Ladies Win LCFA Women’s Challenge Cup

AFC Liverpool LadiesAFC Liverpool Ladies claimed the inaugural Liverpool County FA Women’s Challenge Cup after a 4-2 win against Tranmere Rovers Ladies.

Rebecca Hirst gave Rovers the lead before Antonia Goudie levelled the score and then a hat-trick from Aimee O’Keefe put the Reds into a commanding half time lead. Though Rachel Davison pulled one back midway through the second half, AFC Liverpool Ladies comfortably held onto their lead to claim the silverware.

In front of a sizeable crowd at the Liverpool County FA headquarters at Walton Hall Avenue, it was the Reds who had the brighter start and they almost took an early lead when Michelle Lee’s corner was sent towards her own net by Lucy Vaughan but fortunately for the defender the ball flew straight into the arms of Emma Gould.

Tranmere Rovers then imposed themselves upon the game and only some stout defending from the Reds prevented them from taking the lead earlier than they did.

Nicky Corbett got enough of a block on Monique Christian’s shot to deflect it behind and from the resulting corner, Katie Moody’s header went straight at Sam Marsh.

Then Davison weaved her way in from the right touchline but from a tight angle couldn’t squeeze the ball past the Reds’ keeper and from the corner, Marsh had to be alert to tip over from Corbett, who inadvertently almost headed in Nikkita Douglas’ corner.

The very next delivery saw Alli Coleman plant one right under the crossbar and only the intervention of Rachel Parry kept the scoresheet blank but the pressure soon told as Hirst collected Davison’s cut back before sending a shot, via a slight deflection, into the far corner.

The Reds responded almost immediately through a swift counterattack that sent O’Keefe free but she blasted over the bar from the edge of the box. However, the number ten showed more composure shortly after when she collected Wendy Brereton’s ball down the inside right channel to square for Goudie, who turned the ball home from close range at the far post.

Less than a minute later, persistence from Goudie as she chased down and harried Vicky Yee off the ball almost paid dividends but from a tight angle, the ball rolled into the side netting.

The Reds took the lead just after the half hour when Helen Cunningham’s through ball split the Tranmere Rovers’ back line and one on one with Gould, O’Keefe finished with the outside of her foot past an exposed Rovers’ keeper.

As AFC Liverpool took control of the game, another quick counterattack saw Corbett burst through the middle to collect O’Keefe’s pass but the midfielder elected to shoot early and her shot flew high over the bar and O’Keefe almost claimed her second after weaving her way through the Rovers’ defence but Gould managed to hold onto the ball at the second attempt just before it rolled over the line.

O’Keefe wasn’t to be denied her second for long though. Running onto Cunningham’s long hook forward, she beat two defenders to the ball before rounding Gould to knock the ball into an empty net, and the hat-trick was completed two minutes before the break as her pace took her straight through the middle of Rovers’ defence before she calmly slotted the ball past the keeper.

The second half was quite as free flowing and consequently chances were limited for both sides and it wasn’t until twenty minutes had passed that one serious opportunity arrived and Davison took full advantage as she rounded Marsh to give Tranmere Rovers some hope. However, they couldn’t capitalise on any momentum that may have brought and indeed it was AFC Liverpool who could, and perhaps, should have added to their tally.

Goudie chased down a long ball only to see her shot saved by Gould while O’Keefe managed to nick the ball ahead of both Vaughan and Gould but was unlucky to see her effort come back off the post.

O’Keefe then sent in a cross that was almost converted by Goudie before the speedy forward bore down on goal only to scuff her shot, which inadvertently sent the ball into the path of O’Keefe but from short range, the striker somehow sent the ball wide of the post.

It wasn’t to matter though as the final whistle was blown shortly afterwards and AFC Liverpool Ladies’ celebrations began.

AFC Liverpool Ladies 4-2 Tranmere Rovers Ladies
Goudie 22′                                                             Hirst 15′
O’Keefe 33′, 40′, 43′                                        Davison 65′

AFC Liverpool Ladies: 1.Sam Marsh 2.Karen Graham 3.Lesley Toner 4.Rachel Parry 5.Nicky Corbett 6.Kayleigh Hewitt 7.Helen Cunningham 8.Wendy Brereton 9.Michelle Lee 10.Aimee O’Keefe 11.Antonia Goudie 12.Toni Fitzgerald 13.Sarah Barr 14.Jessica Lomax 15.Jess Nelson
Tranmere Rover Ladies: 1.Emma Gould 2.Vicky Yee 3.Georgia Williams 4.Lucy Vaughan 5.Steph Oscroft 6.Katie Moody 7.Nikkita Douglas 8.Rebecca Hirst 9.Rachel Davison 10.Monique Christian 11.Alli Coleman 12.Ellie Fowler 13.Rachel Kelly 14.Steph Holmes 15.Emma Drury 16.Kennadey Rushton

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