Long Eaton United FC’s Grange Park was host to Derbyshire FA’s Women’s Cups Finals Day, where both the Women’s Plate final and Women’s Cup final (between Chesterfield Ladies & Derby County Women U20’s) were contested. The attendance for the day was 434.
Wirksworth Colts started the game strongly and almost scored after 18 minutes, when Emily Jones’ on-target effort was bravely blocked by the last defender. Just a minute later, Belper goalkeeper Emma Varman made a smart save, as the Colts pressure persisted.
Belper had a good chance of their own after 41 minutes, when Shannon Worrall guided past a number of challenges, making her way into the opposition box, before her shot at goal was blocked. Just two minutes later, Wirksworth’s Alisha Benson had the ball in the back of the net, but she was adjudged to have handled the ball prior to it going in, so the score remained goalless.
At half-time, the two sides went in at 0-0.
Belper Town Ladies opened the scoring after 48 minutes with an absolute wonder-goal from Hannah Dutton. She found space outside the box, looked up to spot the keeper’s position and confidently chipped her from distance.
Wirksworth piled on the pressure after falling behind and nearly equalised after 71 minutes, when a thunderous header bellowed against the crossbar and bounced away. They eventually got their deserved equaliser after 78 minutes, through confident striker Emily Jones!
Just one minute later, Wirksworth worked the ball into Belper’s box and were awarded a penalty for a foul in the area. Up stepped Romy Sheppard who converted the penalty with ease, and within mere minutes, Wirksworth Colts had scored twice to turn the game on its head!
With 85 minutes on the clock, Romy Sheppard was at it again! A powerful, guided header nestled into the goal and gave Wirksworth a 3-1 lead. Sheppard’s goal celebration took inspiration from Chloe Kelly’s iconic celebration from the WEURO 2022 final, for which she received a yellow card from referee Lauren Whiteman.
Wirksworth Colts Ladies’ dazzling comeback was enough to see them out, as the full-time whistle blew, and the celebrations followed. They are 2022/23 Derbyshire Women’s Plate Champions!
Photo Credits – Alexandra Johnson (alexandrajohnsonphotography.co.uk)