Lady Citizens stung in extra time

PUBLISHED: 11:38 11 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:07 26 October 2009

WGC's players are presented to special guest Bill Dance before the final

WGC's players are presented to special guest Bill Dance before the final

Herts County Cup Final Watford Ladies 3 Welwyn Garden City Ladies 2 (after extra time) TWO WGC goals in stoppage time took the Herts County Cup Final against Watford to an additional 30 minutes. Laveena Betts and Naomi Lyon scored in quick succession in

Goalkeeper Verity Crook in action for WGC Ladies earlier in the season Picture by Malcolm Swinden

Herts County Cup Final

Watford Ladies 3 Welwyn Garden City Ladies 2 (after extra time)

TWO WGC goals in stoppage time took the Herts County Cup Final against Watford to an additional 30 minutes.

Laveena Betts and Naomi Lyon scored in quick succession in the closing stages to take the match to extra time before City cruelly lost a five-goal thriller 3-2.

The dramatic encounter on Wednesday night also saw two Lady Citizens, including highly-rated goalkeeper Verity Crook, being taken to hospital in the same ambulance.

The duo were injured before the Hornets took the lead with 10 minutes left and then added a second in injury time.

It looked as though that had secured the West Herts side the trophy, but unbelievably WGC netted twice before the end of normal time.

Betts and Lyon both scored to make it 2-2, but late in the added on 30 minutes Watford snatched a winner.

The encounter started with the Herns Lane team taking the game by the scruff of the neck.

Forwards Faye Rees and Lyon looked sharp and determined to put their opponents' back-line under pressure.

Dawn Mallett had a shot tipped past the post by Hornets keeper Lauren Davey, who was on hand later in the half to smartly stop a header from Laura Bright.

Watford failed to capitalise on their chances through wasteful finishing and strong defending from Sophie Bailey and Vicky Neal in a goalless first half.

The second period was 15 minutes old when WGC keeper Crook sustained concussion in a collision with Watford's Helen Lander and after lengthy treatment left the field.

Without a replacement, Bright stepped between the posts.

She was soon called upon to save a Lander shot, before watching Emma Beckett blaze the rebound over.

The game became disjointed with stoppages, until Watford took the lead through Jo Rutherford on 80 minutes.

Around the same time Ella Baker was stretchered off and she joined Crook in an ambulance to hospital.

Steph Belcher then took over in goal and released Bright back to midfield.

Watford looked to have sealed the game when Rutherford added a second in injury time but the Lady Citizens refused to fold.

Incredibly, two goals within a minute levelled the scores.

Betts pulled one back following good work by Shelley Forster.

And then Lyon collected a ball outside the area, freed herself from two defenders and rolled the ball home for the equaliser.

There was still enough time for Lander to hit a post before the whistle blew on a breathless end to the half to send the match into extra time.

Without many clear-cut opportunities, the game looked to be heading for penalties.

However, with three minutes remaining a Watford free-kick was swung into Welwyn's area.

Beckett rose and the ball looped off her shoulder just under the bar to seal the win.

WGC manager Paul Bright said: "The only place the girls lost out tonight was the final score.

"They showed tremendous spirit and determination, doing themselves and all at Welwyn Garden City Football Club proud.


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