie Butts, Becky Burnham, Rachel Stevens, Megan Mansfield.
Aylesford: Sade Rider, Annie Colston, Alison Draper, Alex Witham, Sasha Rudler, Stacey Glover, Milly Penfold, Lucy Dante, Beth Hulme, Hannah Tyler, Fiona Constable. Subs: Sian Cheedy, Sydney Davis, Chloe Fowler, Zaka Chapman.
Report by Patrick Higgins
Photo by www.jamesprickett.co.uk
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