U12 Girls V East Goscote (League Cup Semi)
28th March 2023
Rugby Borough Girls reach League Cup Final.
The start of British Summertime saw Rugby Borough welcome East Goscote for a League Cup Semi Final in far from summer conditions. East Goscote came in fresh from their County Cup win so the Rugby girls knew that they would have to be on their game to have a chance of progression into the final.
Rugby were determined to take the game to the opposition and started on the front foot playing some good football. Lexie & Peyton were keeping things tight at the back and Jess was sitting in to support the defence against the pacy attack of East Goscote. Shortly after this Ava intercepted a long pass, brought the ball into midfield & played a great through ball to Freya who used her pace to break the offside trap and then finish coolly past the keeper to make it 1-0 to Rugby.
Given the previous games everyone knew East Goscote would try to bounce back & they grabbed the equaliser midway through the first half when the Rugby defence failed to deal with a high ball & it was finished well to make it 1:1. Very quickly after this the opposition made it 2:1 with an excellent long range strike. East Goscote were on top now but were denied the chance to extend their lead due to excellent goalkeeping by Chloe.
Rugby regained a foothold towards the end of 1st half and the girls pushed for an equaliser with Ruby leading the line well supported through the middle by Megan. The wingers Ese & Isla were starting to push forward at every opportunity however the 1st half ended 2-1.
The Rugby girls knew they had 30 mins to salvage their dream of making it to the Cup Final & they were determined to give it everything in the 2nd half. What followed was a fantastic end to end battle between two quality teams.
Clear cut chances were sparse for both teams and the midfield was turning into a battlefield where Maia was showing her tenacious tackling to win the ball and start attacks.
In between this there was a real moment of quality when Mia played an excellent pinpoint pass out to Anna on the right wing who used her trademark move to beat the defender, hit the bye line and play in a great cross into the danger area where the opposition defender couldn’t do anything else but turn it into her own net to make it 2:2.
The final minutes of the match was a tense affair where both teams didn’t want to lose it so it was to penalties the game went. After the initial set of penalties ended level it was the dreaded sudden death. Both teams converted their first go & then Chloe pulled off an excellent save to give Rugby Borough the chance to kick for the final.
Up stepped Isla, cool as you like to lash the ball into the top corner and spark wild celebrations on & off the pitch.
An amazing match that would have been fitting of the final itself between two top teams who gave it their all. It was great to see the respect between the girls at the final whistle with the Rugby girls taking time out to console their opposite numbers.
Rugby can now look forward to a well deserved Cup Final in May which will be a fitting end to an excellent season
Player of the match was Chloe for heroics in the penalty shoot out