On the first of the three “Ladies Day” Kent Reliance Kent FA finals played at the Gallagher Stadium, the hosts duly won the under 14 Cup but only after a gallant display from Thanet Colts.
Maidstone were ahead at the break through a controversial Storey Tubb penalty, Megan Wilson’s piledriver free kick and Lois Robson’s cross shot, Thanet recovered well forcing Maidstone keeper Addy Dadson into magnificent saves from Tallulah Stevens and Nicole Parker, before Grace Mayhead and Tubb with her second gave the final score-line a slightly flattering but deserved look.
All in all, a good mornings work for Stones coach Matt Booker to talk about when he spoke to KSN after the game. “The penalty was undoubtedly the turning point and we seemed to get a foot hold after that. I didn’t actually see it as I was preparing a substitution, and I think it was very harsh! We scored at the right time and we were indebted to Abby (Dadson – the Stones keeper) for two terrific saves at the start of the second half as they came back at us as we thought they would, but at the end, its been a wonderful day for us.”
The Thanet coaches Damien Greene and John Hodder were proud of their girls too but were a frustrated pair when they spoke to KSN. “Extremely harsh penalty” was their consensus. “You cant judge the officials decision as from where I was it looked like it was heading for her face, but the referee thought differently.” “It knocked the girls out of their stride but the way they recovered after the break was amazing. We brushed it out of them at half time and they came out and gave 110 percent – we cant fault any of them. From where they’ve come from they’ve all enjoyed their day out – its just a shame that Maidstone were that bit stronger at the end of the day!”
The opening was keenly contested with Maidstone having the clearer chances with Jess Robbins going close and Tubb being denied by a brave save from Colts keeper Lucy McGuinness. Then the game turned when referee Gallagher awarded a penalty for hands and Tubb duly rolled the spot kick home. The lead was quickly doubled when Wilson drove home a free kick, and the third arrived before half time when Robson shot into the bottom corner in off the post.
To their credit, Colts responded and Dadson made an amazing reflex save to deny Tallulah Stevens at her near post before Nicole Parker’s drive was touched onto the crossbar. Try as they might, the Colts just couldn’t find a way through and Maidstone duly completed the win with two late strikes. Mayhead took advantage of a Robson cross that wasn’t cleared drilling home into the bottom corner before Tubb got her second and the Stones fifth as Mayhead turned provider cutting in from the right.
MAIDSTONE UNITED – Abby Dadson, Evelyn Westhrop, Megan Jenner, Sophie Rayner, Megan Wilson, Charlotte Watts, Lois Robson, Grace Mayhead, Jess Robbins
Subs – Storey Tubb & Isabelle Mason
THANET COLTS – Lucy McGuinness, Nicole Parker, Abby Musselwhite, Georgia Smith, Gizem Yilmaz, Tallulah Stevens, Bethany Brenchley, Chloe Cooper, Esmee Kew-Stroud
Subs – Bethany Tsangarides, Keeleigh Davey & Heather Carr
Referee – Kiara Gallagher
Assistants – Daisy Green, Michaela Hill & Amy Quinnell