15th April 2018

STOKE CITY LADIES RESERVES have won the FA Women’s Premier League Reserve Cup following a 1- 0 win against Portsmouth at Keys Park. Emily Curteis’ 85th minute winner was the difference between the sides in an absorbing encounter. The Potters went into the game on the back of a 14- 0 win over Burton Albion last time out and went on the search for goals early on in what was arguably the club’s biggest ever game. Beth Roberts struck a post directly from a corner whilst top scorers Curteis and Abbie Iddenden both went close in the opening stages. Pompey stopper Melissa Burns was having a tremendous match between the sticks, keeping out efforts from Curteis and Roisin Kivel as Claire Lynne Smith’s side continued to push for the opening goal. Charmaine True’s header was Portsmouth’s only effort of real note in the first half but they grew in confidence in the second period after Curteis saw an effort ruled out for a tight offside. Emma-Jane May’s trickery almost created a goal for Pompey before Stoke ‘keeper Alice Langstone pulled off a save worthy of winning any match, let alone a cup. The long serving goalie flung herself high to her left to claw out what seemed to be a certain goal and keep City in the tie. The importance of that stop was clear for everyone to see when Curteis broke the deadlock five minutes from time. Lucy Ridgway played a ball over the Pompey defence and into the forward’s path. Curteis latched onto the ball before firing an unstoppable shot into the back of the net via the inside of the post to spark wild scenes. The Potters clung on to seal a deserved victory with captain and player of the match Becky Arnold lifting the trophy aloft in front of 262 spectators. The win completes one half of their quest to clinch a league and cup double and the reserve side are back in league action on Tuesday night when they travel to West Bromwich Albion (7.30pm kick off). Stoke City: Langstone, Dixon (Elson 68), B.Roberts, Garner, Arnold, Brown, Kivel, Ridgway, Curteis, Taylor (Brough 65), Iddenden (Singleton 85). Unused Substitutes: Cassidy, Bruton