Kent FA Ladies 2-0 Essex FA Ladies
Kent FA Ladies clinched the Southern Counties Title after beating neighbours Essex FA Ladies 2-0 at a very cold Aveley FC last night.
Heading into the match needing a victory to secure the title they got off to the perfect start when Sophie Brown’s free kick from a tight angle managed to squeeze in at the front post, possibly via a slight deflection. Kent were on the front foot and Charlie Myhill came close to extending her sides lead but her shot went narrowly wide. Essex slowly got into the game and their first real chance of note saw them hit the bar through Miagh Downey and moments later the dangerous Georgia Box shot inches wide of Cara Davies goal.
Natasha Moloney produced a superb last ditch tackle to stop another threatening Essex attack as the hosts enjoyed a spell of pressure in the final third of the pitch. Kent Captain Amy Russ had an effort well saved by Robyn Strauss in the Essex goal whilst further chances fell to Aileen Williams & Sophie Brown to extend the lead for Kent but they failed to hit the target, the last chance of the first half fell to the Home side but they failed to capitalise.
The second half was very evenly matched for the opening fifteen minutes with neither team creating any real clear cut chances, and it was Essex who came closest to scoring next when Chloe Bassett’s inswinging corner clipped the top of the crossbar. Bassett’s corners were proving very difficult for the Kent defence to deal as they were constantly whipped in with pace into the six yard box but luckily for the visitors no Essex player managed to get on the end of them. The pressure was then eased in spectacular fashion as Kent doubled their lead thanks to Amy Russ who netted from fully 40 yards out for an outstanding goal. Essex almost reduced the deficit immediately but Cara Davies produced an excellent save to deny Miagh Downey.
Both teams continued to probe and play some very attractive football and Kent had the chance for a third goal when Jess Oldfield was put through on goal but her shot was well saved by Hayley Johnson. The hosts then piled forward with Courtney Clarke, Niamh Gamble & Lindsey Morgan all having chances to score but failed to hit the target. Moments later the Referee blew the final whistle signalling celebrations from the Kent contingent as the title was secured with maximum points from their four matches.
An outstanding effort from the whole squad and Manager Cori Daniels commented post-match that she couldn’t have been prouder of each and every player.
Kent FA Ladies Squad: Cara Davies (Gillingham FC), Faith Cullen-Cooper (Aylesford FC), Millie Waud (Gillingham FC), Olivia Jestin (Aylesford FC), Natasha Moloney (Meridian FC), Skye McNally (Parkwood FC), Niamh Jestin (Aylesford FC), Sophie Brown (Aylesford FC), Amy Russ (Meridian FC), Charlie MyHill (Parkwood FC), Aileen Williams (Gillingham FC), Jess Oldfield (Phoenix Sports FC), Fiona Constable (Aylesford FC).