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Monday, 17 June 2013 10:36

Farmington pull off stunning comeback to lift cup

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Hibernian Girls
Real Farmington
Smith 24, 34
Rutherford 68
Brough 64, 65, 94
Gallacher 67
17's SWF SE League Cup - Final
Spartans Academy
Joe Birchenall

By Joe Birchenall
YFS East/South East Region Reporter
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Real Farmington recovered from going three goals down to beat Hibernian 3 – 4 in the U17’s South East League Cup Final at Ainslie Park. Hibs found themselves 3 – 0 up with 10 minutes to play after two goals from Rebecca Smith and another from Nicole Rutherford. But, incredibly, Farmington rallied and pushed the tie into extra time, after a Kayleigh Brough double and a goal from Amy Gallacher came in the space of five minutes. Extra time began and chances went both ways but in the second period Farmington took the lead for the first time, Brough heading home from close range to bag a hatrick for herself, and the League Cup for her team.

The game was an intense and fast paced encounter from the first minute, with both teams clearly fired up. Hibs looked very confident and hit the woodwork twice inside the first 10 minutes, Bianca Murphy and Amber Robertson both coming within inches of breaking the early deadlock. Chelsea Cornet then showed a burst of speed to lose her marker before hitting a shot across goal that Dana Soutar did well to parry round the post.

Chloe Dunn had already shown ability in the opening moments after she lost her maker with a deft flick and turn, so she might have been disappointed when her shot from outside the box didn’t cause Lauren Stewart more trouble. Realistically, Dunn’s opportunity was a half chance at most but Kayleigh Brough should have done better when a defensive mistake found her one on one with Stewart. Instead, the young goalie got the better of Brough and saved her low shot comfortably.

Hibs retaliated and began to dominate possession, particularly in the midfield area. The link up play specifically causing problems, as the fluid and fast paced Hibernian attacks were starting to wear the Farmington defence down with chances were a regular occurrence. Cornet, Smith and Robertson all came frustratingly close to opening the scoring but Farmington managed to hold tight.

As the game went on, Hibs continued to create chances and their midfielders continued to find space in behind their Farmington counterparts. Dana Soutar had her hands full in the opening 20 minutes and, if it wasn’t for her fierce determination to protect her goal, Farmington could have found themselves down by several goals long before Rebecca Smith did break the deadlock on 24 minutes. Smith was found by a sumptuous ball from Lindsay Ferry that deceived the entire Farmington defence, leaving Smith with the time and space she needed to pick her spot and hit home. Soutar had performed admirably but she could do nothing to stop Smith’s fiercely accurate shot that flew into the top corner.

Farmington then had a foray forward, a rare occurrence in the first half, when Laura Parsley did well to turn her marker and create space for herself but her left footed shot was comfortably gathered by Stewart in goal. Hibs went forward, again, and just five minutes before the break managed to double their lead through Rebecca Smith, again. The Hibs number seven latched onto a sweetly struck corner to guide the ball into the back of the net with a delicate glancing header. 2 – 0 to Hibs as the referee brought the first half to a close.
Hibernian had dominated proceedings from kickoff and would argue they deserved more than two goals to show for what was a strong, attacking performance. To their credit Real Farmington had defended doggedly and had done well to minimise the threat Hibernian posed to them. The girls from Farmington had created a few chances but had lacked composure in front of goal and Hibs were more than deserving of their lead.

Half Time: Hibernian Girls 2-0 Real Farmington

Farmington were on the pitch well before their opponents at the start of the second half and when the game restarted they looked a very different type of animal. They were hungrier in the tackle and more effective in possession, creating several chances in the first five minutes.

Kayleigh Noble broke free of the defence and with the ball bouncing she looked to chip the onrushing Lauren Stewart. While her trajectory was right, her accuracy was just off and the ball sailed wide of the post. But again Noble threatened menacingly when she volleyed another bouncing ball towards goal, her venomous shot just clipping the roof of the net.

Farmington continued to peg Hibs back and create chances going forward, while at the back Jade McLaren looked to have gained some confidence and was attacking every ball that came her way with authority. Noble continued the assault by hammering a shot at goal but Stewart, who had been called into action more times in the first 20 minutes of the second half than she had in the entire first half, did very well to force the ball round her post.

Hibs had looked a little disturbed by the fighting spirit and the newfound possession retaining ability of their opposition, and they found chances few and far between as Farmington defended well. But all Farmington’s hard work looked to have been in vain when the quick thinking of Hibs captain Chelsea Cornet saw Nicole Rutherford put their side three goals to the good with just 12 minutes to play. Cornet won a free kick and, with the Farmington defence still lining up, played in a delicate ball for Rutherford to run onto and chip over Soutar into the net. Rutherford picked up a clattering from the keeper for her efforts, showing bravery to stay committed to the ball for her shot and then again to pick herself up to celebrate after a little help from the physio.

