WGC Ladies through to county cup final

PUBLISHED: 10:56 19 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:11 26 October 2009

Verity Crook, pictured here with WGC Ladies Chairman Kim Rees, missed the cup win through injury

Verity Crook, pictured here with WGC Ladies Chairman Kim Rees, missed the cup win through injury

WELWYN Garden City Ladies stormed into the Herts FA County Women's Cup with a resounding 7-2 victory over local rivals London Colney Ladies at a rain-swept Moneyhole Playing Fields. Welwyn went into the match with a goalkeeping crisis when their England p

WELWYN Garden City Ladies stormed into the Herts FA County Women's Cup with a resounding 7-2 victory over local rivals London Colney Ladies at a rain-swept Moneyhole Playing Fields.

Welwyn went into the match with a goalkeeping crisis when their England prospect, goalkeeper Verity Crook withdrew, shortly before the game with a back injury.

With no recognised goalkeeper on the bench, the job fell to Nicole Hogan.

On an excellent playing surface considering the recent weather, the early chances fell to London Colney as Welwyn started nervously - a combination of rust due to the lack of games and the withdrawal of Crook.

However, they soon got into their stride and after seven minutes, midfielder Jody Lapish went on a diagonal cross-field run before slipping the ball to Laveena Betts.

Betts ran to the goal line and put in an inch-perfect cross to striker Naomi Lyon who put her shot just wide.

Lyon went close again six minutes later after a move which started in the home defence and involved Sam Gillings and Faye Rees, her shot being blocked by a London Colney defender.

The nippy visiting number 15 was a constant threat and after 23 minutes she managed to get the better of Vicky Neal in the Welwyn defence only for her shot to be blocked by Sheree Oliver.

A minute later, Lapish had a good shout for a penalty turned down after she burst into the visitors' penalty area.

Stand-in goalkeeper Hogan was in the action two minutes later when her miscued goalkick went straight to a Colney forward, who passed to her strike partner but the shot went wide.

Hogan pulled off a great save on the half hour when she managed to palm away a dangerous corner kick.

The deadlock was broken in the 33rd minute when Oliver's long ball from defence found the run of Sophie Thompson who burst into the penalty area and slotted the ball past the oncoming goalkeeper.

Thompson made the score 2-0 when from the London Colney kick-off the ball somehow found its way to her on the edge of the penalty area.

Her shot seemed to be harmless as the goalkeeper reached up to catch it but it somehow managed to go through her hands and then roll agonisingly slowly over the goal line.

After 38 minutes, Lyon brought a marvelous save from the visiting goalkeeper who stretched to turn her shot over the bar.

From the resulting Betts corner, Oliver was first to the ball and her header was helped over the line by a defender to make the score 3-0.

The away side got on to the score sheet a minute before half time when a floated free kick was fumbled by Hogan and a forward was on hand to toe-poke the ball into the net to make the score 3-1 at half time.

The second half started slowly but then in a six minute spell of devastating football, Welwyn put the match out of the away side's reach.

In the 48th minute Lapish had a shot cleared off the line after a Betts corner.

Lapish then scored direct from the corner on the left - a high looping kick which would have been difficult for any keeper to handle.

Three minutes later, a Betts corner from the left was met by the head of Lapish whose powerful header was unstoppable, to make the score 5-1.

Oliver got on the score sheet following yet another dangerous when she blasted the ball home from fully 25 yards to make the score 6-1.

In the 88th minute, Thompson completed a well deserved hat-trick when she chased a long ball forward, beat the defender to the ball and then slotted it past the goalkeeper to make the score 7-1.

London Colney wrapped up the scoring in the 90th minute with a tremendous goal from all of thirty yards - a pacey lob which left Lapish stranded.

WGC now face Watford in the final - a repeat of last season's thriller - at the County Ground, Letchworth on Sunday March 15.

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