The Final of the Capital Women’s Junior Cup was played on Wednesday last, 23rd June. This trophy is competed for by teams affiliated to London, Surrey and Middlesex FAs and the Amateur Football Alliance. The competition, which is categorised into three sections, Senior, Intermediate and Junior, has successfully replaced the respective county cups.
Surrey FA were the hosts for this season’s Junior Final and staged the match at their superb state-of-the-art Meadowbank stadium in Dorking.
Both of the evening’s finalists, Edgware Town Ladies and Sport London E Benfica Ladies, are affiliated to Middlesex FA. This meant that, regardless of the outcome of the game, Middlesex clubs would win all three of this season’s Capital Women’s trophies. QPR Women had won the Senior Cup, defeating another Middlesex club, Actonians Ladies in the final and New London Lionesses had beaten Dorking Wanderers in the Intermediate Cup final. Both of these results were achieved by penalty shoot-outs and this match also seemed to be heading the same way for much of its duration.
Edgware Town Ladies had reached this final with victories against Denham United Ladies Reserves (2-1 away), UCL Academicals Ladies (2-1 home), Ashford Town (Middlesex) Ladies B (2-0 away), Sutton United Women U21’s (2-1 away) and Abbey Rangers Ladies Reserves (1-0 away). Sport London E Benfica had beaten Academy Dynamos Women’s (1-0 away), Wandsworth Borough Ladies (7-1 away), Walton Casuals Ladies Reserves (2-0 away), Headstone Manor Ladies (2-1 home) and Actonians Ladies Reserves (1-0 away).
Sport London E Benfica were the more accomplished of the two sides and they enjoyed the bulk of possession. However, the Edgware Town players defended resolutely to stay in the game.
An early free kick by Lauren Currell (15) on its way to clearing the Benfica bar
Lauren Currell’s early free kick, from around 35 yards, cleared the Benfica cross bar and then the remainder of the attempts on goal in the first half were all made by Benfica players.
Claudia Kelly's (21) timely tackle foils Josie Shand (8)
Gaynor Kelman released Josie Shand, who was foiled by Claudia Kelly’s saving tackle. Iselin Vestnes’s header from Gaynor’s corner was headed off of the goal line. Hannah Summers was just beaten to Gaynor’s dangerous cross by goalkeeper, Avril Clark. Adelaide Hayes Elliott was narrowly wide with a low shot from outside the box.
Adelaide made a good run through the Edgware defence but her shot was blocked. Then Gaynor Kelman burst through but couldn’t prevent the ball from running out of play.
Half time score: Edgware Town Ladies 0 Sport London E Benfica Ladies 0
Shazelle Pascall (10) puts Edgware Town 1-0 ahead
Edgware Town went ahead in the 47th minute through Shazelle Pascall, who netted after the Benfica keeper had parried a long shot from Monique Mitchell-Marshall.
A shot from Iselin Vestnes from outside the penalty area puts Benfica level
Iselin Vestnes equalised for Benfica, 3 minutes later, with a shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Benfica then again remained largely on the offensive. A shot from around 25 yards by Shani Minors was parried by goalkeeper, Avril Clark. Lauren Currell cleared off of her goalline. An awkward bouncing ball from Kally Westgar was turned over the bar by Avril Clark. Avril then fell on a low cross from Iselin Vestnes.
Sarah Whale (left of picture) heads Gaynor Kelman's corner...
Iselin headed a well-placed corner from Gaynor Kelman over the bar. Michaela Green was just wide with a touch from Iselin’s cross.
...the ball beats keeper Avril Clark and her defenders for the winning goal...
The winning goal, in the 82nd minute, was headed home by Sarah Whale from Gaynor Kelman’s corner.
...and Sarah (28) celebrates
Final score: Edgware Town Ladies 1 Sport London E Benfica 2
Hope Taylor of Benfica was named as Player of the Match.
EDGWARE TOWN LADIES
Avril Clark, Tanya Clark, Lauren Currell, Claudia Kelly, Lottie Oates, Monique Mitchell-Marshall, Kalina Georgieva, Ivanka Koleva, Polina Avamova, Dawn Clark and Tobby Eniola-Omotunde.
Substitutes (rolling substitutes were used): Shazelle Pascall, Athena Yan, Tineka Pink and Faith Ndebele.
Manager: Avril Clark Coaches: Matthew Sellars & Nathan Stewart.
SPORT LONDON E BENFICA LADIES
Tamsin Wickens, Hope Taylor, Charley Labetkin, Shani Minors, Josie Shand, Iselin Vestnes, Adelaide Hayes Elliot, Gaynor Kelman, Hilary Rees, Shivani Bedi and Hannah Summers.
Substitutes Michaela Green, Amelia Shiner, Kally Westgar, Kat Martin and Sarah Whale.
Manager: Gabe John Assistant Managers: James Ramos & Jose Viana Physio: Kelly Moore.
Referee: Lucy Clark Assistant Referees: Dominic Ferris and Elle Kaplicz Fourth Official: Steve Ferris.
Our official photographer Chris Benn, as ever, has provided some fantastic imagery from the game. If using these photos please give credit.
Chris has selected 10 highlight images which can be found here.
Readers wishing to view the full gallery of images can find these here.