Worthing Town Women 1-3 Newhaven Ladies (HT 0-0)
Newhaven Ladies reached their second cup final of the season with victory over Worthing Town courtesy of two goals from top scorer Chloe Winchester and one from the skipper Ellie Coade on her birthday.
After the enormous efforts in the Sussex Women’s Challenge Trophy Final on Thursday the squad was slightly decimated through unavailability and injury, however it was the Dockers who started the strongest.
Inside the first ten minutes Lauren Smith sent in numerous crosses from the left which were met by Winchester’s header that just went wide or just evaded Lucy Culley at the far post.
Eventually a cross from Smith was parried to Winchester who scored but it was disallowed for offside.
Lucy Collinson had the next chance but her shot was well saved. This was followed by a break down the right by Culley and her cross was met by Winchester but again saved by the keeper down to her left to push it round the post.
Smith’s corner found the head of Ellie Coade but she could not direct it goalwards. A double chance soon followed for Collinson and Culley but the ball would not go in.
At the other end a break by Worthing kept Hannah Paul on her toes when she saved smartly down low (HT 0-0).
The second half saw the Dockers kicking down the slope with the wind behind and immediately Smith broke through down the left and sent a shot just over the bar. A repeat of this chance followed within minutes and this time Smith hit the post.
Eventually the deadlock was broken when Chelsea Cook sent in a deep cross from right back and Winchester watched the ball over her shoulder and volleyed into the top corner in one movement for contender of goal of the season. It was a brilliant finish (0-1 60 mins).
Worthing bounced back and pushed Newhaven back up the slope and had a chance on the break which narrowly just went wide. Collinson then picked up a yellow card for a late challenge as tired legs on a heavy pitch started to creep in.
The Dockers reasserted the pressure and both Culley and Smith were breaking down the flanks and getting dangerous crosses in, however it was Jas Godden playing in midfield who assisted for the second when she picked the ball up in space and played to Winchester on the edge of the box. Winchester took a touch, cushioned the ball off her knee and swivelled on the edge of the box to volley into the bottom corner for another fantastic finish (0-2 70 mins).
Further chances fell to Collinson and Winchester but the shots were blocked as the Dockers took complete control. Charlotte Lloyd with a strong sliding tackle had to be replaced as she incurred a knee injury, however this didn’t stop Newhaven who scored a third when Winchester set up Coade who made no mistake from the edge of the box to make it 0-3 with ten minutes left.
Worthing then did manage to get a goal in the closing minutes as they broke through the middle and the striker slotted it past Paul into the bottom corner. And in injury time Paige Fowler picked up a yellow card for kicking the ball away and Worthing were reduced to ten when their midfield player was sent off for foul and abusive language which seemed a bit harsh at the time.
The final whistle was met by relief by a tired Newhaven side who had managed to get through the game and secure another cup final on Friday 27th April against Saltdean who beat Worthing United 4-2.
Joint Manager Alex Ladd was happy with the outcome: “Sunday capped off what has been a momentous week for the ladies,” said Ladd. “Once again the ladies stepped up and delivered. On a very heavy pitch we tried to play our football. Lauren continued her fine form delivering the crosses and we had some good chances but patience was the order of the day.
“Second half we picked up the pace a bit and we got reward for the hard work we put in in the first half. Chloe scored a couple of classy finishes and Ellie (on her birthday) scored a cracker as well. It was great to see Lucy Culley make her debut, she did really well.
“It was a great team performance, we spoke about looking after the football and letting it work for us and we did just that. Everyone should be very proud of their week, another tough game on Sunday. Well done ladies.”
And Joint Manager Andy Cook was equally relieved with the win: “We knew that despite beating Worthing Town twice this season already this was not going to be as comfortable,” added Cook. “We were struggling numbers wise for various reasons and those who did play had to play through the pain barrier so we were probably running at 50%, but the ladies did us proud and got through it and that’s exactly what we asked for.
“We knew we couldn’t press like we normally do so it was all about being patient and waiting for the chances to come. The pitch was heavy as well which didn’t help so we couldn’t play the flowing football we normally do.
“However, the goals we did score were a bit special. Chloe’s first from Chelsea’s ball over the top was quite simply brilliant. For me it was goal of the season. The way it dropped over her shoulder and she volleys it in the other corner was breath-taking and just as good as Jamie Vardy’s yesterday! And her second was brilliant too.
“Great that Ellie scored on her birthday and she was magnificent as ever. But full credit to everyone today who pulled their boots on. They really put in a shift. Well done ladies another cup final.”
Newhaven: Hannah Paul, Chelsea Cook, Jade Harker, Ellie Coade (c), Paige Bashford-Robertson, Charlotte Lloyd (Jas Godden), Lucy Culley, Lucy Collinson, Chloe Winchester, Paige Fowler, Lauren Smith. Unused subs: Paige Ripley, Katie Bothwell.