Reflecting on a great night for Workington Reds Ladies on the 10th May just twelve months ago………
There was plenty of doom and gloom surrounding Borough Park this time last year following the painful relegation suffered by the first team. However, spirits were lifted by Reds Ladies who completed a tough, demanding season in style, winning the Cumberland Cup at Brunton Park after an exciting penalty shoot-out.
Trailing 2-0, and looking distinctly inferior to Penrith Ladies after a one-sided first forty five minutes, Reds recovered to dominate the second half, got through extra time then triumphed by winning on penalties.
Favourites Penrith had established a two goal cushion thanks to Heather Fawkes’ close range header and a sublime chip from Lily Gaulton.
And it looked as though Reds, making their debut at Carlisle United’s ground, were ‘dead and buried’. Nothing of the sort.
Within eight minutes of the restart, they were back in contention when Jess Reynolds headed the ball over the advancing ‘keeper before guiding it into the empty net.
Both teams scored from their first spot-kick but had the second saved. The next six were converted so, after ten penalties, it was 4-4. Skipper Laura Miller then kept out Sharina Robinson’s effort leaving Chloe Henderson to convert the winner to ensure the cup was heading to west Cumbria for a second time.
Then in the final seconds of stoppage time, Reynolds grabbed a wonderful second goal, an exquisite chip over Michelle Jones, to take the tie into extra time.
The extra half hour took its toll and both teams were running on empty long before the end.
After 120 minutes it was all square at 2-2 so there was the additional drama of penalties to decide the outcome.
It had been a great advertisement for women’s football in the county and a memorable night for manager, Brian Heywood, and the team.
The Reds squad was: Laura Miller, Sophie Birkett, Naomi Foster, Willow Gray, Eleanor Hope, Chloe Henderson, Mairead Kinsella, Linzi Donaldson, Hayley Bracken, Hannah Geen, Jess Reynolds, Paige Johnstone, Leah Cottier, Natalie Hooper, Megan Yarnold and Rebecca Scott.