The Women’s FA Cup First Round Proper
Sunday 6th December
Leicester City Women 8 – Stone Dominoes Ladies 0
Lowest Ranked in the tournament Stone Dominoes were drawn against the highest ranked opponents currently in the women’s FA Cup. Leicester City Women are currently top of the FA Women’s Premier League (midlands division) and are beating teams easily on a weekly basis scoring 3/4/5 goals per game. So Stone knew they were in for a very tough afternoon. The Dominoes knew it would be even tougher without in form striker Hannah Perry, however the ladies went into the game under no pressure knowing that they had already done extremely well in getting this far.
The game was on a very short pitch, and with the Dominoes holding a high defensive line, Leicester were forced to play the long ball which keeper Charlotte Perry was able to sweep up behind. A nervous Stone struggled to keep possession and gave the ball away too easily at times. Leicester began to find form and began to work down the wings, their pacey right winger managed to get a few crosses in giving Leicester a couple of chances. Stones defence of Simone Kelsall, Becky Arnold, Hayley Mason and Lisa Elliott were strong, playing against some quality attackers it really kept them on their toes.
Leicester played amazing football with one touch passing, Stones Midfield trio of Siobhan Haynes, Jules Kendrick and Lauren Ward worked tirelessly in closing down play however the quality in the Leicester team really showed. Leicester were patient and Stones defence cut out many an attack, however found themselves 2-0 up on 30minutes. Stone managed to get up field a couple of times with a break away runs from Tammi Bennett and Mollie Prime, forcing the Leicester defence to clear for corners. The Leicester defence towered over the Stone side who in their current league are dangerous in the air on set pieces, however Leicester showed their quality defensively too clearing the ball out.
Mollie Prime also ran the defence down numerous times and managed to keep the ball up in the Leicester half. Prime who takes on players for fun in the current West Midland league, struggled to do it alone against much stronger opponents. However when with the ball on the left wing, Prime was fouled numerous times giving Stone free kicks in the attacking half. Striker Nat Price did well in holding the ball up and laying it off and with the pace of Prime and Bennett at times Stone could have created chances.
At times Stones decision making played themselves back into trouble. Not playing an easy ball, or taking players on instead of holding the ball up meant Leicester won the ball back easily and put Stone on the back foot. Jules Kendrick broke free with the ball in midfield and after a one two with Nat Price gave way for Lauren Ward to challenge the keeper, Leicester’s keeper jumped to save however the ball and keeper were bundled into the back of the net. Disallowed goal for Stone.
Leicester realised any long ball was getting swept up by Charlotte Perry (GK) or central defender Hayley Mason was first to every ball that dropped near the strikers. Leicester mixed it up and really turned it up a gear, playing the ball around the Stone side. Another 2 goals followed after again one touch passing through the defence to strikers giving Stone’s keeper no chance in saving. Half time 4-0 to Leicester.
Stone went in at the break disappointed in their performance, giving the ball away easily and not pressing as a team, something they changed after the break and pressed from the front more in the second half. Substitutions came with Kerry McCourt and Bethan Woodings coming on for injured Nat Price and Simone Kelsall. Woodings making a great impact on the game and put in numerous challenges keeping the ball out of the dominoes box. Another Leicester goal came from a corner, with the attacker heading home to make it 5-0. Stone began to tire but the defence kept putting their bodies on the line. The attackers weaved their way through midfield, that matched with the quick passing and moving from the team made it almost impossible for a tired Stone side to compete. Mollie Prime made way for Lydia Bennion with 15 minutes to go however with the pressure of Leicester Bennion was forced to also get back and defend.
Stones team spirit was amazing everyone got behind the ball and really put in 100% against a team 3 divisions higher. The attackers pressured every defender when they were in possession, however the true grit and determination of the defensive game of Stones kept the final score at 8-0. Stones Keeper Charlotte Perry had an amazing game, and got her hand to a couple of dead cert goals, tapping them out for corners. The defence blocked numerous shots and covered each other when needed. The midfield covered some miles on the pitch and the attackers closed balls down and tried to create chances to Stone. The FA cup dream is now over for Stone and we wish Leicester the best of luck for the rest of the tournament.
Stones player of the match was Hayley Mason for a solid performance.
TEAM: C.Perry, Kelsall ( Woodings 75), Mason, Arnold, Elliott, Haynes, Kendrick, Ward, Bennett, Price (McCourt 60), Prime (Bennion 75)
SUBS : Woodings, Bennion, McCourt
POM: Hayley Mason