sheffield indebted to fine goalkeeping display by Wallead

Steve Chambers of  competition sponsors Sheffield Trophy Centre presents the cup to captain  Carla Ward and the rest of the Sheffield team team.Photo: Tom Howell

Steve Chambers of competition sponsors Sheffield Trophy Centre presents the cup to captain Carla Ward and the rest of the Sheffield team team.Photo: Tom Howell

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Sheffield FC Ladies have won the S&H County FA Women’s Cup for the fourth successive season.

A hat-trick from prolific striker Jodie Michalska and a late goal from captain Carla Ward was enough to defeat Huddersfield Town Ladies 4-1 at Parkgate FC.

Sheffield manager Helen Mitchell said a top goalkeeping display and a bit of extra quality in and around the box gave them the edge in a tight contest.

“Our keeper had to pull off some very good saves today which kept us in the game.

“I think we were all a bit disappointed in the changing rooms at half time but we’ve managed to come out and play a lot better in the second half so I’m pleased with the reaction.”

The first chance of the game fell to Ward after tricky wing-back Ellie Gilliatt found her unmarked in the Huddersfield penalty area, but she was unable to turn the shot goalwards.

A minute later, Huddersfield Town winger Debs Hastings struck a fierce shot at keeper Claire Wallead who responded brilliantly to turn it over the bar.

Sheffield had a handball claim dismissed by referee Natasha Wilson as they began to enjoy a decent spell of possession.

On the 27th minute Ward played striker Abbie Mclver through on goal but saw her shot cleared after rounding Huddersfield keeper Laura Carter.

Sheffield scored the opening goal four minutes later when a free kick from Gilliatt was met by Michalska who looped a header past Carter into the bottom corner.

Huddersfield fought back valiantly and after some neat one touch passing striker Emily Heckler worked some space and curled a shot towards the bottom corner which was tipped round the post by Wallead.

And they equalised with the last chance of the hal when captain Kate Mallin curled an exquisite free kick into the top right corner which Wallead had no chance of stopping.

Huddersfield had an early chance in the second half when a clearance fell to Katie Nutter, whose shot flew into the side netting.

Sheffield then began to control the game and were again denied by Carter when she got down well to save a low header from Ward.

Three minutes later Michalska shook the post with a powerful strike which rebounded away from goal.

Huddersfield then threatened to take the lead when their corner bounced dangerously past Sheffield’s goal and rolled out of play for another corner.

However it was Sheffield who took the lead when Michalska latched onto a chipped pass and fired a low shot on the bounce under Carter.

Sheffield immediately set about getting a third when Gilliatt went on another piecing run through the Huddersfield defence and fired a shot over the bar.

Huddersfield striker Heckler was closewhen her long range volley which was saved well by Wallead.

Michalska sealed her hat-trick with a shot over Carter, who was unable to get a strong enough hand to stop it.

Sheffield’s third seemed to knock the wind out of Huddersfield somewhat, and with a minute of the 90 remaining Ward scrambled in the fourth to rub salt in the wounds.

Huddersfield played their part in an exciting final played in excellent spirit. Well done too, to referee Natasha Wilson and her assistants, Danny Smith and Amy Hood, fourth official Melissa Burgin.