Corby Ladies & Girls FC 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds Ladies 6

County Cup First Round

On a cold wet and damp afternoon away from home AFC Rushden & Diamonds ladies got their County Cup campaign off to a great start with a 6-1 win over Corby Ladies & Girls, even the weather has a hard time stopping this ladies team who have now gone 5 games without defeat since the team was formed.

The Diamonds Ladies had an unusual start to the game with the team having to wear a different coloured kit thankfully provided by Corby due to a backroom oversight, meaning the unusual sight of them playing in Red and Black strips. This did not stop the ladies from starting the game in fine form and taking the game to Corby from the off, and, as is becoming a regular pattern with the Ladies performances, it was only 11 minutes before the Diamonds took the lead with a cleverly worked goal from Diamonds Leading Goal Scorer Kelly Rust, who picked up the ball from midfield and placed her shot calmly passed the Corby Keeper.

Corby Ladies & Girls FC 0-1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds (Rust)

It was a goal that again gave Diamonds the upper hand over the Corby girls and it seemed to spur them on even more, with progressive play coming from the midfield and the forward throughout the next period of play. However the Ladies & Girls were not to be outdone and began a fight back of their own with a series of plays moving forward looking to open up the Diamonds defence, but with every ball dealt correctly by the defensive 4 of Daverson, Morris, Lawrence, Young and keeper Coshan it was going to take an almighty effort for the Diamonds to concede. With both teams playing well in the awful conditions, Diamonds once again received some luck and took further advantage of some poor defensive play when on 22 Minutes Megan Watkins struck home the second goal.

Corby Ladies & Girls FC 0-2 AFC Rushden & Diamonds (Watkins)

After winning possession straight from the restart the ladies added to their tally through Kelly Rust who scored her second of the game with a brilliant run from the wing to cut across and score her second of the match, so with 23 minutes played the Diamonds were once again in full control.

Corby Ladies & Girls FC 0-3 AFC Rushden & Diamonds (Rust)

After some good play from both teams it was again the Diamonds who scored and, proving it’s not only the strikers and wingers who can score in this team, Kerry Lawrence reacted quickest to a fumbled ball from the Corby keeper from a corner directed in by Claire Stancliffe, with Kerry left to poke the ball home from close range to make the score going into half time.

Corby Ladies & Girls FC 0-4 AFC Rushden & Diamonds (Lawrence)

Half Time: Corby Ladies & Girls FC 0-4 AFC Rushden & Diamonds Ladies

A substitution for the Diamonds at Half time saw Emma Morris replaced in defence by Natasha Lowe

The concept of scoring “right from the off” does not just mean from the start of the game, as the AFC Ladies proved in this game, when from the restart they won a corner after a nice piece of play from the midfield and attackers, once again with Stancliffe providing the corner Kerry Lawrence scored her second goal of the game and season with a header that left the Ladies & Girls keeper standing, to make the score with 47 minutes played:

Corby Ladies & Girls FC 0-5 AFC Rushden & Diamonds (Lawrence)

After the restart the Corby team seemed to have had a rethink and started to battle well against the Diamonds with some strong areas of possession and some great wing play which once again forced the Diamonds defence into action, as the opposition looked to gain some footing in the game. The Ladies & Girls got their reward for this effort when a shot from just inside the box caught Diamonds Keeper Kerry Coshan off balance to score their first of the game and make the score

 Corby Ladies & Girls FC 1-5 AFC Rushden & Diamonds

The Ladies & Girls goal seemed to alert the Diamonds that the game was not yet over and that it was time once again to raise their game, which the Diamonds ladies duly did, and after a dominant period of play all over the pitch scored their 6th of the game, with the goal coming from the ever present goal threat of Kelly Rust who scored her third hatrick in as many games to make the score

Corby Ladies  & Girls FC1-6 AFC Rushden & Diamonds (Rust)

After the 6th goal and with the game surely settled in the their favour the ladies made changes with Harriet Clarke being replaced by Cheryl Merkitt and debutant Chelsea Carter coming on for Alix Daverson. With the changes made and the conditions still not improving the game quietened down with both teams enjoying spells of good possession, although one thing the Diamonds had in their favour was a fantastic performance from Sarah Coleman who only on her second start for the Diamonds proved clinical in some of her play on the left side, and earned a well-earned Player of the Match award at the end of the game.

As the final whistle blew, the Diamonds had booked their place in the next round of the cup and were sportingly given 3 cheers by the Girls in recognition of their good performance, with the Diamonds returning the complement to give credit to a Corby Ladies & Girls team that did not give up and fought until the final whistle.

Final Score: Corby Ladies & Girls 1 AFC Rushden & Diamonds Ladies 6

AFC Rushden & Diamonds: Kerry Coshan, Elise Young, Emma Morris, Kerry Lawrence, Alix Daverson, Sarah Coleman, Fiona Strathern, Claire Stancliffe, Harriet Clarke, Megan Watkins, Kelly Rust

Sub: Cheryl Merkitt, Chelsea Carter, Natasha Lowe

Goals: Rust x3, Watkins, Lawrence x2

Player of the Match: Sarah Coleman