29th April 2013

Stoke City Ladies scoop League Cup after thrilling finale STOKE CITY LADIES completed their unique treble winning season yesterday . . . following a thrilling 8-4 League Cup final win over Leafield Athletic. Around 400 supporters turned up at Stafford Rangers' Marston Road ground to cheer the Potters on to the victory although none would have expected such a high scoring spectacle. It was Leafield who opened the scoring early on before City came back to race into a 3-1 lead. But as World Cup final referee Howard Webb blew for half-time the score had already been pegged back to three-all. A more dominant performance followed after the break with Laura Garside finishing with a hat-trick and the man of the match award from the FA officials. League top goalscorer Garside was joined on the scoresheet by League player of the season Chantelle Gallagher with Cassie Hyde (2), Dawn Mallet and Becki Knight also putting the ball into the back of the net. England record cap-maker and former Stoke City goalkeeper Peter Shilton presented the trophy at the end of the game, with the triumph coming on the back of the earlier League title and Staffordshire County Cup successes. "It's been a fantastic season for the ladies," said joint-manager Duncan Gilchrist. "There have been some tremendous team performances this season, and some tremendous individual performances too. "To be involved in such a successful season as the Club celebrates its 150th anniversary is amazing." Fellow joint-manager Andrew Frost added, "We weren't expecting to be as successful as we've been this season. "We've built a good footballing squad towards the latter stage of the season and since then it became more apparent that we could do better than we initially expected. "We would like to thank the fans who came to show their support, and for those who greeted us at half-time of the Norwich game. "It was a surreal moment for the girls walking around the pitch on Saturday and for them to get a reception like they did." The ladies will now prepare for life at the highest level of winter football for the 2013-14 campaign following their promotion.