Airbus Ladies reach a cup final for the first time in the team’s history
The Wingmakers made it to the Maurice Naylor Cup final with a 2-0 victory over Kinmel Bay Ladies in the semi-final.
After their recent poor form in the league, Airbus Ladies were looking for a strong reaction from the team to ensure they could make the final.
The formation altered slightly from the previous couple of games for the home side. Becky Miles was out of the match after her awful injury in the loss last week against Prestatyn, Becca Dolman dropped to the back to replace Miles, Hyndman was back in the starting line-up, and Parry resumed play in her usual position covering the back four with Williams dropping off more to play alongside Goodall.
The Wingmakers came out fighting from the whistle and completely dominated the first half. The away side could not contain the fluidity of Airbus’ movement and were being attacked from all angles.
The home side could and should have been four or five up at half time. But loose shooting and some strong saves from the Kinmel Bay goalkeeper kept the away side in the match. Airbus attacked at every opportune moment with Hyndman causing all sorts of problems on the left wing. Goodall and Williams dominated the midfield with Parry provided the vital link between defence and midfield.
Dolman was solid as a rock at the back, heading everything clear and frustrating the Kinmel striker. Twohig and Shute were confident on the ball and calmly brought it down before playing the ball out on the wings for Smith and Hyndman to create chances.
Borley was beating the defenders for pace every time, but was unfortunate to stray marginally offside on a few occasions. Williams and Goodall were playing some great through balls out to the wings, Hyndman looked to cut inside and carry the ball into the area creating chances for herself, Borley and Williams. The pressure was mounting on the Kinmel goal but
Airbus could not find the breakthrough.
Captain, Borley had a couple of one on one efforts saved by the keeper, Williams saw a shot fly off the crossbar, and Parry ventured forward to narrowly miss a couple of long range efforts as they whistled past the post.
Confidence was flowing through the home side, as chances were being created for fun, the team just could not find the
back of the net.
Kinmel Bay had a brief spell of possession and had a couple of corners but caused the Airbus defence no problems as Friend remained untested.
Half way through the first half the home side finally got the breakthrough they were after, and rightly deserved. Williams and Borley closed down the Kinmel left back who could only half clear the ball to Smith, who took it past the defender and played a half cross, half shot into the area. A lack of communication between the Kinmel defender and goalkeeper saw the two of them go for the same ball and the ball went in off the defender to give Airbus a one nil advantage.
The goal gave the Wingmakers even more belief and they continued to hunt down the Kinmel goal. Williams, Goodall and Parry were varying their passes from cutting inside to playing it out to the wings, causing the Kinmel Bay midfield constant problems and draining their energy with great efficiency. Hyndman was electric down the wing but was being pushed to the limits by the right midfielder who was tracking back constantly to help her defender out.
It was one of Hyndman’s breaks which led to Kinmel Bay conceding a penalty. With eight minutes of the first half remaining Goodall played the ball out to Hyndman who cut in and out of her player before carrying the ball into the area, jinxing in and out of players she looked to have got past the final defender before her leg was caught by the defender’s trailing leg. The referee could do nothing but point to the spot. Goodall stepped up to take the penalty only to see the goalkeeper make a fine save and push the ball to safety.
The Wingmakers continued to dominate until half time but could not turn their possession into another goal.
The half time whistle came at the right time for the away side, giving them chance to re-group and come back fighting in the second half. Airbus were wary of the threat Kinmel Bay had caused in the second half of the last couple of matches they had played against them in the league, but were determined not to let history repeat itself.
The second half played out very similarly to the previous matches with Kinmel Bay dominating possession, but the Airbus team were first to every loose ball, stronger in the tackles and higher in the air. Kinmel Bay were forced into long range shots that failed to test Friend and could not find that final ball into the area. The Wingmakers defended corners resolutely, and only one reached the arms of Friend who saved smartly to her right.
Airbus scored the winner on the break away, a loose ball was swept up by Scammell who played the ball through to Williams, who carried it twenty yards into the area and then had the composure to score at the near post, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. The Airbus players struggled to contain their euphoria as they knew how crucial the goal was, and how well timed it was too.
Kinmel Bay head’s began to drop, however they continued to dominate possession. Knox and Thornton came on to replace Smith and Hyndman, to help soak up the pressure on the wings.
Goodall and Knox linked up well on the right wing, with Knox cutting the ball inside for Goodall to squeeze through the area who could not quite hit the target as she lost balance when hitting the shot. With just a couple of minutes to go Friend ensured that the Wingmakers had a clean sheet to go with the win with a superb one handed stop to push the ball round the post.
As the final whistle went the Airbus team celebrated in jubilation as they reached their first ever cup final.
It was a phenomenal team performance with every single player putting their heart and soul into the game, and the delight
on the players’ faces at the end of the match showed just how much the players’ wanted to win.
They now go into next week’s league match against Holyhead full of confidence and hoping to turn their league form on its head.
Player of the match: Abby Williams
Airbus: S Friend, E Shute, H Scammell, B Dolman, L Twohig, A Hyndman, J Goodall, E Parry, A Williams, S Smith, L Borley. Subs: D Knox, L McKeogh, C Thornton.