Gt Shelford 1 Lowestoft Ladies 3
Lowestoft Ladies secure their place in the League Cup final with a Paige Shorten hat-trick and 3-1 win at Great Shelford.
The ladies secured a place in the Eastern Region Women's League Cup Final courtesy of a hard fought 3-1 win away at Great Shelford. The opening twenty-five minutes was nearly all one-way traffic with Lowestoft looking to make the early break through but some excellent defending and courageous goal keeping kept Lowestoft out. As the half wore on Shelford started to grow in confidence and carved out a couple of chances but were thwarted firstly by Megan Cletheroe, who had a terrific game and led the defence superbly and Amy Bell in goal who was very assured in goal all game.
The best Lowestoft chances of the half fell to Hannah Waters who showed enormous endeavour all game and found herself thwarted twice by the Shelford keeper.
The second half saw debutant Chelsea Clarke entering the fray for Lowestoft and with her excellent touch, vision and range of passing she was giving the Shelford right back lots to think about and it was her effort on goal which was blocked by the arm of a Shelford defender, resulting in a penalty which was put away with no fuss by Paige Shorten on fifty-five minutes to give Lowestoft a 1-0 lead.
The second goal was a real treat with fast, incisive interplay which saw the ball move very quickly from the Lowestoft half into the Shelford defence and Paige Shorten with a superb first touch then tucked away neatly her effort into the right hand corner of the net to extend the lead to 2-0 on sixty-three minutes.
Lowestoft were now in full control and Paige Baker and Jody Wells came on for the last twenty-five minutes and almost with her first involvement of the game, Jody Wells was fortunate not to receive a red card after kicking out at one of the Shelford players. Thankfully the referee Andy Phillips who officiated superbly all game took a lenient view of the incident and only issued a yellow card.
Lowestoft's third and final goal came on seventy-four minutes when Paige Shorten was upended inside the box and she picked the same spot again with her penalty effort and in doing so earning a richly deserved hat-trick for herself.
Hannah Waters and Natasha Thomas both came close to extending the lead but it was Shelford who had the final word when deep into stoppage time from a well taken in-swinging corner, the flight of the ball deceived Amy in goal to give the home team a goal, which was unfortunate as Amy and the defence were superb all game. This included Marcie Prettyman in particular, who had an outstanding ninety minutes.
However, Player of the Match deservedly went to Paige Shorten who gave one of the individual performances of the season and showed she is a player of the highest order.
The Lowestoft Town Ladies can now look forward to the final which will be played on Sunday 10th May against Royston Town. The game will kick-off at 1pm and will be played at Soham Town Rangers Football Club.