Yeovil Town Ladies turned on the style to catapult themselves into the final of the Somerset FA Women’s Senior Cup on Sunday, having beaten Brislington Ladies by a fantastic 10-1 scoreline.
This is the third season in a row the Glovers have been in the final of this competition, and under the impressive joint management of Nigel Williams and Sarah Lawler they will be looking to make it a hat trick of wins when they meet Keynsham Town Ladies in that final match of the competition later in the season.
“We are really pleased for the girls and cannot wait to defend our trophy,” Sarah Lawler said after the game. “It was a good victory over Brislington, and we are now looking to win the completion for the third season in a row. It would be fantastic for our club to do this, and would help to make an already exciting season reach a superb climax.”
"We wanted the team to make a quick start in this one,” Nigel Williams said. “We were the Premier League team, but we knew that Brislington have some quick and talented players who would want to get in close and hassle our players, so we had to be on our toes. It was a cup game, and we all know and have seen what lower league teams can do in these competitions, so knew that we had to keep professional and avoid an upset.”
The Glovers came out and took control of the game from the start, with some great combination play down the left from Justine Lorton and Katie Cook. It was not long before the Glovers broke through this route, and Cooke pounced through the defence on ten minutes, slotting the ball home.
Brislington came straight back at Yeovil, and on 12 minutes some defensive errors saw a back pass not reach the goalkeeper. Brislington’s speed up front told, and a race to the ball between striker and ‘keeper ended up with the striker bringing the score level to 1-1.
This was the tonic Yeovil needed, as they came back with force. Both Williams and Lawler had agreed that Yeovil had not been playing as they should have been, but the goal woke them up, and they went on to take the match in impressive style. On 14 minutes Jade Radburn, forever Yeovil’s work horse in midfield, carried the ball and some lovely footwork saw her finish from close range to put her side 2-1 up.
"From then on we wanted the girls to keep possession and build the play," Williams said. “It is so easy to lose your discipline and formation and get pulled apart by the opposition, but we did not do this and created some good chances."
On 35 minutes Yeovil played some great passing football, seeing a good delivery for Stacey Pearson to continue her recent impressive scoring form to make it 3-1. The pressure on the Young Brislington team was relentless, and they lost the ball to pressure from the midfield of Jade Radburn and Kirsty Whitton on 40 minutes. The ball was played through to Kate Cook who, with a change of pace beat the right back producing a quality finish.
“We are always looking to develop our young players,” Lawler said. “So it was good to see young Grace Rapp grab two good goals either side of half time. She is an excellent player and has a great long term future with Yeovil Town Ladies. You could see her quality today in her movement and holding of the ball. We will ensure that we continue to work with Grace, and she is one to keep an eye on this and in coming seasons.”
A couple of substitutions and a formation change saw Yeovil extend their lead, with Jodi Cornwall pouncing on a dropped ball from the opposition ‘keeper to make it 7-1, having only been on the field of play for a minute.
Unusually Yeovil had Laura Bray on the bench for this match, but as Nigel Williams pointed out she had nothing to prove in respect of what she can do.
"We rested her today,” he said. “With some really important games coming up we gave her a chance to relax and enjoy the day. We run a squad system here, and all players have a job to do. It is great to have strength in depth, and we put pressure on Laws (Bray) week in week out to perform at the highest level for us. Knowing her as we do, she was probably not happy with that as she always wants to play, but we have a responsibility to all players, and we select what wins a game, working to ensure players remain fit to do the job in hand. Laws showed us what she can do by coming on as a 56th minute substitute to score a hat-trick. Need I say more.”
Williams added; "Today was an okay performance. The score was irrelevant to the way we played, and as always Sarah and I expect better from our team. At half time we had a discussion, putting our points across and we played better possession football in the second half. Credit goes to Brislington Ladies. They are a great club and have players that will take them to great things in the future. Thank you for the brilliant welcome and hospitality.”
Yeovil Town Ladies: Howard, Keehan (Grogan – 57), Edwards, Rosie, Brazell, Pearson, Radburn, Whitton (Cornwall – 56), Cook, Lorton, Rapp (Bray – 57)
Goals: 1-0 (Cook– 10), 1-1 (12), 2-1 (Radburn – 14), 2-1 (Pearson – 35), 4-1 (Cook – 40), 5-1 (Rapp – 44), 6-1 (Rapp – 48), 7-1 (Cornwall – 57), 8-1 (Bray – 65), 9-1 (Bray – 72), 10-1 (Bray – 84)
Referee: Ian Parsons (Somerset)
Next Match: Away at Leeds United (To be played at Farsley Celtic FC ). FA Women’s Cup, Fifth Round. 10 March 2013, 2.00pm kick off.
Report by Nigel Williams (And Ali King)