Coventry United Ladies lifted the Women’s County Cup for the second season in a row after a 3-0 win against West Bromwich Albion LFC at the home of Tamworth Football Club.
An early effort from Amy Wathan was accompanied by second-half goals from Bethan Merrick and Amber Hughes to secure victory for Jay Bradford’s side, who retained the title for the first time in the club’s history.
The victory was not as convincing as the scoreline suggests, however, with West Brom having a series of chances to score throughout the contest. Despite this, Louis Sowe’s players struggled to create anything clear cut to test Susan Wood in Coventry United’s goal.
Having met in two of the previous three Finals, excitement was building amongst the crowd in the Lamb Ground knowing that the rivalry was about to be renewed for the third edition.
It was Coventry United who started on the front foot, taking the game to West Brom from the off before eventually being rewarded in the opening 10 minutes. After working the ball down the touchline, the ball was floated in the box to Wathan who headed past Vanessa Kinnerley.
The Baggies nearly responded straight away after good play down the left-hand touchline where the ball was played in towards Natalie Murray, yet she failed to make contact with the ball. Fortunately for her, the cross fell to Laura Davies whose shot was straight at Wood.
Further chances fell to Jess Davies and Gabbie Reid in the opening 45 minutes, but they failed to take advantage of their dominance in the first half.
They were punished for these missed opportunities after the interval, where Coventry United increased their advantage after another quick goal from the restart. Merrick picked up the ball down the right-hand touchline, where her cross-cum-shot evaded the grasp of Kinnerly in West Brom’s goal.
Coventry United nearly increased their lead shortly after when Rosie McDonnell’s powerful effort was palmed into the path of Wathan, yet she was smothered by the Albion defence when she looked destined to score.
Both teams began to cancel each other out as the half went on with Jade Brook, the eventual player of the match, dictating the play and tempo in central midfield for Coventry United.
A moment of brilliance from Hannah George nearly found a way back into the contest for West Brom. After picking up the ball midway through the opposition half, she dribbled past three players into the 18-yard box before seeing her tame effort fired straight at Wood.
Coventry United secured victory close to the end after working the ball to Amber Hughes, who dribbled down the right wing before firing an effort into the bottom corner to round off a memorable evening.
Having reached the Final for four consecutive seasons, Coventry United Ladies are beginning to dominate this competition. The significance of retaining this title is massive for Jay Bradford and her side; with it being the first time they have done so in the club’s history against an opponent who has previously had the better of them in the Women’s County Cup Final.