Match Report: Draycott Victoria 1-1 (3-2p) Belper Town LFC
The DCFA Women’s Plate Final was played on at Grange Park between Draycott Victoria and Belper Town Ladies, and it was the former who triumphed from the spot after the 90 minutes finished 1-1.
The game started slowly with both teams seeing plenty of the ball, and the first big chance came in the 19th minute, when a counter attack from Belper created tension for the opponents as Katie Harper was almost through one-on-one with the keeper, but was denied by her offside position.
Harper continued to cause problems for the Draycott defence with her runs down the left wing, but strong defending from the Draycott Victoria back-line prevented the attack from materialising.
The score remained goalless at half-time with steady play from both teams, but neither team able to convert their attacks.
The second half opened brightly for Draycott Victoria with good link up play between Lucy Ferris and Natalie Ennis who started to find their way into the attacking third.
However, with an hour of the final played, the two sides remained in deadlock, with neither team able to convert their chances and make a break-through..
This finally changed though in the 70th minute when Belper’s goalkeeper Emma Varnam saved off-the-line fell straight into the path of Draycott’s Natalie Loughenbury, who kept her composure and slotted home for the team in blue.
Belper responded with considerable pressure as they looked to find a leveller, and they managed to find a response in the 85th minute, when a deflection found Jess Burke in space, and her low-shot found the left-hand corner – it was 1-1 with just five minutes remaining.
Neither side were able to find a winner in that five minutes, and the referee blew the final whistle sending the game to penalties.
The shoot-out finished 3-2 to Draycott Victoria thanks to two over-the-bar efforts from the Belper players, and a fantastic save by the Victoria ‘keeper Kim Jeffery.
The team in blue finished the day as Women’s Plate champions after a hard-fought battle.