Kent Cup, up and up
Report by Sue Prior
Page last updated at 9:36PM UTC, Saturday, 23 April 2011
Reserve team captain Katie Hardaker and winning goal scorer Sam Rowland, spoke of their joy at winning the Kent Cup on penalties, after extra time verses Millwall Lionesses on Thursday Evening at Sevenoaks Town.
“I had cramp in both legs . . .I was so nervous . . .And when the ball hit the net . . “I just felt relief - so happy!”
Winning goalscorer Sam Rowland
Report by Colin B Robertson
Hardaker spoke of the excitement to play on such an occasion with the added spice of playing their local rivals, “It’s been long wait and big build up. There was great support today and a good crowd for both teams, everyone got behind us.”
“It was a battle it was end to end at such high pace, for both teams. The pressure the build-up, the shouting, everything going on – everyone at the end of it pulled together and stuck at it when they needed to.”
The Addicks did not let their heads drop after conceding a calamity goal early in the second half, Rowland said, “We knew there was time to go, so just had to keep going. We have scored lots of goals this season so knew one would come. We just had to keep battling.”
Rowland won the penalty and converted it for the equaliser, latching onto Katie Balfour’s pass, “I was so nervous on that one, my legs were shaking.” she said.
Hardaker continued, “I think we all were just watching! Sam’s penalty - It made us go at them more. We had chances to put away the game, so many chances at goal, but just didn’t put them away, in the end we’re lucky to win the game, it isn’t a mad thing to lose on penalties but it’s a great feeling to win.”
Rowland then scored the winner, the fifth penalty in the shootout, “I didn’t know where to go, whether to go the same way but I did. I was so nervous!” And when the ball hit the net - she recalled, “I just felt relief - so happy!”
Hardaker had been in line to take the sixth, “Quite a few players wanted to take one. I put my hand up too but I’m just glad the pressure wasn’t on me.”
It was an adrenaline finish to a long physically challenging game, “It was struggle. Towards the end in midfield the running was well tough. I think moments like that you just have to keep going because you want it. We wanted it so much and I think we showed our heart and determination.”
To then score five from five in the shoot-out was even more commendable, Rowland reflecting, “I had cramp in both legs! It’s a lot of running before five or six penalties to be honest.”
It was definitely a game to remember and an achievement which emphasises the talents of the young reserve side who were newly promoted to the reserve premier division this season, “We’ve like been up near the top of the table with Chelsea and Arsenal this year – it is a great feeling, although It’s not over yet…” said Hardaker, “But so far so good!”
The reserves chasing third place with two games remaining play Cardiff City LFC reserves at Sparrows Lane on Sunday KO 2pm.