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Stagettes progress in five-goal thriller

1 September 2014

Ladies team beat Middlesbrough in extra-time to reach next round of FA Womens Premier League Cup.

Our ladies team recorded a fantastic 3-2 victory over Middlesbrough in the first round of the FA Women’s Premier League Cup last Sunday.

The Stagettes started well and took control of the game with some short, direct passes from the midfield, but unable to break down the Middlesbrough defence.

On 13 minutes, they made an early breakthrough when Becky Braithwaite's defence-splitting ball allowed Jemma Douglas’s to sprint clear and strike the ball across the 'keeper and into the bottom corner.

It looked as though a second goal would quickly follow, when Suzie Gelson drove down the left flank, cut inside and had an effort well-saved.

As the game approached half-time, Boro took control with some superb passing and started to create chances, but were unable to breakthrough.

The hosts made two changes at the interval and kept their foot on the gas, which eventually paid dividends as they equalised on the hour mark.

Nevertheless, the Stagettes showed excellent character to defy the odds and re-take the lead, as Daisy Pridden released Douglas with a low ball into the 18-yard box and the Stagettes' striker was chopped down, which resulted in a penalty.

Pridden showed great composure and unleashed a thunderous strike to put the ball into the back of the net.

However, Boro were determined not to be eliminated and put pressure on the Stagettes, and Emily Gasgoyne made an outstanding save from six yards out - being at full-stretch to push a powerful shot around the post.

With just a minute remaining, Boro got back on level terms, as the Stagettes couldn't clear amidst a frantic goalmouth scramble, and the goal forced extra-time.

In extra-time, the Stagettes dug deep and restored their advantage when Pridden provided a great set-piece cross for Emma Allen to head home from the edge of the six-yard box.

The goal proved decisive as some tired legs meant that Boro were unable to forced a third equaliser, which would have taken the tie to penalties.

Captain for the day Kirsty Walton commented afterwards: “We didn’t play anywhere near to the standard we can do, but our team-spirit and determination got us the win.”

Becky Braithwaite commented: “We dug deep when needed to and pushed through against a very good footballing side."

Manager Mike Wain said: "It was a poor performance by our high standards, but we battled in the heat and for 120 minutes we didn’t give up. I can only praise the ladies for showing their character and passion to make it into the next round.”

Team: Gasgoyne, Braithwaite (Unthank), Shaw, Walton (c), Potter, Bodle, Pridden, Gelson, Davis, Allen, Douglas.

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