Our final match of the day is the Kent Reliance Women’s Plate Final, between Maidstone United Girls and Ladies FC and Kent Football United FC. Kick-off is at 4.30pm at the Gallagher Stadium.
A first round draw saw Maidstone face and knock out the holders of this competition, a real battle against Swale Ladies which went into extra time, early parts of the season saw us play with bare 11 or lower numbers and this game started 11v11. After an injury to our Vice Captain, Maidstone played on with 10 and sealed the win in extra time thanks to a Amanda Beeput free-kick with 10 minutes to play giving the team a 2-4 away win.
Kent Football United had the luck of the draw on their side, and made it straight through to the second round of the competition.
Round two Maidstone were away again but this time to Dartford Ladies. This match again saw the girls play with 11 but after 15 minutes go down to 10 after a clumsy challenge took out their right back. The girls rallied round and took a healthy 1-3 lead by half time but not after scary moments and a game changing save from Helen Marsh. Nicola Morris bagged two and Emma Snare got her first goal of the season but with Dartford getting one back set up a interesting second half. Dartford through everything at us and got back into the game at 3-3, the girls were staring at extra time but with minutes remaining Nicola Morris stepped up to grab her hat-trick and put us through to another round, 3-4 away win recorded.
For their second round match, Kent Football United put on an outstanding performance against one of the most experienced sides in their league, Glebe FC. It was a great display of free flowing attacking football which saw the girls race into a 5-0 half time lead and control the game from start to finish. Goals came from from Courtnay Ward (2), Rachel Stevens (2), Charley MacNeil and Lucy Cockerill
A lot happened between the second round and the quarter final for Maidstone United. Emma Snare was getting married so hung up her boots and they lost a couple more players due to family issues. So the squad took a few twists, with the signing of Natalie Stacey from Castle Colts who was not cup tied and stepped out into her debut against Margate for the Quarter Final in the biggest game of the season and one which was nearly thrown away. Natalie scored twice in seven minutes in a real toe to toe cup battle with us squeaking through 6-5 with our saviour Amanda Beeput sealing the win and again with minutes to spare.
For their Quarter-Final match, KFU Has another home tie played in adverse weather conditions as the rain poured throughout. This upset the rhythm of passing play in the match but the girls dug in and battled well to gain a deserved win. KFU scored at valuable times in the game to put them into the final four of the plate! Goals were scored by Lucy Cockerill, Courtnay Ward and Molly Leighton
Maidstone’s Semi-Final brought all the squad together. On a good old park pitch the game of ping pong began against Thanet Colts. Not the greatest Semi-Final but one not for the faint hearted Jessica Flisher scored a typical breath taking goal, a volley that put any doubt to the tie with ten minutes to play and saw us through to our first Cup Final of the season for us; a hard fought 2-5 win.
Phoenix Sports had been Kent Football United’s long serving rivals throughout youth football before they moved to the Essex Girls League back at U16s. It was the first time in 2 years the two teams had played, so was set to be a good gauge of how far KFU had come during that period. The team played an excellent match racing into an early two goals lead. They continued to play some nice free flowing passing football on Phoenix’s main pitch, and although Phoenix had a threat through Mika Keen on the wing, KFU doubled up well to restrict her to long range efforts. Leading 2-0 at HT the team came out and scored an early 3rd to seal the game before adding two more to our tally to complete the match 5-0. Goals scored by Lucy Cockerill (2), Courtnay Ward, Rachel Stevens and Temilola Adeyemi.
If you can’t make it along to the match, there will be twitter coverage on @KentFA. You can also tweet us, and our County Cup sponsor @KentReliance your #MagicOfTheCup experience on match day, to be in with a chance of winning a £25 high street voucher!