The Final of the Capital Women’s Senior Cup was played on Tuesday last, 25th May. 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.
Middlesex FA were the hosts for this season’s Senior Final and chose to utilise the excellent facilities provided by Bedfont Sports FC. Fittingly both finalists, Actonians Ladies and Queens Park Rangers Women are affiliated to Middlesex FA. Actonians were the holders of the trophy, having beaten Leyton Orient WFC in the 2019 final, by a single goal scored in the 80th minute.
In recent seasons both of these clubs have provided many players for the successful Middlesex FA Women’s representative team. This evening’s squads have amassed 66 such appearances between them. Also, between them, they provided 9 of the Middlesex squad which won the Southern Counties Championship in season 2018-19.
The teams were evenly matched and they provided the limited all ticket attendance of 317 with an entertaining game. They could not be separated until the 12th and final kick in the penalty shoot-out had been taken. Referee Paul Savva controlled this competitive but generally sporting match with just the right touch. He had to show 5 yellow cards (4 to QPR). Paul received good support from his team of officials.
Actonians took the lead after 3 minutes, through a lob by Roschelle Shakes.
Roschelle Shakes' lob opens the scoring for Actonians in the fourth minute
Play then moved quickly up and down the field. QPR’s Erin Pope shot on the turn but was just off-target. Actonians’ Abbie Morris won the ball in the QPR penalty box but she too fired wide. Kasha Petit’s testing low drive was well saved by Kinga Golebiowski in Actonian’s goal. Lucie White, QPR’s custodian made a brave diving save at Ashleigh Ward’s feet. Abbie Morris just cleared the QPR bar, after good work by Sharon Odofin.
Demi Edwards of QPR makes it 1-1
QPR equalised after 30 minutes, when Demi Edwards netted, after dispossessing a defender.
Actonians pressed in the attempt to regain the lead as the half time interval approached. Abbie Morris released Sharon Odofin, whose dangerous run ended when she was crowded out by a massed defence. Then Abbie shot wide from the edge of the penalty area.
Half time score: Actonians Ladies 1 Queens Park Rangers Women 1
An in-swinging corner by Actonians’ Meila D’Santos was punched out from under the cross-bar by the under-pressure Lucie White. Then Paige Horsnell made a brave save at Ashleigh Ward’s feet.
In the 54th minute Actonians captain, Catherine Murphy, had to be stretchered from the field, after sustaining a nasty injury to her ankle.
A long range shot from Meila D'Santos puts Actonians 2-1 ahead
Meila D’Santos went close with a volley but then regained the lead for Actonians, after 69 minutes, with a shot from 35 yards. Ashleigh Ward almost increased this lead, when she went on a good run, which ended with her hitting the post.
Referee Paul Savva points to the penalty spot in the 86th minute...
QPR equalised again after 85 minutes. Ashleigh Ward handled in the penalty area and Ellie Searle made no mistake from the spot.
... and QPR's Ellie Searle converts the kick to make the score 2-2
Alessandra Berreca hit the side netting, following a sustained Actonians raid but despite the 6 minutes additional time, that was the nearest anybody came to scoring a winning goal.
Score after 90 minutes: Actonians Ladies 2 Queens Park Rangers Women 2
The first penalty takers, Alessandra Berreca (Actonians) and Natalie Skiverton (QPR) were successful.
Then QPR keeper, Lucie White, pushed Sharon Odofin’s kick onto the goalframe and Kasha Petit put QPR 2-1 ahead.
Ashleigh Harte (Actonians) fired over the bar but Paige Horsnell saved Laura Hennessey’s shot.
Abbie Morris scored with her kick and then Paige saved from Eshe Davies putting the scores level at 2-2, after 4 sets of kicks.
The 5th pair of kickers, Ashleigh Ward (Actonians) and Ellie Searle (QPR) were both successful, although Paige got a hand to Ellie’s shot.
The Actonians keeper misses her team's vital sixth penalty
Paige took the first of the “sudden death” penalties and hit it wide, allowing Vicky Grieve to win the cup for Queens Park Rangers.
Vicky Grieve nets the deciding penalty
Penalty shoot-out score: Actonians Ladies 3 Queens Park Rangers Women 4
Bob Leeds, the Chairman of the Capital Women’s Cup Committee, chose Meila D’Santos (Actonians) as Player of the Match.
The winning team with the cup
Our thanks are given once again to Bedfont Sports, for allowing us the use of their facilities and to Terry Reader and his colleagues for their assistance during the evening. Samantha Read and her colleagues at County HQ, who were present in considerable force, must be commended on the success of the evening. Sean Rudd was an impressive match day announcer. We were also grateful to Daniel Harvey, Chairman of the Middlesex FA Youth Council and his committee members, for their contribution.
Kinga Golebiowski, Catherine Murphy (capt), Meila D’Santos, Naomi Graham, Abbie Morris, Alessandra Barreca, Roschelle Shakes, Jennie Brereton, Sharon Odofin, Ashleigh Ward and Rhiannon Ishmael.
Substitutes (rolling substitutes were used): Paige Horsnell, Ashleigh Harte, Micaela Lopes, Justine Buckmire and Madeleine Hills.
Manager: Danny Harrigan Assistant Manager: Sinead Friel Coach: Charlotte Stanton Physio: Katy Taylor.
QUEENS PARK RANGERS WOMEN
Lucie White, Amelia Cutler, Ellie Searle, Afiya Johnson, Vicky Grieve, Merle Redhead-Ling, Katie Akerman, Jenny Moore, Kasha Petit, Erin Pope and Demi Edwards.
Substitutes: Ailish Carolan, Natalie Skiverton, Melanie Hall, Eshe Davies and Laura Hennessey.
Manager: Steve Quashie Assistant Manager: Jon Whittingham GK Coach: Callum Stalhmann Physio: Chirag Parmar.
Referee: Paul Savva Assistant Referees: Sarah Day and Matthew Roper Fourth Official: Daniel Maragh.
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 9 highlight images which can be found here.
Readers wishing to view the full gallery of images can find these here.
An online programme was produced ahead of the match and can be downloaded here.