Sunday 21 July 2013

Keele Tournament   Ladies Squad      Stoke Ladies again entered two teams into the Keele Cup, now becoming a regular pre season tournament. The 2013 tournament was split into: Senior Women’s Competition Recreational Women’s Competition Stoke entered both teams this year into the Senior competition, a difficult ask for the reserves but we had high hopes for the first team after the success of both firsts and reserves in previous Keele tournaments. The first team were placed in a group with Curzon Ashton, Huddersfield and Alexandra Soccer Centre finishing top of the group with two wins and a draw, In the semi final, Stoke took on Kilwinning Sports Club who had finished runners up in their group to Wolves. Goals from Becci Knight, Laura Garside, Claudia Walker and a brace from Chantelle Gallagher sealed a comfortable 5-0 to set up a final against Wolves. Stoke’s promotion to the Premier League meant that they would be meeting Wolves in the coming season so this was a great opportunity for Stoke to judge how the new squad could adjust to the new division. Stoke could hardly have wished for a better start in the final, Laura Garside scored in Stoke’s very first attack before being mobbed by the rest of the team. Wolves came back with an equaliser before Stoke clinched the final from a late Jade Boulton free kick - although Tash Tezgel claims that the ball brushed her hair on the way through. The reserves had a tough group which included teams from Liverpool and Basingstoke which ultimately led to them getting to the semi final of the plate competition where they also took on a team from Scotland. A 2-1 victory over Scottish Premier League side Falkirk with a superb winning header from the edge of the area by Stoke City Centre of Excellence forward Georgia Brookshaw took the ladies to a final against a well organised Birkenhead Ladies. Stoke Ladies reserves then cruised to a well earned 3-1 victory to take the plate!