So, the destination of the trophy will be decided next Thursday, when Sussex entertain The Army at Lancing. The current position is:-
Middlesex Played 3 Points 6 Goal difference +2
Sussex Played 2 Points 3 Goal difference 0
The Army Played 2 Points 3 Goal difference 0
Kent Played 3 Points 3 Goal difference -2
The teams lined up as follows on Tuesday:-
Courtney Shanley (Gillingham), Tyra Ntege, Millie Waud (both Gillingham CofE), Katie Hardacre (Gillingham), Hannah Wheeler (West Ham United), Lydia Hunter (Gillingham CofE), Lydia Wills (Gillingham), Rikki Turner, Mia Hyland (both Gillingham CofE), Jade Keogh (capt) and Shannon Redhouse (both Gillingham).
Substitutes: Georgia Reece (Gillingham) and Jade Tinsley (Gillingham CofE). Repeat substitutions are used in this competition.
Manager: Cori Daniels Assistant Manager: Haden Plank Sports Therapist: James Cato
Lizzie Rose (Denham United), Anya Kinnane (London Bees Development), Chelsea Orridge-Golding (Tottenham Hotspur), Manuela Naprta, Charlotte Matthews (both London Bees Development), Rachel Blackburn (Denham United), Vanna Lee (London Bees Development), Jo Torr (capt) (Denham United), Ashley Cheatley (Ashford Town (Middlesex)), Alissa Down and Rebecca French (both Denham United).
Substitutes: Rachel Rabin and Sam Miller (both London Bees Development)
Manager: Craig Nicholson Assistant Manager: George Wells Physio: Barbara Bivens
Referee: Mason Egan Asssistant Referees: Barry Jeal and Simon Haydon (all Kent FA)
The first quarter of the match was played as a midfield duel with very little goalmouth incident. An exception was when Kent goalkeeper, Courtney Shanley dived to smother the ball at Ashley Cheatley’s feet following a move also involving Manuela Naprta and Alissa Down. Also, there was a moment of danger for Middlesex when keeper Lizzie Rose was forced to leave her area to thwart Mia Hyland. Lizzie’s clearance went to Jade Keogh, who just cleared the crossbar of the unprotected goal from around 40 yards.
We took the lead in the 27th minute. A goalmouth scramble, following a corner by Alissa Down, had failed to provide us with an opening but immediately afterwards Ashley got into the position to score with a low angled drive.
Kent equalised 7 minutes later when a dreadful defensive mix up presented Jade Keogh with an open goal.
Middlesex had chances to regain the lead before the interval. Ashley collected
Chelsea Orridge-Golding’s well judged lob but was foiled by a timely clearance. Anya Kinnane headed narrowly wide and then the keeper’s feet kept out a shot by Vanna Lee, who had been set up by Ashley.
Half time score: Kent 1 Middlesex 1
Play flowed rapidly up and down the pitch in the second half and some neat and attractive football was played.
Lizzie Rose saved point blank from Lydia Wills and the resulting loose ball was scrambled away.
A move involving Vanna and Ashley resulted in Rebecca French netting but the assistant’s flag was up for offside. Then Ashley’s drive was just wide. Then, a 30 yard effort from Alissa was well saved by Courtney Shanley and a through ball from Alissa resulted in Courtney saving at close range from Ashley.
Kent were always dangerous and had their chances. Jade Keogh was prominent and Shannon Redhouse was a constant speedy menace on the left wing. Lizzie made an excellent save when Mia Hyland connected with Shannon’s cross.
After 78 minutes, Tyra Ntege scored the winning goal for Kent from close range, following Shannon’s cross.
Soon afterwards, Anya Kinnane had a clear chance to equalise but put the ball wide.
Final score: Kent 2 Middlesex 1
Our thanks are given to Kent FA and Chatham Town FC for the fine hospitality which they provided once again.