U’s cruise to win in FA Women's Premier League Cup
Cambridge United Women successfully booked themselves into the First Round of the FA Women’s Premier League Cup after defeating Cheltenham Town 3-0, their visiting opponents from the South West division.
A comprehensive performance ensured the U’s secured their first victory of the new campaign, and warranted a strong score line having dominated from start to finish.
An early chance went begging for the U’s early on when Becky Taylor’s inviting ball across the six yard box only marginally evaded Lucy Du Plooy, but it didn’t take too long before the home side had taken a big step in stamping their authority on the game with the first goal.
Laura Mills grabbed her eighth goal of the season in all competitions, with a vicious free kick from 30 yards out that beat the Cheltenham goalkeeper, hitting the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
The U’s continued to build pressure which became telling shortly before the half time break. Nuala Wayne’s cross was met with a fine strike from Faith Hewitt at the far post that drew a fine save out of the Cheltenham shot stopper, but Becky Taylor was following up well to fire home on the rebound to gain her first competitive goal for the club.
A change of shape in the second half for the hosts saw them take the game to Cheltenham and in truth the visitors never looked like getting back into the game as more chances fell the way of Cambridge with the woodwork denying them on two occasions.
The passing moves had more fluidity to them and Du Plooy’s pass to Taylor, saw her flick the ball smartly into Wayne’s path and her drive was finger tipped onto the crossbar by the busy Cheltenham keeper..
The chances kept coming with Taylor having two efforts wide of the target and Baker forcing another good save from the keeper from distance. Substitute Sophie Thompson had a smart overhead kick saved too from a Hannah Goodchild cross and then with one of the moves of the game, Mills eased past two defenders before a one touch combination involving Taylor found Thompson’s run but her clip over the keeper bounced off the far post and away.
The U’s finally got the goal their second half display deserved in the dying minutes of the match. After two strong penalty claims were penalties down by the referee earlier in the half, he couldn’t wave away the third when Goodchild was bundled over in the box. Skipper Laura Bright stepped up to emphatically fire home the penalty in the final minute of the game to put the result beyond doubt and send the U’s through to Round One.
Following the game, Manager Steve Edwards was pleased to have got the job done he said: “I feel that victory has been coming for the group and their hard work and performances over the last few weeks haven’t been rewarded with the results, so I’m pleased that we were able to come away with a good win.
“We are where we want to be yet performance-wise and will have tougher tests to come, but to come away with a win, three goals and a clean sheet while knowing we could still play better is a very positive sign.
“The performances of Hannah Goodchild and Laura Mills in particular were pleasing and there is some good understanding developing between some individuals which we will continue to try and work on. A cup run can do wonders to help league form so we will look forward to the draw for the next round.”
LINE UP:- Verity Crook, Robyn Phillips, Hannah Goodchild, Becca Fay, Faith Hewitt (Emma Jenkins 61 mins (Kayleigh Anne Burt 72 mins)), Laura Baker, Laura Bright, Lucy Du Plooy, Laura Mills, Nuala Wayne (Sophie Thompson 67 mins), Becky Taylor