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Actonians Ladies Res 0 Sport London E Benfica 1
Sport London E Benfica claimed a place in the Capital Junior Cup final with a single goal victory over Actonians Reserves.
The Greater London League Division One North Champions were made to work very hard for their victory in intense heat by a determined Actonians team but progressed to the final.
Benfica started confidently and soon brought Actonians keeper Naomi Swift into action, moving quickly off her line to gather through passes. However there was little Swift could do after Michaela Green was fouled in the area and Iselin Vestnes converted the resulting spot kick via an upright on 24 minutes.
Kayleigh Peters was very lively in the Actonians attack and had a good battle with Charley Lebetkin in a very impressive Benfica defence which protected keeper Tamsin Wickens very well, especially in the first half.
After the break, Actonians stepped up their forward play with Chelsea Orridge-Golding getting in some good crosses after runs down the left. Shadia Edwards-Dashti and Simone Wan also worked hard to create danger for the Benfica backline.
Even so, it was keeper Swift who kept Benfica at bay and her team in the contest with a string of fine saves, the pick of which were from two free kicks on the edge of the area, one from Green tipped on to the bar and the other from Gaynor Kelman held at full stretch.
Actonians piled on the late pressure. Peters drove a half chance just wide on 83 minutes and there were a couple of scrambles in the box from corners but the final block or clearance was always successful.
Both teams deserve great credit for their efforts in the midday sun, providing a competitive and exciting match throughout.
Actonians Ladies Res: Naomi Swift, Fiona Moloney, Lafe Uche, Chelsea Orridge-Golding, Simone Wan, Shadia Edwards-Dashti, Rhena Eames, Linda Luks Fox, Amira Nekikeche, Emma Welch, Kayleigh Peters. Subs: Jolene Foster, Jennifer Laidlaw, Charlie Callear, Konomi Kato.
Sport London E Benfica: Tamsin Wickens, Hope Taylor, Hilary Rees, Kelly-Ann Westgarth, Michaela Green, Josie Shand, Charley Lebetkin, Iselin Vestnes, Shani Minors, Adelaide Hayes-Elliot, Gaynor Kelman. Subs: Shivani Bedi, Kat Martin, Sarah Goodman, Lisa Castro.
(REPORT BY PATRICK HIGGINS)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Fiona Moloney goes to tackle Josie Shand;
(middle) Sarah Goodman is challenged by Charlie Callear;
(bottom) Kayleigh Peters takes on Hilary Rees;
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