Haywards Heath Town vs. Worthing United Youth HERO

Worthing United claim third successive Girls’ Cup

Words by Sophie Munro
Haywards Heath Town 0-4 Worthing United Youth

It was a game to remember for Worthing United Youth in the Sussex Girls’ Challenge Cup Final (Under-14s), as they beat Haywards Heath Town 4-0 yesterday morning at Culver Road to lift a County Cup for the third season running. 

James Glover's side came out fighting as they quickly created chances in the early minutes of the game. 

Indeed, it didn’t take long before Haywards Heath’s goalkeeper Fia Skagerlind was called into action, denying Worthing’s Jasmine Browning who’s well struck shot from range needed saving.

Just 10 minutes later though, and Worthing United’s pressure paid off.

Picking the ball up from a throw-in just outside the box, Esme Harris showed her class, taking a touch and getting the beating of her defender and firing a shot on goal.

Skagerlind did well to get a glove on the shot and force it onto the crossbar but could only watch as the ball dropped into the path of the onrushing Browning, who powered the strike into the back of the net.

Haywards Heath Town quickly responded well, and in the 31st minute, they had their biggest chance of the half. 

An impressive run from Isabella Owen saw her bearing down on United goalkeeper Billie Price, who did well to make the initial save, but was indebted to her defender Abi Sparks, who was there on the line to block the follow up shot from Lilly Geall.

Half-time saw Worthing United leading the game 1-0, but after the break it didn’t take long for them to double their lead. 

In the 38th minute Mia Balmer, a constant threat for United going forward, stormed down the flank through the Haywards Heath defence before sending her shot past Skagerlind and into the top of the net making the score 2-0. 

Not content with just the one goal, Balmer didn’t have to wait long for her second. In the 52nd minute, she picked up the ball from the halfway line, and with supreme confidence, charged forward into the box, and when faced with Skagerlind, fired her shot into the bottom corner to make it 3-0. 

Despite the score, Haywards Heath continued to run after every loose ball, constantly trying to get themselves back into the game, yet the Worthing United backline stood resolute.

With just a few minutes left on the clock, Worthing capped off an impressive attacking display, adding a fourth through Browning once again, who picked up the loose ball to then burst through the middle of the pitch and slot her shot in via the post to secure victory for her side. 

Speaking after the game, Worthing captain, Georgia Glover and vice-captain, Esme Harris shared their thoughts on the Final. 

“We were nervous going into it because we both have played for Haywards Heath, so it was very nerve-racking, but it was a good game,” said Harris. 

“It was a challenging game, but we pulled through as a team,” added Glover.

The girls on either side have played with one another before, and with such a high level of familiarity, did that make things harder or easier going into the final?

“I think it makes it a bit easier because we know how they play, and we know them player by player,” Harris said.

“We know the formation, the same way they did, which also helped us,” Glover added, “They also knew I was going to be playing upfront and the kind of passes that would be played to me, but in the end we stuck to our plan, and I’m so happy we managed to win the trophy for a third time!”

Haywards Heath Town vs. Worthing United Youth
Haywards Heath Town vs. Worthing United Youth - 28-04-24
Highlights from the Sussex Girls' Challenge Cup Final (Under-14s) - powered by Your Instant Replay!

(Video highlights are available above and on YouTube - courtesy of Your Instant Replay)

(A selection of photographs can be found on Facebook - courtesy of Simon Roe Photography)

Stats: (Haywards Heath Town-Worthing United Youth): Goals (0-4), Shots (9-8), On Target (2-6), Corners (6-3), Fouls (0-0), Offside (3-1), Yellow Cards (0-0), Red Cards (0-0).

Haywards Heath Town: Skagerlind (GK), Fouracres, Woollard, Zorn, Sadler, Ross, Weatherstone, Tindall, Owen, Rainey, Pritchard. 
Subs: Geall, Linton.

Worthing United Youth: Price (GK), Sparkes, Glover, Christie, Robertson, Harris, Ciaramella, Tiangco, Balmer, O’Brien, Browning.
Subs: Peckham, Townsend-Heath, Newman.

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