As the Girls and Ladies game in this country continues to grow, you’re always looking for great players to emerge. And in Aaliyeah Weiss-Forbes Long Lane look to have found a player who could go a very long way in the ladies game. And she gave her own five star show as her side powered past Margate Youth to keep hold the Kent Reliance U16 Girls Youth Cup silverware for another season – all that from a team who normally play their normal football at under 15s!
It was a performance that left Coach Chris Wretham, literally hoarse – and the rest of us almost lost for words. He told KSN, “We’ve worked hard all season and have had to step up to under 16s to enter this competition. The girls have had to work hard in every game and have reaped their rewards and they’ve come out here today and played ever so well and won the Kent Cup now two years in a row as this team won the under 14 Cup last year; it’s fantastic. I’d go so far as to say that Aaliyeah is one of the best players in the South East without a doubt – this isn’t my full squad as some of the girls are too young to play at this level – I am so proud of them all I really am!
When asked about Weiss-Forbes, Evan Paris the Margate coach told KSN. “What a terrific player who deservedly won Player of the Match – I’d been warned about her beforehand (they play in a different league) but we couldn’t stop her!
We were beaten by a better team undoubtedly. We’ve held our heads high and actually given them a good game in the second half. We asked the girls at half time to do themselves justice - we didn’t play football the way we can because they didn’t let us. Full credit to Long Lane they are a superb outfit that they put us under so much pressure, we couldn’t play our game. I’m pleased at the way we kept going and with what we’ve achieved.
Faith Jones gave Long Lane the early lead and it was regained by Hannah Baker only after Nicole Adams had levelled for Margate. It then turned into the Weiss-Forbes show as the young winger completed her hat-trick before half time as Long Lane led 5-1 at the break. She soon scored her fourth and her sides sixth before Sharon King pulled one back for Margate, Ciara Perry and Olivia Moore then both found the net for Long Lane before Weiss-Forbes scored her own fifth and her sides ninth to more than put the icing on an amazing team performance. Grace Phillips-Jones scored the game’s final goal for Margate who were beaten by a fabulous side.
Weiss-Forbes set the tone early on as she had the game’s first chance but was well denied by the feet of Margate keeper Bethany Davies, and then from a corner Davies saved smartly from a Faith Jones header.
Jones opened the scoring after 18 minutes taking advantage of a horrendous defensive misjudgement but the lead lasted less than five minutes as Adams outpaced the defence to shoot past Sophia Cumberbatch and into the bottom corner. Long Lane responded immediately and after a great run down the left, Baker was on hand to side foot her side back into the lead, before Baker turned provider for Weiss-Forbes to score. She could have had another just after the half hour but Davies was down well to save low to her left. Weiss-Forbes wasn’t though to be denied as she found herself unmarked from a long throw and lobbed the ball home. The hat-trick duly arrived before half time as Davies as left completely exposed again – the keeper doing her best to thwart the Long Lane forward only for Weiss-Forbes to show some unbelievable close control as she went past the keeper.
The second half began as the first ended with Weiss-Forbes sprinting clear onto Hannah Barham’s pass to run almost unopposed from half way to score her fourth and her sides sixth.
Margate hit back straight away as Adams was denied by a brave block from Cumberbatch before King did net a second for Margate after being well found. This crazy end to end game then switched to the Margate goal as Perry went on a marauding run before beating comfortably beating the totally exposed Davies. It was turning into a rout and as the Margate defence stopped (waiting for a flag that didn’t come), Moore nipped in to score number eight.
To prove it really wasn’t Margate’s day an Adams corner bounced off the face of the bar before being cleared to Weiss-Forbes who sprinted away to score her fifth of the afternoon. Margate kept going and got on the scoresheet again with Phillips-James firing home to “reduce” the arrears to 9-3 and complete the scoring.
Weiss-Forbes was denied a personal double hat-trick by a wonderful save by Davies late on, but by then the magical little Long Lane number seven had done more than enough to see her side crowned Kent Cup winners – and help herself to the match ball and the player of the match award!
Long Lane – Sophia Cumberbatch, Sabine Ghag, Taylor Jesney, Hannah Barham, Ciara Perry, Aaliyeah Weiss-Forbes, Olivia Moore, Hannah Baker, Nnebisi Douglas-Mogekwu
Sub – Faith Jones
Margate Youth – Bethany Davies, Katie Longley, Olivia Godden, Olivia Williams, Lucy Paris, Isabel Robinson, Nicole Adams, Shannon King, Grace Phillips-James
Sub – Raven Telles
Referee – Olly Rule
Assistants – Sean Bryant, Jack Owens, Olly Baker
Match Report by Mike Green, Kent Sports News.
Match Photos by PSP Images.