Two Blackpool FC Girls’ teams are celebrating County Cup triumphs after winning their finals at Lancashire FA headquarters in Leyland.
Blackpool FC Girls U13s 3 Wigan Athletic Girls 0
Once the formalities were completed it was down to business and Blackpool started well, which seemed to settle the nerves.
The Pool were looking to play passing football on an immaculate surface and soon started to create chances.
Wigan always looked dangerous, particularly on the break, but the Blackpool defence stood firm and soaked up any pressure.
As the half progressed Blackpool continued to threaten. A couple of shots went wide, one crashed against the crossbar and the Wigan keeper smothered other efforts.
The half-time whistle came and the game was still goalless. In the second half, Blackpool came out of the blocks quickly and forced an early corner, from which Tyra Vickers bundled the ball into the back of the net to give Blackpool the lead.
This seemed to lift Blackpool even further and, as the game opened up, they doubled the lead.
The ball fell to Emily Slater in the box, and she swivelled and struck a crisp shot into the back of the net.
Wigan gave everything to get back into the game but, once again, Blackpool’s defence was resilient.
With five minutes left, Emily Webster completed the scoring with a tap-in at the back post.
This was a great achievement for the team to win such a prestigious competition.
Blackpool FC Girls U16s 2 Preston North End 1
The final kicked off on a windy evening. and Preston had the first sight of goal but Hannah Gorman saved well. Pool began to stretch the PNE defence and their first corner was handled by a defender.
Captain Ellie Spooner stepped forward and drilled the penalty into the net for a ninth-minute lead.
With confidence lifted the Seasiders went close again two minutes later and they doubled their lead in the 17th, when Spooner’s long ball was chased by Nyah Cartwright, who lobbed the ball in from a tight angle.
PNE became more of a threat going forward but Alice Smith, Honor Rogerson, Gorman all produced fine blocks or interceptions and it remained 2-0 at half-time.
But North End came out strongly and pulled one back in the 43rd minute after breaking through the defence.
With the Lilywhites dominating territory, the glances at the watch were many.
However, with Gorman secure in goal and the defence solid, there was no significant threat until the 70thminute, when an excellent PNE strike from distance rattled the crossbar.
With nails bitten, Gorman was in the right place to make a save in the 75th minute.
Excellent game management by the girls saw them hold possession upfield whenever possible, though there was a further twist .
A Preston break down the right and early cross looked destined for their number 10 to equalise, though Montgomery made the ground to hammer the ball clear with a minute to play.
Natasha Webster showed outstanding determination and work rate in midfield to be named player of the match.