The FA Women's Premier League Cup
All White on the night
Ellen White brace guides Leeds to League Cup glory.
Everton 1-3 Leeds Carnegie
The FA Tesco Women’s Premier League Cup
7pm, Thursday 11 February 2010
Spotland Stadium, Rochdale AFC
Live on FATV
Leeds Carnegie have collected the first domestic trophy of the season after they ran out deserved 3-1 winners over Everton in The Final of The FA Tesco Women’s Premier League Cup.
Katie Holtham gave Rick Passmoor’s side the lead on 14 minutes with a powerful 20-yard drive which gave the sprawling Rachel Brown no chance in the Everton goal.
The advantage was doubled by Ellen White just six minutes later as she scrambled home Carla Cantrell’s corner for her fourth goal in this season’s competition. Leeds had opportunities to put the result beyond doubt before half-time but were not made to rue those missed chances by an Everton side who did not do themselves justice on the night, though Fara Williams did give them hope with a cool finish on 49 minutes.
The victory was sealed in the 85th minute when White broke on the counter attack and showed a remarkable calmness that belied her 20 years. She raced towards goal, ignored the attentions of the recovering Everton backline to cut back in on her left foot to put Leeds’ name on the trophy.
This was Leeds’ first Final success in four attempts and it came courtesy of a totally committed performance from Passmoor’s charges.
In the opening minute Everton’s Michelle Hinnigan had the first sighter of a bitterly cold evening, sending a right-foot shot harmlessly wide of Carly Telford’s goal, as both sides took a while to settle and accustom themselves to a very hard Spotland surface.
Indeed, the surface almost cost the Toffees dear as early as the ninth minute as Emily Westwood lost her footing, allowing Smith to scamper down the left flank. Her cross was perfect, but an unmarked White was unable to direct her header goalwards.
Hinnigan again and then Fara Williams each sent a long-range effort goalwards as Everton sought an early goal but Leeds hassled and harried the Toffees thereafter, forcing Mo Marley’s side to give the ball away on a number of occasions and preventing them from building many potent attacking moves.
However, a defensive error was then committed by Carnegie, as Laura Bassett saw her pass charged down by Natasha Dowie, but skipper, Sophie Bradley, was on hand to spare the blushes of her centre back. Moments later Leeds went in front. The ball was worked forward from Bradley’s interception and found its way to White whose shot was blocked by Lindsay Johnson. It fell invitingly for Holtham to power an unstoppable, low shot beyond Brown and into the corner of the net.
By the 20th minute it was 2-0, and no more than Leeds deserved for their industry and endeavour. White chased a seemingly lost cause down the left, forcing Fern Whelan into the concession of a corner. Brown was unable to hold Cantrell’s centre and White bundled the ball home from close range.
Perhaps unnerved at finding themselves two goals down, Everton became sloppy in possession and almost presented an opportunity for White to make it 3-0 before the half-hour mark. Brown played a short ball out of her area but her backline were unable to make anything of it and had White realised how much time she had, she might have carried the ball into the area rather than placing a rather meek effort at goal.
On 36 minutes Leeds thought they had got the third goal, following another corner, as Brown stumbled over her goal-line with the ball in her hands but referee, Sian Massey, believed Brown had been impeded in the process.
The left wing carried the greater menace for an increasingly confident Leeds outfit and another chance was soon created from that position. Smith fed Carla Cantrell who drove forward, cut across the edge of the box and found Jess Clarke, who, in turn, set up Jade Moore to have a strike at goal but it just too high and zipped over the bar.
Everton threatened only occasionally in the first-half and had claims for a penalty rejected by Massey just minutes before the break. Dowie appeared to be pulled back as she tried to latch on to Williams’ through ball, but her appeals went unsatisfied.
The final chance of the half fell to Williams but her free-kick sailed over the bar to cap a disappointing opening 45 for Everton.
However, just four minutes into the second half and the Toffees were suddenly right back in the contest. Rachel Unitt headed clear a Smith free-kick from the right and a counter-attack soon ensued. Dowie raced on to the loose ball, played a lovely weighted pass out right to her skipper and Williams kept her composure to slot the ball beyond the advancing Telford from the edge of the box.
Showing the leadership and drive you’d expect from any captain, Williams got a bit carried away in her attempts to haul her side level and was cautioned for tackle on Smith.
The goal sparked Everton into life and they took the game to Leeds in the second period, with Jill Scott driving forward from midfield to support Toni Duggan, Jody Handley and Dowie up top. Duggan had an effort saved by Telford before a delicate chip by Williams just evaded the target, but despite their second-half improvement they failed to create many clear cut opportunities.
Despite facing a Blue onslaught, Leeds did look calm and comfortable in possession but brought on Remi Allen after 71 minutes to offer protection in midfield. A good save from Telford prevented an equaliser on 75 minutes after the ball came through a crowd of bodies.
As the game raced to its conclusion, Everton made a substitute themselves as Hinnigan was sacrificed for the more attack-minded Gwen Harries, but it was to no avail as White scored the decisive third goal with just five minutes remaining. With Everton understandably pushing forward in search of the equaliser, they found themselves exposed at the back and instead of holding on to possession to wait for support she bore down on Brown, turned on to her left foot and passed the ball into the far corner to seal an historic win.
1 Rachel Brown, 2 Emily Westwood, 3 Rachel Unitt, 4 Fara Williams (C), 5 Fern Whelan, 6 Lindsay Johnson, 7 Jody Handley, 8 Jill Scott, 9 Natasha Dowie, 10 Michelle Hinnigan (17 Gwen Harries, 77), 11 Toni Duggan
Substitutes not used 12 Becky Easton, 14 Michelle Evans, 15 Alex Culvin, 16 Brooke Chaplen
Manager Mo Marley
1 Carly Telford, 2 Sophie Bradley (C), 4 Sophie Walton, 6 Katie Holtham, 8 Sue Smith (3 Olivia Thackray, 87), 9 Ellen White, 10 Jess Clarke (17 Remi Allen, 71), 11 Carla Cantrell, 19 Mel Sutcliffe, 14 Jade Moore, 20 Laura Bassett
Substitutes not used 15 Gemma Bonner, 16 Nat Straneff, 18 Rachel Daly,
Manager Rick Passmoor
Referee Sian Massey
Assistant Referees Rob Goodwin-Davey & Sarah Hollins
Fourth Official Sarah Garratt