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Football - 24. March 2011.

Barnet triumph in Premier League Cup Final

Barnet FC Ladies 0-0 Nottingham Forest Ladies - Barnet win 4-3 on penalties
FA Women's Premier League Cup Final - Adams Park, Wycombe

Barnet Ladies won the FA Women's Premier League Cup on penalties after a scoreless 120 minutes at Wycombe Wanderers' Adams Park ground.

By David Brenchley

Sally Wade scored the winning penalty as 10-player Barnet, bottom of the National Division, won their first League Cup since 1996 - then as Wembley Ladies.

Barnet dominated the early posession and Sowden had the first chance of the game when she was played through by Boardman but her attempt went just wide of the post.

Some quick thinking then saw Pond release the striker, who won a corner kick, but Pond's volley from the resulting set piece went high into the racuous Barnet section of the crowd.

Pond, always a threat down the Bees' left flank, then carved out some space at the edge of the area but her resultant shot was still too high.

The former Charlton player then caused problems for the Forest defence with a cross that was headed behind and from the corner Abbie Prosser shot just wide of the far post.

Forest's first chance was from a Lawson free kick that was easily gathered by Cherie Rowlands whose quick distribution led to yet another Sowden chance but this time her shot was too close to keeper Claire Wallhead.

Forest then carved out their first meaningful effort as Andrea Bell cut in from the right but was foiled by Rowlands.

Still under the cosh, the Nottingham side tried to carve out another decent opening but, after Suzanne Davies took the ball past Jade Dempster, Lawson's shot was as inaccurate as Pond's were before.

Having soaked up almost 45 minutes of pressure, Forest should have gone into the interval a goal up after good work from Bell set up a gilt-edged opportunity for Natalie Clarke but her shot was saved by the legs of Rowlands.

Barnet started the second period positively again and an early Murphy free kick was well pushed out by Wallhead but, despite the Barnet fans' cheers, the rebound went wide.

The Tricky Trees had yet another agonisingly close effort when Rachael Murray's 30-yarder beat Rowlands' dive and struck the underside of the crossbar before the keeper managed to scramble it away for a corner.

It was difficult to tell which side of the line the ball landed but it seemed to be the correct decision from the officials, although Forest understandably felt aggrieved.

Gemma Rudman was next to go close, hitting the top of the crossbar with a header with just over an hour on the clock.

Sowden was then harshly dismissed shortly afterwards for tripping her marker after the ball had gone out for a goal kick.

The red card allowed Lisa Dawkins' side into the match for the first time all evening and a few goalmouth scrambles almost saw them create openings.

Nottingham Forest had a last ditch attempt as Suzanne Davies controlled the ball at the far post but her shot from an acute angle didn't find the target.

Spotting Wallhead off her line, Murphy then attempted an ambitious long range shot which, despite dipping late, never quite looked like finding the target.

The game seemed to open up in extra time slightly and Barnet did well to get themselves back into the tie but neither side could fashion chances in the first 15 minutes.

In the second period of overtime, a Jemma Connor-Iommi free kick sailed into Rowlands' arms while Davies was almost played through but the ball got caught up and her effort was blocked at point blank range.

Dempster had the best chance of extra time with around five minutes on the clock, picking up the ball 30 yards out on the right and flashing an effort just wide of Wallhead's far post.

The penalty shoot out was contested in front of the stand with a vociferous Barnet following and Rowlands tipped Clarke's penalty onto the post before Murphy blazed her effort over.

Rowlands was again the heroine after saving Lawson's spot kick and Wade stepped up to score the winning penalty and wrap the win up.


Post match reaction to come on womensportreport.com tomorrow.

Barnet: Rowlands, Dempster, Wade, Prosser, Reidy (O'Leary 120), Rudman, Murphy, Sowden, Trimnell, Boardman, Pond (Lance 77). Subs (not used): E. Davies, Smith, Keown.

Nottingham Forest: Wallhead, Gilliatt, Tomkins, Bailey, Bell, Connor-Iommi, Lawson, N. Clarke, S. Davies (Hinton 112), Stanithorpe (Howard 83), Murray (Waddell 61). Subs (not used): Earps, E. Clarke.

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photos Janos Schmidt 

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