Under 18 Harriers Hampshire Cup Final

Posted by Mark Hickson on 28 March 2019

The Under 18 Harriers traveled to Romsey Town in the hopes of lifting the Hampshire Cup trophy on the evening of the 27th of March. The team had beaten strong opposition in the form of Mudeford and Alderbury to make it to the final, so they were very well prepared for the game. The team they faced were Warsash Wasps, who they had previously drawn 2-2 with in the league two weeks before. Flyers were in for a tight game!

The match began at a frighteningly fast pace, with the ball pinging from one end to the other, but it was Flyers who carved out the first chance. Molly Gatford made a great run in behind and was found by Jess’s through ball, but her powerful shot just went over the bar. Next in behind for Winchester was Armiee, who’s run into the right-hand channel saw her receive the ball from Brianagh and gave her a shooting opportunity, but the Warsash keeper saved well low to her left. After the early flurry of chances for Winchester, Warsash began to get a foothold in the game and played some good passing moves around their midfield. Their best chance of the half came from a break down the right, which resulted in Flyers goalkeeper Lara having to dive down to her left to tip a shot onto the post.

The remainder of the half was a very tight affair, with both sides giving the other little time on the ball. Flyers defensive central midfielder Louise covered the width of the pitch to continually win the ball back and down the Flyers left Charlotte and Molly Williams combined well to stop Warsash attacks and instigate forward play for Flyers. As the half drew to an end Flyers grew into the ascendency, with Jess getting on the ball more and looking for openings and Jenna coming on up front gave Flyers another option going forward, but, as it was, neither team were able to fashion any more clear cut chances and the score remained 0-0 at half time.

The second half was the complete opposite of the first, with 4 goals being scored in 45 minutes! The deadlock was broken early on by Warsash, as a free kick from the edge of the box cannoned off the crossbar and fell down into the danger zone. It was then a Warsash head who met the ball and put the yellows and blacks 1-0 up. Despite this, Flyers were showing more composure on the ball than in the first half and were moving it around nicely. Lucie was finding more space down the right and her pace was causing the opposition problems as she combined well with Armiee and Molly Lowe. One of these moves resulted in a Flyers free kick, which Armiee lifted into the box and the ball found its way to Jenna who turned well to try and force the ball in, but the referee ruled it had touched her arm. On the opposite side, Jodie and Charlotte were running endlessly, tracking up and down the left wing as Flyers pushed for an equaliser. The teams hard work soon paid off as Flyers made it back onto level terms, Frankie broke out of defense and found Catherine on the left, she then cut inside and her low shot managed to bounce past the keeper, 1-1. 

As the half progressed there was no let up in the intensity of the game, with Emily coming on for Flyers to pressurise the Warsash defense to great effect. Despite this hard work, it was Warsash who again took the lead, as a fizzing shot from their right was parried well by Lara, but the loose ball fell to the Warsash striker, who finished well into the top right-hand corner. With not a huge amount of time left to play and a goal to score, Flyers went to 3 at the back and pushed captain Meg into central midfield. Following this, Flyers had their most dominant spell of the game, as Warsash tried to hold onto their lead, the team in red and black began to create more shooting opportunities and had a string of corners. The pressure finally paid dividends, as the ball fell to Meg around 25 yards out and her clean strike forced its way past the keeper's hands and into the top right-hand corner of the net, bringing the game back level at 2-2. The last few minutes were a nervy affair, as both teams looked to push on and grab the winner. Winchester had the best of the late opportunities, as Armiee raced in behind, but her shot just bounced wide of the far post.

At the final whistle the score was 2-2, and with no extra time, the game was to be decided by penalties! Flyers had the first spot-kick and scored it, with Armiee coolly slotting the ball into the right-hand corner. Warsash then stepped up and buried their penalty with a brilliant strike. Frankie was next up for Flyers and rolled her penalty under the keeper to keep Winchester’s noses in front. It then became Lara’s time to shine, the Warsash player sent their second penalty in with a stinging shot, but Lara reacted quickly and got her hand to it to send it onto the bar, 2-1 to Flyers. Molly Lowe was the next Flyers penalty taker and she also kept her composure and calmly slotted the penalty home. Warsash’s third penalty was another strong strike, but Lara was equal to it, and having guessed the right way, pushed the ball away to the right to keep it out. So up stepped captain Meg to win it, and even though the keeper got hands to her shot, it had enough power to make it into the bottom corner and give Flyers the victory!!

A bundle ensued as the team ran to celebrate with Meg and Lara, what a way to win it!

The game was an incredible one and a brilliant advert for women’s football, with all you’d want to see in a final. A big thank you goes to Hampshire FA for organising the competition. The game was a poignant one for both sides, as it saw Warsash manager Andrew and Flyers manager Chae play each other for the last time, having competed over the last 10 years, so a big thank you to Warsash for the many years of memories. Lastly a huge congratulations to the whole Flyers squad this evening, as well as injured members Georgia and Sophie who helped them get to the final, and to Molly Steward for coming to support, they have all done the Flyers badge proud.


Full squad: 

Armiee Akopbire 

Brianagh Melling 

Catherine Palmer 

Charlotte Graves 

Emily Sommers 

Frankie Tyrrell 

Georgia Allen 

Jenna Erwig 

Jess Radford

Jodie Spring 

Lara Connolly 

Louise Whitton 

Lucie Agombar

Meg Goff

Molly Gatford 

Molly Lowe

Molly Williams 

Sophie Gordon 

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