Lewes winners of the Sussex Girls Challenge Cup (Under-16s)

Dominant Lewes lift Girls Challenge Cup

Mile Oak Wanderers 2 - 7 Lewes

Lewes FC U16 girls produced a superb display of attacking dominance to win the Sussex Girls Challenge Cup at the expense of Mile Oak Wanderers at Culver Road on Sunday evening.

 Goals from Katie Cooper, Becky Simmons, a brace from Kitty Chalkley and a hat-trick from Chloe Nye saw Lewes lift the trophy for the first time in emphatic style. Hannah Goffi and Amy Brown added late consolations for Mile Oak on a night of extraordinary goals.

Neither team were able to get into a smooth passing rhythm in the opening exchanges, with both goalkeepers remaining relatively untroubled for the first 15 minutes. It would be Lewes to break the deadlock in the 19th minute, and in some fashion too. Cooper stood over a free-kick some 40 yards from goal, and saw her speculative effort loop over Fabrizia De Felice into the net. The blustery conditions didn’t help the Mile Oak keeper, but it was an astonishing strike nonetheless. 

Lewes soon began to assume control of the game, and they were rewarded once more in the 33rd minute, as Chalkley headed in from a corner to double their advantage. They added a third on the stroke of half-time as Nye rounded De Felice after a fantastic solo run, and slotted home into an empty net. 

Only three minutes after the restart, Lewes had a fourth. Nye was involved once again down the right-hand side, as she set up Simmons for a tap-in. Simmons could have added a fifth for Lewes in the 49th minute, had it not been for brave goalkeeping from De Felice to dive down at the feet of the attacker and claim the ball well.

Mile Oak never caved in and always looked for opportunities to get the ball forward, but Lewes always looked the more likely to score next. They did exactly that in the 57th minute, as Simmons turned provider for Nye who lashed home her second and Lewes’ fifth.

Chalkley would then grab her second of the night and Lewes’ sixth in the 61st minute. Nye, involved once more, found her in acres of space through the middle and she curled in a beautiful shot past De Felice. The game as a contest had long gone, but Mile Oak refused to throw in the towel.

They continued to press and were eventually rewarded for their efforts in the 71st minute. Goffi picked up the ball 35 yards from goal, before unleashing a wonder strike which Moulding could only watch go over her head and into the net. A thoroughly deserved goal for Goffi to restore a bit of parity for Mile Oak.

The joy was short-lived, however, as Nye completed her hat-trick in the 75th minute after a great burst of pace down the right-hand side, before calmly lofting the ball over De Felice. With virtually the last kick of the game, Brown managed to bag a second for Mile Oak as she thundered home a low shot from outside the area. Lewes were utterly dominant throughout but Mile Oak can no doubt take something away from the defeat.

Lewes managers Paul Critchfield and David Sheppard were delighted with their team’s victory: “To pick one or two players of our team out would be wrong, because they’ve all worked hard. Some have had better games than others, but they’re one team and they know that. We’re really happy for them

“When you’ve got pace to burn like our strikers have, and the determination, the goals came. The finishing from our angle was clinical, which is what we work on, but to see it in the flesh is spot on.”

Lewes win the Sussex Girls Challenge Cup (Under-16s)
HIGHLIGHTS - Mile Oak Wanderers vs. Lewes
Watch highlights of the Sussex Girls Challenge Cup Final (Under-16s) between Mile Oak Wanders and Lewes.

(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 Your Instant Replay)

Stats: (Mile Oak Wanderers-Lewes)
Goals: 2-7; Shots: 7-15; Shots-on-target: 4-11; Corners: 4-6; Offsides: 1-2; Fouls: 2-6; Yellow cards: 0-0; Red cards: 0-0. 

Mile Oak Wanderers: De Felice, Hepworth, Barnett, Croucher, Emery ©, Mcculloch, Laskiewicz, Richardson, Wainwright, Wainwright, Goffi. 
Subs: Brown, Burrows, May, Wilson, Marshall.

Lewes: Moulding, Critchfield ©, Critchfield, Sheppard, Cooper, Simmons, Chalkley, Young, Cranford, Coliero-Swann, Plumb.
Subs: Hasib, Stevens, Nye, Frith, Creese. 

Match report by Ben Knapton