Stevenage Ladies 8-0 Hoddesdon Town Owls
The FA Women’s Premier League South East Division One side secured their third Women’s Challenge Cup victory in three years, as they put eight past The Owls on Mother's Day.
Hoddesdon Town, who apply their trade in Division One of the Eastern Region Women’s League, alongside Stevenage Ladies Reserves, faced a side who have previously netted 34 times in just four games in this competition, conceding just once, whilst The Owls themselves also had a fairly decent record as they managed 21. This fixture promised to be a goal fest – and it didn’t disappoint.
Although all eight came from the Stevenage camp on the day, it was hardly surprising. Hoddesdon had done exceptionally well to get into the Final, with memorable wins over sides such as Welwyn Pegasus and St Albans, but it was always going to take something special to beat a side of Stevenage’s calibre.
From the first whistle to the last, The Boro piled on the pressure. To begin with, Matthew Norton’s Hoddesdon made it difficult to break down.
Owls’ keeper Casey Herrick was called into action and kept Stevenage at bay, but on 17 minutes Stevenage were ahead courtesy of Amy Makewell, who nestled the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net.
Minutes later Makewell made it two and recorded her brace with another clever finish, after Herrick had once again pulled off a brilliant save to deny the holders.
After all their hard work in the first 20 had come undone, Hoddesdon stuck together and made it difficult for Stevenage to get another sniff, but on the half-hour mark Chloe Gunn made it three.
Ten minutes later, Stevenage were awarded a free-kick from 25 yards out, Gunn stepped over the ball and floated it beyond Herrick’s reach, making it 4-0.
Half-time came to Hoddesdon’s rescue as they entered the break 4-0 down, a score-line that hasn’t always guaranteed defeat.
However, shortly after the break two quick-fire goals from Ashleigh Deacon made it six, with the game well and truly put to bed 55 minutes in.
Makewell secured her hat-trick before Leah Littlechild made it eight with a minute to go, scoring The Boro’s 42nd goal in five County Cup games.
A superb, but expected performance from Stevenage, playing a Hoddesdon side that probably weren’t at their best, but are sure to be a threat again in next season’s competition.