But Farmington continued to press and they seemed even more fired up after the goal. Straight after the goal Laura Paisley found herself one on one with the keeper but was just unable to steer her shot inside the far post. With time running out, Paisley hadn’t gotten any luck with her effort - but Kayleigh Brough had no such problems on 74 minutes. She somehow managed to squeeze home from inside the box after Stewart was unable to gather the ball and her defenders were unable to prevent it from crossing the line. Fortunate from Farmington, but their second half performance had warranted a goal.

They continued to pressure Hibs and just a minute later Brough had found the net again after picking up a cut back and thundering a shot that Stewart got a hand to but couldn’t stop from going in. 3 – 2. The comeback was on.

And, incredibly, the comeback was completed just another two minutes later when Amy Gallacher was released down the right wing. She took a touch to get ahead of her marker before unleashing an unstoppable shot right into the bottom right corner. 3 – 3 at Ainslie Park with three minutes remaining. Hibs tried to push forward but Farmington held on comfortably until the end of the second half.

Full Time: Hibernian Girls 3-3 Real Farmington

Extra time go underway and Hibs had the ball in the net with just a minute played, captain Chelsea Cornet flew past at least 4 defenders before tucking away what looked like an incredible solo goal, but instead the linesman’s flag brought play back to an offside infringement, much to the dismay of the Hibs players and supporters.

Jamie-Lee Smith was then sent off for an off the ball incident which also saw Kayleigh Brough booked, but Hibs were more of a threat in extra time and Amy Lynch, who had played well all game, came close with an audacious shot from distance that just went over the bar.

The longer extra time went on, the more frantic and end to end the game became as both teams were desperate to win. Parsely sent another stinging shot just over the bar before her team won a free kick down the right wing. From the set piece a vicious shot was somehow headed onto the crossbar by Erin Burns, but her heroic effort proved futile as Brough was on hand to score the decisive goal. Heart breaking for Hibs who didn’t deserve such cruelty, but truly stunning from Farmington who had recovered so well to seal the U17s Girls League Cup Final.

Fans were treated to a pulsating game of football that was as entertaining as it was dramatic, nobody could have predicted such an inspiring comeback. One of the oldest clichés in football says that it’s a game of two halves but rarely is there such a clear example of this being the case. Farmington deserve to celebrate because what they achieved was great. But Hibs deserve credit too as they played so well in the first half and could have been more than two goals up at half time but Farmington refused to give in, to let Hibs settle into a rhythm or to stop working. They snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, and in some style too.

Final Result: Hibernian Girls 3-4 Real Farmington (AET)

Hibernian Girls  Real Farmington
1. Lauren Stewart
3. Caitlin Knox
4. Chelsea Cornet (C)
6. Erin Burns
7. Rebecca Smith
9. Jamie-Lee Smith
11. Holly Cockburn
14. Amy Lynch
15. Nicole Rutherford
16. Daniella Moffat
17. Amber Robertson
19. Hannah Grieve
20. Rachel Grieve
22. Bianca Murphy
29. Rebecca McArthur
101. Lindsay Ferry

1. Dana Soutar
2. Heather Royle
3. Jade McLaren
4. Murron White (C)
5. Dana Mcfarlane
6. Ellice Brannan
7. Kayleigh Noble
8. Lindsey Dunbar
9. Chloe Dunn
10. Amy Gallacher
11. Megan Burns
12. Laura Parsley
14. Tammy Guilcher
15. Jodie Donegan
16. Lynsey Gerrie
17. Megan Burns
19. Lori Allan
20. Kayleigh Brough
21. Rhianne Menmuir  
22. Louise Falconer
Chelsea Cornet was a constant threat and was always an option. Tireless running and a strong performance, worthy of any captain and desperately unlucky not to score after a perplexing dexision from the referee.
Jade McLaren played exceptionally well in the second half and was instrumental in making sure her team had a platform to stand on when launching attacks. Great performance.
James Smith, Hibernain Head Coach, said: "I thought we dominated in large parts but maybe made too many changes too quick near the end but fair dues to Forfar they’ve stuck in and must’ve been the better team if they won in the end but we’ll live to fight another day."

Paul White, Coach of Real Farmington, said: "I thought they started a lot better than us, we were poor to begin with but we dug deep and made a couple of changes which seemed to make the difference. It was a pretty exciting game, disappointing for Hibs but I’ve got to be proud of the girls. They showed great character today and I think they deserved it."
Last modified on Friday, 02 August 2013 13:11
Joe Birchenall

Joe Birchenall | YFS East Region Journalist
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