Bridlington Rovers won the Women’s Cup after a 3-0 victory over AFC Preston at the Roy West Centre. A brace from Jade Newlove and a clinical finish from Amy Ward secured the prestigious trophy for Bridlington, as they will be renamed Hull United for the upcoming 2020/21 season.
It was Bridlington who started the brightest as Evie Barrett fired her free-kick wide, before they scored the opener on the third minute. Ward picked out the run of Newlove and she chipped the onrushing Alina Andrei to score. Preston looked threatening through the set-pieces of Laney-Mae Woodall as Kirsty Bannister was forced to push one of her corners away from goal. In the other goal, Andrei held Ward’s shot, before Newlove rounded the Preston goalkeeper with great skill, but she fired her attempt over the bar.
Charlie Sutherby then produced a stunning block to deny Megan Toohie, before Bridlington scored their second just past the half-hour mark. A lobbed pass by Emma Smith released Ward and she rifled her drive over the despairing dive of Andrei to double their lead.
Preston came close with a flurry of chances before half-time. Aimee Lindley poked an effort wide, before Alex Beardshaw connected with Paige Conlan’s cross, but the winger dragged her effort wide. Woodall then released Conlan with a long pass, but Conlan’s first-timed volley went wide of the post.
In the second-half, there was few chances created in the opening exchanges. Natasha Linford hit her effort straight at Andrei while Andrea Ceasusu hit the side netting from range. Ward then dragged an one-on-one effort wide as the game entered into the final ten minutes.
Abigail Edwards and Lindley both saw efforts blocked from Woodall’s corner, while Bannister had to be sharp off her line to clear Conlan’s low cross, as Ceasusu was looking to pounce on a mistake. Bridlington then looked to finish the game strong as Smith saw her shot blocked by Jade Ferguson, while Rosie Littlewood saw her effort saved by the feet of Andrei.
Smith was then extremely unlucky as her well-driven free-kick crashed off the crossbar, before Bridlington scored their third two minutes from time. Eleanor Robinson released Newlove and the striker placed her finish into the bottom corner to secure her brace. She could have scored her hat-trick in injury time as she combined again with Robinson, but her effort was saved by Andrei as Bridlington secured the Women’s Cup.
BRIDLINGTON ROVERS: 1. Kirsty Bannister (GK), 2. Eleanor Robinson, 20. Charlie Sutherby, 14. Danielle Kendrick, 19. Skie Wyatt, 8. Evie Barrett, 11. Amy Thompson (C), 6. Jess Derbyshire, 9. Amy Ward, 5. Emma Smith, 21. Jade Newlove. Rolling Substitutes: 3. Sammie Workman, 16. Natasha Linford, 24. Chelsey Atkinson, 4. Tonya Wild-Storr, 17. Vicky Stonehouse.
AFC PRESTON: 1. Alina Andrei (GK), 2. Laura Wilkinson, 3. Kate Renwick, 4. Paige Conlan, 5. Katie Shepherd, 14. Laney-Mae Woodall, 7. Abigail Edwards, 8. Aimee Lindley (C), 9. Emily Renwick, 10. Megan Toohie, 11. Alex Beardshaw. Rolling Substitutes: 17. Andreea Ceasusu, 12. Jade Ferguson, 15. Jessica Stockdale, 16. Rosie Littlewood, 6. Charlotte Tonkin.
Match Officials: Peter Wegg (Referee), James Dunford & Cameron Hoyle (Assistant Referee’s), Mark Hemsworth (Fourth Official)
Bridlington Rovers Captain Amy Thompson:
“It’s great to end Bridlington Rovers on a high with the cup, especially with everything that happened last season and now going under the name of Hull United. We didn’t end last season on a high with everything that has happened, but it was really good to get the girls back together and play with everyone again and best of all, we got the win and the cup which was great.
“AFC Preston played absolutely outstanding and they produced a really good match. They had a few good chances and it wasn’t an easy game at all and they came at us, but luckily for us, we managed to get a couple of goals early on and get the win.
“As captain it’s great to lift the cup. I was named captain last season, so it’s great to get a trophy and start the new season on a high. It’s really exciting and we’ve got a few new players since we’ve moved to Hull. They’re all really talented and the league we are playing in is of a high standard, so I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season. It’ll be a challenge, but I’m confident that after a couple of games in the new league, we’ll adapt our style and play and hopefully do well in it.”
AFC Preston Manager Trevor Lindley:
“I thought the girls did very well and we came up today against a very good side and the chances they got, they took. Bridlington were clinical which was the difference today as we didn’t take our chances.
“I think Bridlington were a little bit stronger virtually all over the park today. I thought we competed well and battled well, but they always had the edge and I think they are a very good side.
“We’ll go into the new season with hopes to be as successful as we were last season. That’s the goal we have set and unfortunately, COVID-19 took a lot away from us last season with the League Cup and the League Title; which we had every chance of winning, but it was the same for everyone. If we can be as successful as we were last season in our league then I’ll be happy.”