A dominant performance from Eastbourne Ladies and Girls over rivals Oakwood Girls saw them lift the Sussex Girls Challenge Cup (under-14s) on Sunday.
The cup final finished 0-2 favouring winners Eastbourne, although the scoreline could have been much greater if it weren’t for a superb performance from Oakwood’s goalkeeper.
Oakwood’s No.1 Maysuree Paterson made countless saves throughout the match to keep the goal tally down but, unfortunately for her, it wasn’t enough to stop the quality of Eastbourne from winning.
Eastbourne manager Paul Critchfield was pleased with the result despite the number of missed chances in the game.
“The girls played well, they missed a few opportunities but I had fourteen players and I wanted to get them all on the pitch and I thought we did a great job.
“I don’t think our goal was troubled too much, it was a great all round performance from the girls and in their first final, I think they did really well.”
Oakwood knew that Eastbourne’s top scorer Nicole Mackay would pose a big threat to them and they quickly realised Mackay would be a handful to handle.
Mackay didn’t waste any time in troubling Oakwood’s defence, her first opportunity came onto her left-foot after turning Emma Webb and smashing her shot down to the keeper’s left, Paterson produced a good save to keep the effort out.
Another chance came shortly after for Mackay when a well-worked corner played to the edge of the box saw her shot well saved from distance.
As the first-half went on, Eastbourne gained momentum. A wild clearance from an Eastbourne defender fell kindly to Mackay who beat three opponents for pace but could only shoot wide of the post.
The best chance of the half fell to substitute Chloe Nye. Katie Cooper brilliantly flicked the ball over Oakwood’s defence to set Nye through for a 1-on-1 with Paterson, but again the keeper got the better of Eastbourne’s strike-force and stopped Nye from breaking the deadlock.
Eastbourne started the second-half just as they did the first. Straight from kick-off Nye ran through on goal but could only find the woodwork.
It took until the 47th minute for the first goal to come; Nye drove at the Oakwood defence and fired a low shot past Paterson and into the corner of the net.
Five minutes later Eastbourne’s lead was doubled by top scorer Mackay. A well-timed run set Mackay on her way and she dribbled past her marker and fired the ball through the legs of Paterson.
More efforts rained in on Paterson’s goal came right up to the end, including a fantastic last minute 1-on-1 save from a Minnie Shephard effort to stop Eastbourne from netting a third.
Stats: (Oakwood Girls-Eastbourne Ladies and Girls)
Goals: 0-2; Shots: 4-27; Shots-on-target: 2-15; Corners: 0-12; Fouls: 1-5; Offside: 0-1; Yellow Cards: 0-0; Red Cards: 0-0.
Oakwood Girls: Paterson, Webb, McCabe, Gunning-Shaw, Goldfinch, Hoare, O’Farrell, Tabot, Spooner.
Eastbourne Ladies and Girls: Pisani-Cleland, A. Critchfield, Burcombe, Hasib, Cooper, Sheppard, M. Critchfield, Cranford, Mackay.
Subs: Stevens, Elliot, Frith, Nye, Carr.
Match report by George Patient