Lichfield Diamonds U14 reach the County Cup final

Lichfield Diamonds secured their place in the Staffs FA Tesco County Cup Final after an unbeaten run in the qualifying stages.

Lichfield Diamonds U14 0 Walsall Girls 0: In their first group game holders Diamonds made up of girls from both the U14 and U13 teams met favourites Walsall.

Both sides had their chances with Jose Balla and Holly Meehan bringing good saves from Walsall’s keeper, with Elsie Baxter in goal for Diamonds also kept on her toes.

But a draw in the end was a good result for Diamonds with Walsall having already played and beaten Chasetown.

Chasetown Girls U14 0 Lichfield Diamonds U14 1: Needing to match Walsall’s result, Diamonds drove forward early on.

Caitlin Harper drew two excellent saves from Town’s keeper, with Balla also forcing her into action.

At the interval the score was still level, but Diamonds stuck to their task showing great patience. Alana Hodges was moved up front to increase the pressure which soon bought its reward when captain Georgia Bradley netted from close range after Balla’s well taken corner.

This set up a thrilling last game against Wednesfield to decide who would be in the final at the end of the month against Walsall who have completed their fixtures with seven points.

Lichfield Diamonds U14 2 Wednesfield Girls 0: With both teams needing a win to secure a final place it was Diamonds who coped with the pressure better.

Midway through the first half Balla broke down the left and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net.

For the second half Diamonds had the advantage of wind and slope and kept Wednesfield in their own half for long periods.

Maily Harper and Lucy Whieldon controlled center midfield and Freya Sammons swept up anything that did get through.

The win was wrapped up when Harper controlled the ball just inside the box, picked her spot and gave the keeper no chance.

Diamonds now meet Walsall in the Final on March 29 for a chance to again represent Staffordshire at the Regional Finals in Manchester on April 24 – exactly as the U14 team of last year did.

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