East Grinstead Meads winners of the Sussex Girls' Challenge Cup (under 12s)

Fisher brace helps Meads to Cup glory

East Grinstead Meads 3 - 1 Oakwood

East Grinstead Meads proved too strong for Oakwood as they won the inaugural Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup (under-12s) on Saturday morning at Culver Road.

Meads had the better of their opponents for the majority of the game, and the scoreline could have been more convincing but for the brilliance of Oakwood goalkeeper Tajah Kwatia. She was powerless however to keep out Katie Smyth’s early strike and two goals from the impressive Hannah Fisher. Shannon Watts did pull a goal back for Oakwood in the second-half but it proved only to be a consolation.

East Grinstead has a great opportunity to take the lead with only five minutes gone. Emma Kilfiger played Orla Humphrey in behind the Oakwood defence but as Kwatia advanced out of her goal to narrow the angle she could only shoot just wide of the target

However, it wasn’t long before East Grinstead did take the lead, with just eleven minutes on the clock Smyth sneaked round the back to connect with Kilfiger’s deep cross and slot the ball calmly past Kwatia.

Just four minutes later and the lead was doubled. Captain Annie Lyons free-kick fell nicely for Fisher in the box and she turned her marker brilliantly before dispatching the ball into the bottom corner.

Humphrey drilled a low shot from the edge of box that Kwatia did well to hold as she dived across her goal, and Chloe Obee put two almost identical opportunities just wide of the far post as Meads dominated proceedings.

Before the half was out Fisher tested Kwatia from distance which the keeper gathered at the second attempt, and there was still time for Obee to shoot straight at Kwatia when well placed.

Oakwood started the second-half brightly but found themselves further behind with forty minutes on the clock. Kilfiger’s long throw found Obee and her shot was saved by Kwatia with the rebound falling into the path of Fisher to fire home for her second and East Grinstead’s third.

Kwatia saved smartly at her near post to deny Humphrey, and five minutes later produced a fine save to keep out Erin Oakley’s effort that was arrowing into the top corner.

With seven minutes to go Oakwood gave themselves a glimmer of hope as Libby Mean’s ball into the box was bundled past East Grinstead goalkeeper Tori McKnight at the second attempt by Watts.

The goal only galvanised Meads though and there were no signs of a comeback, as Kwatia was again called into action to make a terrific double save to keep out efforts from Fisher and Obee.

Fisher, searching for her hat-trick, stung the palms of the goalkeeper with a rasping drive from distance, and in the final minute Obee raced away from defenders but could only fire into the side netting from close range.

East Grinstead Meads celebrate lifting the Sussex Girls' Challenge Cup (under-12s)
HIGHLIGHTS - East Grinstead Meads vs. Oakwood
Watch highlights of East Grinstead Meads' strong performance that saw them win 3-1 against Oakwood at Culver Road.

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)
(Video highlights are available above and also on YouTube - courtesy of FilmMyMatch)

Stats: (East Grinstead Meads-Oakwwod)
Goals: 3-1; Shots: 18-5; Shots-on-target: 11-4; Corners: 4-4; Fouls: 4-1; Offside: 3-3; Yellow cards: 0-0; Red cards: 0-0.

East Grinstead Meads: McKnight, Smyth, Kilkenny, Oakley, Fisher, Kilfiger, Obee, Humphrey, Lyons.
Subs: Martin-Aplin, Preece.

Oakwood: Kwatia, Semani, Jordan-Fry, Rudge, Jones, Adolfsdottir, Ferreira-Lodice, Watts, Mean.

Match report by Darren Ford