Result: Old Actonians 1: London Corinthians 0
Finally the day had arrived and we arrived early at Carshalton Athletic's War Memorial Ground to have time to get ourselves fully prepared.
With new warm up T-shirts from Arlington Residential as well as lovely new short sleeved shirts courtesy of our new 2015/2016 sponsor Thorgills Ealing we looked and felt the part going into the warm up with a full squad available.
With last week's result against the same opposition (lost 1-0) vivid in our minds we were well up for this game though a few nerves were also present in the camp. Perhaps this was the reason we started a little slowly, and Corinthians passed the ball around confidently in the early stages looking to get an early goal. We defended well however and slowly started to find our own feet. Much like last week it was a tight and physical battle with a lot of play in and around the midfield who were outmarking each other. Hanna Olofsson in particular did a great job looking after their best player in the middle making sure she never had much room to create anything going forward, which also allowed Rosie Stone and Nat Randall and later Catherine Murphy, to join the attacking play to good effect.
We made use of our big squad and Nikki Wright had to replace the unfortunate Randall who could not shake off a knock early on. Wright took over at left back and Murphy moved into midfield. Emma Mulhern also replaced Shadia Edwards-Dashti after 30mins who had done a good job on the wing so far. We pressed and started to look like there was a goal on the way and Stone worked herself space to shoot from midfield three times but the keeper made one great save and the others went just over. A couple of goal mouth scrambles could have gone either way but Corinthians cleared.
Old Actonians 2015 Cup Final Winners
Our defense did well to keep Corinthians quiet the other end with Leah Taylor, Sinead Friel, Nikki Wright and Lafe' Uche' winning all their individual battles and Naomi Swift in goal was on hand to collect when needed.
Sharon Odofin, Carla Williams and Mulhern worked hard up front but we could not find a break through before half time. 0-0.
Chelsea Berlin came on at half time and took over the target player role from Williams who moved a little wider. The 2nd half was also a close fought contest and Corinthians tried to take advantage of playing with the ever increasing wind in the their backs and had their best chance of the game quite early in the 2nd half when a great shot just cleared the cross bar. From then on our defense stood firm and they could not break us down to create anything of note.
Up the other end we brought on some fresh legs with Linda Fox coming into the midfield and a little later Natasha Cree up front. We played some good football in spells and looked to get through but again the Corinthians keeper got in the way as Mulhern and Williams looked likely to score. We had some good corners from Berlin coming into the box and it was following one of them that we finally took the lead. Williams met the ball and got off a looping ball towards goal. Fox standing in front of the keeper jumped and managed to get the slightest of touches to steer it past the goal keeper and defender on the line to see it drop into the net! 1-0 and cue wild celebrations.
Corinthians pressed hard for the remaining time but to no avail as we just wouldn't give them an inch to play in and so the final whistle came and confirmed that we were the champions of the inaugural L&SE League Cup!!
A big big thank you to the wonderful crowd who cheered us on from the 1st minute to the last with some brilliant chants that kept everyone entertained! Thanks also to our mini kickers mascots and all our family and friends who travelled to support us and made the day extra special.
Match Report: Linda Fox
May 8, 2015