The final of the Capital Women’s Senior Cup was contested at Hanwell Town FC’s Powerday Stadium on Thursday last, 2 May. This trophy is competed for by teams affiliated to London, Surrey and Middlesex FAs and the Amateur Football Alliance. This competition has successfully replaced the respective county cups.
This season’s finalists were Leyton Orient WFC and Actonians Ladies. Both of these teams are currently situated in the top half of Division 1 South East of the FA Women’s National League.
Actonians Ladies, who were appearing in the Senior Section of this Competition for the first time, eventually secured the trophy with a single goal, scored in the 80th minute.
Leyton Orient had the most possession, particularly in the first half and created more chances than Actonians but failed to take any of them. This was due to good defending; sound goalkeeping and several wasted scoring opportunities. Paige Horsnell, the Actonians’ keeper was by far the busier of the two custodians and made several excellent saves.
After some early sparring, Orient’s speedy Leyre Bastyr broke out of defence and tested Paige Horsnell with a cross.
The first proper chance went to Orient winger, Sophie Le Marchand, who showed exceptional footwork to manoeuvre herself into a shooting position. Paige saved well from close range. Paige followed this up by beating Suaila Cardoso Queni to a through pass from Sophie.
Orient keeper, Naomi Ogunde caught a high free kick, taken from 35 yards out on the right by Jessica Byrne, with impressive ease.
Actonians’ Carla Williams, who was starting to exert an influence in midfield, had a scoring chance but her glancing header, from Jessica Byrne’s centre, was saved by Naomi.
Orient continued to keep Paige Horsnell busy. She made another close range stop from Suaila, who had been released by Sophie. She saved low down in the corner of her goal from Egle Trezzi, who had played a neat 1-2 with Lisa Holmback. She followed this with a dive at Suaila’s feet to claim the ball.
A threatening run down the left by Jessica Byrne finished with a low cross which was intercepted by the Orient keeper. Naomi was then troubled by a 35+ yard lob from Carla Williams, which she palmed behind for a corner.
Paige fielded Egle’s long shot. An Orient attack, involving Egle, Suaila and Hayley Barton almost set up Sophie, who couldn’t quite make contact with the ball as it crossed the six yard box.
Hayley shot on the turn from Leyre’s pass but Paige saved again. Another concerted attack involving several Orient players, ended with Paige saving from Katherine Nutman, who was in a good scoring position. Lisa Holmback didn’t trouble Paige unduly, when she half hit a shot from Egle’s pass.
Suaila had two scoring opportunities as the interval approached. A shot was blocked at the expense of a corner and then she cleared the Actonians’ cross bar from close range.
Half-Time Score: Leyton Orient WFC 0 Actonians Ladies 0
The second half was more even territorially and play flowed pleasingly from end to end. However, no one could apply a finishing touch. The speedy and strong tackling Naomi Graham excelled in the Actonians’ back line, as did skipper Catherine Murphy.
An awkward bouncing shot from Mariko Engels was held by Naomi Ogunde. Then a well-judged lob, by Jessica Byrne, from more than 30 yards, just cleared the Orient cross bar.
At the other end, Sophie just failed to make contact with Hayley’s cross and soon afterwards, she was thwarted by Catherine Murphy’s tackle as she burst up the middle.
The deciding goal for Actonians was scored in the 80th minute by Jessica Byrne, who picked up a pass from Carla Williams and netted with a low shot from outside the penalty area.
Mariko Engels delivered a cross-cum-shot, which the recently introduced substitute, Sara Lopez Ezzahiri almost reached.
With time running out, Orient were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position in front of the Actonians’ penalty area. This opportunity was wasted when Danielle Griffiths’ weak shot hit the defensive wall.
Orient in their desperate bid for an equaliser were now vulnerable at the back and Actonians had opportunities to take advantage of this. Sara Lopez had a shot blocked and the keeper saved Carla Williams’ shot from the rebound. Then Mariko was thwarted by an important tackle.
Orient came very close to equalising in the 2nd minute of added time, when a low shot from Hayley Barton struck the foot of the post, with a shot which rebounded across the front of the goal before being cleared.
Final Score: Leyton Orient WFC 0 Actonians Ladies 1
The game was well controlled by referee Rachel Marlow and her colleagues.
The Guest of Honour, Mike Jermey, a Life Vice President of Surrey FA was introduced to the teams and match officials before the kick-off and presented the cup and individual mementoes after the match. He chose Actonians’ inspiring captain, Catherine Murphy, as Player of the Match.
Our thanks are given to the members of the Capital Cups Committee, the volunteers from Middlesex FA and our hosts Hanwell Town for helping to make the evening a success.
The attendance was181.
LEYTON ORIENT WFC
Naomi Ogunde, Francesca Cagetti, Danielle Griffiths (capt), Katharine Nutman, Egle Trezzi, Hayley Barton, Lisa Holmback, Leyre Bastyr, Sophie Le Marchand, Hannah Porter and Suaila Cardoso Queni
Substitutes: Valeria Moreno (for Francesca Cagetti 82 mins), Connie Monteil McCann, Rebecca Hirst, Chloe Christison-McNee and Latoya Smith (gkpr) were not used
Manager: Chris Brayford
Assistant Manager: Steve Spencer
Paige Horsnell, Catherine Murphy (capt), Micaela Lopes, Naomi Graham, Carla Williams, Mariko Engels, Simone Wan, Sharon Odofin, Jennifer Laidlaw, Lafe Uche and Jessica Byrne
Substitutes: Melissa Jung (for Jennifer Laidlaw 69 mins), Sara Lopez Ezzahiri (for Sharon Odofin 78 mins), Jodie Regan (95 mins), Chelsea Orridge-Golding and Naomi Swift (gkpr) were not used
Manager: Craig Brown
Coaches: Peter Prickett and Reza Soltani
Physio: Katy Taylor
Referee: Rachel Marlow
Assistant Referees: Steve Earl and Wayne Ingram
Fourth Official: Chloe Longdon
PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A FULL SELECTION OF IMAGES COURTESY OF CHRIS BENN