Portishead Town Ladies win the double
Portishead Town Ladies do the double double
Portishead snatched the league cup on Sunday afternoon in a nail-biting final against rivals Pen Mill that ended 4:3 in extra time. The side had recently claimed the league title with Pen Mill close behind.
Both teams were fast out of the blocks and a handball in the box gave Pen Mill an early penalty that was parried away by keeper Jo Dulieu. However, end to end drama saw a bad Pen Mill challenge in the opposite box, giving Portishead a go at the spot kick, which was thumped soundly into the bottom left by Ruby Lowe.
With Pen Mill dominating the centre of the pitch, the side forced their way to a series of corners but seemed unable to find the net. Portishead countered down the wings with some quick passing play but were kept at bay by the Pen Mill back four and the half ended with Portishead with their noses in front.
The second half saw Pen Mill find an equaliser from a break, and with Portishead caught on the back foot, Pen Mill managed to pull ahead with a searching cross from the right that found the Pen Mill striker.
Portishead, finding themselves repeatedly pressed inside their own half and a goal down in the closing minutes of the game, threw everything they had at the Pen Mill defence. An in-swinging peach of a corner ball from Hannah Thornton picked out Emily Dawe, whose assured header bruised the back of the net to level the score before the final whistle.
Extra time saw Portishead raise their game with some probing attacking balls. Shannon Holloway made an electric run down the right, and found the net after a deflection from the Pen Mill keeper.
Keen to capitalise on the ground gained, Portishead led the charge in the second half of extra time, and some nifty passing play down the left flank gifted Thornton the ball on the edge of the box, where she drilled it coolly into the bottom corner to extend the lead with ten to go.
However, the game was far from over and Pen Mill resolutely refused to go down without a fight, and forced a corner, whose arc met a Pen Mill head and made it 4:3.
Neck and neck in the dwindling moments of extra time, with tempers fraying and tension palpable, tackles were flying in on both sides and cards were shown, and a free kick for Pen Mill in the final third came to no avail. With minutes to go, the Pen Mill striker shrugged off her marker to lift a shot towards the top left, but Dulieu pushed it past the post. Portishead kept them out up to the final whistle to claim the victory.
The Robert John Hair player of the match was Jo Dulieu for her safe hands. The side will be looking to carry on their success next season in the South West Women's Football League after securing promotion.