Tuesday 6 March 2018

Staffordshire County Cup    Kick Off : 19:30 Stoke City won the Staffordshire FA Ladies Challenge Cup for the 10th year on the run, with a 2-0 scoreline over Sporting Khalsa at Stafford Town FC on Tuesday 6th March and an historic first ever Staffordshire FA final on a 3G surface. Midlands Division 1 Sporting Khalsa put up a good battle against their top flight FAWPL opponents but two first- half goals from the Potters proved sufficient to retain the trophy. Chances at both ends forced good saves before City went ahead on 18 minutes, Faye McCoy’s free kick deflected off the wall and into the top corner. There were again opportunities for each team before the favourites doubled their lead on 34 minutes, Kate Asher’s through ball taken past the keeper by Ashleigh Hayes. Cassie Hyde saw her header cleared off the Khalsa line, while goalkeeper Toni Parkes played her part in keeping the score at 2-0. With time running out for Sporting, Potters’ keeper Natalie Hall denied them a goal and a way back into the the tie. Credit to both sides for an entertaining game of football and an excellent advert for the female game in Staffordshire and a young Khalsa side can be proud of pushing Stoke all the way in a competitive final. The story of the tournament however should perhaps be the progress Stoke City Ladies are making with their other teams - whilst Reedswood/Sporting Khalsa have been improving and pushing closer every season, Stoke City Ladies Reserves have made at least the quarter finals every year since 2010 and every year since 2011, have only been knocked out of the competition by our own first team. In 2018 it was the quarter final stage where they were only narrowly defeated 2-1 and played the better football. The first team then had to face Stoke City Ladies Development side in the semi final who were in their very first year of existence. A truly remarkable achievement.