This season’s Capital Women’s Senior Cup Final, between Ashford Town (Middlesex) and Dulwich Hamlet was played on Tuesday, 3rd May at the Meadowbank Ground in Dorking. Our roving team of Chris Benn (photographer) and Jim Taylor (reporter) were in attendance.
This trophy is competed for by clubs affiliated to either London, Surrey or Middlesex Football Associations or to the Amateur Football Alliance. The competition, which is divided into Senior, Intermediate and Junior Sections, has successfully replaced the respective county cups. Surrey FA were the hosts for this match.
Ashford Town (Middlesex) had reached this final by defeating fellow Middlesex club, Actonians Ladies 2-0 at home in round 1, AFC Wimbledon Ladies 2-1 away in the quarter-final and Charlton Athletic Women U21’s 4-2 at home in the semi-final.
Dulwich Hamlet had beaten London Seaward Women 4-1 at home, Crystal Palace FC Girls Development Squad 1-0, also at home and Fulham FC Women in a penalty shoot-out, after a 1-1 away draw.
The teams and officials were presented to Surrey FA President, Ray Lewis and Helen Ogle, the Surrey FA Football Development Officer, before the match.
The pre-match presentations
The contestants served up a very competitive and entertaining match on a pleasantly warm evening. Ashford Town had the better of the possession in the first half but only led by a single goal at the interval. Dulwich Hamlet took the initiative at the start of the second period and put their opponents under pressure. The result remained in the balance, until Ashley Cheatley doubled her side’s lead with a superb strike, five minutes before the end of normal time.
Dulwich Hamlet started aggressively and Sophie Manzie released Madi Parsonson, whose final ball was intercepted.
The Dulwich Hamlet keeper takes a dangerous corner from Alissa Down
Ruby Linton had a chance for Ashford but the Dulwich keeper, Rebecca Sargent, scrambled her close-range effort away for a corner. A dangerous in-swinging corner from Alissa Down was handled competently by Rebecca. Anya Kinnane then got her head to two more of Alissa’s corners but couldn’t quite direct either of them accurately enough to trouble Rebecca . Then Jade Johnson’s shot flew over the crossbar.
Lavana Neufville plays the ball through to Ashley Cheatley...
Ashley Cheatley gave Ashford the lead in the 29th minute, capitalising on Lavana Neufville’s through ball.
...and scores Ashford Town's first goal
Dulwich hit back but the Ashford defence held firm. Sophie Shults saved with her feet from Lucy Monkman, who had been set up by Sophie Manzi.
Sophie Shults saves with her feet from Lucy Monkman
Ashley had an opportunity to increase Ashford’s advantage 4 minutes before the interval but her shot was just wide.
Half time score: Ashford Town (Middlesex) 1 Dulwich Hamlet 0
Dulwich Hamlet took the initiative at the start of the second period but Ashford continued to defend well and denied them a significant opening.
The first shot on goal after the interval came after 15 minutes play, from Lavana, whose shot dipped to hit the Dulwich crossbar. Then Alissa’s long shot was comfortably taken by Rebecca Sargent.
...and her shot rebounds off the bar
Dulwich continued with their attempts to find a way through Ashford’s rear-guard. Asia Harbour Brown’s ground shot was fielded by Sophie Shults. Newly introduced substitute, Saskia Philp’s low shot also ended up in Sophie’s hands. Then Lucy Monkman’s strike was deflected narrowly wide of the upright.
Ashley Cheatley put Ashford two up in the 85th minute with a glorious drive from the edge of the box into the roof of the net. Rebecca Sargent didn’t have time to contemplate a save.
...and the ball hits the net
The final scoring attempt, during the 2nd of the 5 added minutes, came from Ashley but her shot was saved.
Final score: Ashford Town (Middlesex) 2 Dulwich Hamlet 0
Both teams should be pleased with their performances during this splendid game of football. Dulwich Hamlet made a terrific contribution towards the evening’s entertainment with a determined battling performance. They just lacked the means to break through the solid Ashford Town defence.
Helen Ogle, assisted by Ray Lewis, presented the Trophy and individual mementoes at the conclusion of the game. Unsurprisingly, Helen named Ashley Cheatley as Player of the Match.
Ashford Town (Middlesex): Sophie Shults, Anya Kinnane, Charlotte Baker (Millie Maggioni 89 min), Hannah Pearson (Laura Huse 80), Kalani Peart (Chloe Farrell 70), Jordanne Hoesli-Atkins, Lavana Neufville, Jade Johnson, Alissa Down (capt), Ruby Linton and Ashley Cheatley.
Unused substitute: Alise Frise.
Manager: Will Boye.
Dulwich Hamlet: Rebecca Sargent, Madi Parsonson, Chana Hinds, Rosie Stone, Sarah Walters, Brittany Saylor (capt) (Anna Stones 87), Sophie Manzi, Anna Jowle (Saskia Philp 67), Lucy Monkman, Asia Harbour Brown and Rhea Gall (Minnie Cruttwell 85).
Unused substitutes: Ceylon Hickman and Hannah Baptiste.
Manager: Ryan Dempsey.
Referee: Martin Etheridge Assistant Referees: Jackie Bisley and Rod Van Niekerk Fourth Official: Eliza Bisley.
Our congratulations are given to Ashford Town (Middlesex) on a wonderful season. They finished it as champions of the London & South East Regional Women’s League, with an unbeaten record of 18 wins and 2 draws and a goal difference of +81. Their reward will be promotion to Step 4, to play in the South East Division One of the National League next season.
Apart from their triumph in the Capital Cup, they have reached the final of the Combined Counties League Cup and enjoyed a magnificent run to round 3 of the FA Women’s Cup.
An acknowledgment to the photographer
As ever we thank Chris & Jim for covering this game, Chris and Jim have reviewed the photos and identified some of their favourite shots from the key moments. Chris has also very kindly provided a full album of imagery.
Chris & Jim's Picks
Full Album Courtesy of Chris Benn