U’S REACH FIRST ROUND PROPER OF FA WOMEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE CUP
Cambridge United Women defied their recent league form by hitting their fellow Premier League Division One South East opponents Lowestoft Town Ladies for six as they progressed into the first round of the FAWPL League Cup.
Despite an early setback which saw the U’s go one goal behind in the opening minutes of the clash, United made their intentions clear in the first half heading down the tunnel at the break with a 4-1 lead.
The U’s reacted in some style to the early goal against, when Faith Hewitt found Becky Taylor on the quarter of an hour mark, whose initial shot was saved before placing the rebound into the net to draw the side’s level.
The goal sparked a relentless Cambridge display in which they attacked with fluency and tempo as they took the game to their visitors.
Emma Jenkins had already forced the keeper into two smart stops but she made no mistake with her third. Hewitt was the provider again as her through ball found Jenkins’ run and she fired the ball emphatically into the roof of the net, leaving the Lowestoft stopper with no chance.
Shortly before half time, a flowing move involving Laura Baker found Jenkins’ run on the right and she drilled in a low cross across the six yard box and Taylor was on hand to meet it and side foot home for her second of the game.
But there was still time for more, as right on the stroke of half time skipper Laura Bright thumped home a header from Laura Mill’s inch perfect corner to put the result beyond doubt with just 45 minutes played.
The second half resumed much like the first had ended despite a change of team shape from United’s opponents. Mills was denied a spot on the scoresheet by a fingertip save from an immediate foray forwards from the home side.
Within minutes it was five as Hewitt made it a hat-trick of assists with a ball across the box which Bright fired home confidently for her second of the game also.
On the hour mark, captain Bright sealed her hat trick after Taylor had been brought down in the area after racing on to Mills’ through ball. The keeper was sent the wrong way as the U’s went 6-1 in front.
Hewitt, who probably deserved a goal of her own, was margins wide with a smart cut inside and strike from the edge of the box, and Bright was denied by the woodwork as she rattled the post with a strike from just inside the penalty area, merely inches from her fourth of the game.
The visitors pulled a consolation goal back with two minutes left of normal time, with a wicked 30 yard strike that went in off the underside of the crossbar but it had been United’s afternoon after a scintillating display of attacking football.
Manager Steve Edwards was suitably delighted with the result, commenting: “I’m not surprised by the performance at all, we have been attacking like that all season but just without the clinical finishing needed to win games and therefore we haven’t had the score lines that have reflected our play.
“The players have deserved that win and I hope now that it will provide them with the confidence to continue forwards in the same vein.
“It was an important win, but we won’t be resting here and have to use it to push on now.”
LINE UP:- Verity Crook, Robyn Phillips, Kayleigh Anne Burt, Becca Fay (Carrie Bennett 78 mins), Tahnee Perfect, Laura Bright, Laura Baker (Emily Reed 65 mins), Emma Jenkins, Faith Hewitt (Clara Greed 78 mins), Laura Mills, Becky Taylor. Subs not used – Liz Pamplin, Tafadzwa Mhunduru