Long Eaton United Women win the Derbyshire Women's Plate

Late drama in the Women’s Plate Final as Long Eaton United Women score at the death and win on penalties to deny Pride Park Ladies

Pride Park Ladies fell short to Long Eaton Women 3-3 (4-5 on penalties) in the Cawarden Women’s Plate final despite a Beth Jones hattrick. Pride Park trailed twice and came back to lead 3-2 in the 85th minute, but a 90+5-minute equaliser from Aimee Bluff saw the tie go the distance.


Long Eaton threatened to score the first goal, as a decisive switch of play by Evie Jowett found Aimee Bluff in space but her effort was dragged narrowly wide.


Pride Park Ladies launched their first opportunity of the match, as in the 11th minute Beth Jones was found one-on-one with Millie Smith but she also dragged her effort narrowly wide.


In the 23rd minute, a miscommunication between Long Eaton’s Jess Feiner and goalkeeper Smith gave Libby Queen an opportunity to loft it into an empty net, but Smith got to her feet quickly and got a huge hand to it to keep the tie level.


Long Eaton were the team to break the deadlock as in the 33rd minute Aimee Bluff was picked out and with precision threaded her effort into the back of the net from a tight angle.


Pride Park Ladies went up the other end from kick-off and won a penalty moments later, and in the 35th minute Tash Allderidge stepped up to take it, but her effort was SAVED by Smith who palmed it to safety.


The corner that resulted from the majestic penalty save was put into an area but a large skirmish on the goal line saw the ball cleared to safety and Long Eaton retained their lead.


Jones was found one-on-one again with only Smith to beat on the brink of half time, but the goalkeeper capped off an amazing first half display and denied Jones the equaliser.


At the start of the second half, Pride Park’s Jones was played through again, Smith denied her again but could only clear it as far as Maja Zmamirowska who played it back to Jones who finally put it past Smith to bring the tie back level.


Long Eaton kept battling and in the 59th minute broke the deadlock for the second time, as Bluff played Kyla Redgate through on goal and her effort was struck cleanly past Jade Howell.


Pride Park found the leveller again in the 70th minute through Jones, her initial effort was saved my Smith, but she made no mistake with her second effort as she lofted it over the ‘keeper.


Beth Jones secured her hattrick in the 84th minute as she struck it from 35 yards out, giving Pride Park a late lead and leaving Smith no chance as her wonder strike ricocheted off the crossbar and went in.


Aimee Bluff added a final twist in the tale deep into stoppage time, as her lofted effort from distance bounced in to bring the tie back level and send it to penalties.


It was Long Eaton’s momentum that they carried that ended up securing them the Women’s Plate, as Pride Park hattrick hero Jones fired over the bar to miss out 5-4 on penalties.


Written by Max Stairs