SHIFNAL TOWN LADIES 1-2 THE NEW SAINTS LADIES
TOM FARMER SHROPSHIRE WOMEN’S CUP QUARTER FINAL
PLAYED AT PHOENIX PARK, COPPICE GREEN LANE, SHIFNAL
SUNDAY 11TH FEBRUARY 2018
MATCH REPORT BY DAVID FIGG
The New Saints Ladies bounced back from their heart-breaking penalty shoot-out defeat at home to Chichester City Ladies in the FA Women’s Cup the previous Sunday, as they made it through to the Semi Finals of the Tom Farmer Shropshire Women’s Cup, with a 2-1 away win over Shifnal Town Ladies in their Quarter Final clash at a rather cold Phoenix Park, Shifnal on Sunday.
Saints’ defeat by Chichester had ended a run of 8 straight wins in all competitions which had seen them lying in 2nd place in the FA Women’s Premier League Midlands Division 1 table, 2 points behind leaders Loughborough Foxes Women.
Meanwhile, Shifnal had gone into Sunday’s game on the back of a season long unbeaten record of 15 games in all competitions (including a current run of 10 straight wins) which had seen them top the Staffordshire Girls and Ladies League, a point clear of 2nd placed Port Vale Ladies.
Despite the gap in league status, Saints made hard work of it against a Shifnal side who battled well and although it wasn’t Saints’ best performance, Andy Williams’ side were in control of the game for long periods.
The first serious clear-cut chance of note came Saints’ way in the 5th minute when a short corner from the left by Sara Bengtsson was returned by Charlotte Canlett to the in-running Bengtsson, who crossed for Emily Ridge to send her header from 6 yards wide of Shifnal keeper Terri Henderson’s left hand post without troubling her.
Then in the 11th minute, Saints took the lead when Lia Lewis’ low square ball from right to middle found Chloe Wilkinson who took a couple of touches and ran forward a few yards before sending her right foot shot from 25 yards into Henderson’s top right hand corner.
Saints went close to doubling their lead in the 14th minute when Canlett’s low through ball on the left found Bengtsson who beat her opponent on her way into the box before crossing to Ridge, whose near post header from 6 yards was pushed onto the angle of bar and post by Henderson before the ball was cleared.
The visitors went close again in the 27th minute when Sarah Jackson’s short corner from the right found Ridge who cut in before crossing to the far post, where Wilkinson slightly sliced her left foot shot from inside the front left of the box with the ball going wide of Henderson’s right hand angle.
Another chance came Saints’ way in the 38th minute, when Hannah Yates’ low through ball on the right found Ridge, who cut in past a defender before firing her right foot shot into the side netting.
Saints made a double substitution at half time with Sophie Edwards coming on to replace debutant Julie Stirrup and Phoebe Davies coming on for Kate Huntbach.
The first chance of the second half came Saints’ way in the 47th minute when Jackson cut in from the right before crossing to Canlett, whose low right foot shot from around the penalty spot was cleared off the line by Demmie Bown.
Saints went close again in the 51st minute, when Canlett’s low through ball on the left found Bengtsson who cut into the box before crossing to Lewis, whose shot crashed against the underside of the bar before the ball was cleared.
Saints made their final change in the 54th minute when Holly Turbill came on to replace Jackson.
Then in the 56th minute, Shifnal equalised when a poor kick out by Saints keeper Stacey Garnham went straight to Town’s Jenna Boddison, some 30 yards out in a central position, who ran forward and into the box before firing her low right foot shot from 15 yards into Garnham’s right hand corner.
It was a poor goal to concede and a wake-up call for Saints but they recovered and went close to regaining the lead in the 65th minute when Ridge cut in from the right before having her right foot shot parried to her left by Henderson.
What proved to be the winner came in the 71st minute when Lewis’ low through ball on the right found Turbill who beat her opponent before pulling it back to Ridge who fired her right foot shot from close to the penalty spot past Henderson.
There were no more serious clear-cut chances for either side after that as Saints played out time without any further alarm and the final blast of referee Shaun Currall’s whistle a few seconds into added time at the end confirmed their place in the semi finals.
Shifnal Town: Terri Henderson, Maria Bell, Nicola Mason, Demmie Bown, Rebecca Bown, Natasha Dunning, Jenna Boddison, Chantelle Redworth, Danielle Jones, Sian Bonner, Beth Nicholson. Subs: Hayley Abbott (not used), Megan Griffiths (not used).
Saints: Stacey Garnham, Hannah Yates, Louisa Anderson, Kate Huntbach, Lia Lewis, Sara Bengtsson, Emily Ridge, Charlotte Canlett, Sarah Jackson, Julie Stirrup, Chloe Wilkinson. Subs: Steph Taylor (not used), Sophie Edwards (for Stirrup 46), Holly Turbill (for Jackson 54), Kim Bebbington (not used), Phoebe Davies (for Huntbach 46)
The New Saints Ladies’ originally scheduled FA Women’s Premier League Midlands Division One fixture away to Birmingham and West Midlands Ladies on Sunday 18th February has been postponed due to Birmingham’s involvement in a county cup fixture. The match has been rearranged for Sunday 25th March with a 2.00pm kick off.
Saints’ next scheduled fixture is at home to Birmingham and West Midlands Ladies in the league on Sunday 25th February with a 2.00pm kick off. At the time of writing, the game is scheduled to be played at Park Hall Stadium.