Goals in each half from Kaitlin Sugg and Amy Crumpler saw Hutton Ladies win the new-look Essex Women’s Trophy, narrowly defeating Silver End United 2-1 at the home of Saffron Walden Town FC.
The Trophy was introduced in 2011, but a change in format ahead of the current campaign meant every women’s side entered the BBC Essex Women’s Cup, with those sides knocked our prior to Round Three moving into the Trophy. The result was two well-matched Eastern Region Women’s League sides meeting on a wet afternoon in North-West Essex, with Hutton hailing from Division One South and Silver End from the North section.
Silver End pulled a late goal back through Stephanie A’Len but two fine finishes had already given Hutton their two-goal cushion. Both sides had endured a few issues earlier in the season with a shortage of players, but they’ve recovered well and a County Cup final was just rewards. “It was a good game,” said Hutton boss Dominic Howlett afterwards. “The pitch didn’t help, but it was as good as it could’ve been. Both teams had a right go.”
Howlett was also quick to approve both strikes: “There was some decent football and we worked really hard. The first goal from Kaitlin was excellent. She’s well capable of that and she does it all the time in training so it’s good to see one of them go in. Amy, who scored the second, is our best passer and everything else and she completely controls the way we move forward. She’s more than capable of popping those in the top corner.”
He was additionally pleased with the tinkering of the format as Hutton lifted the Women’s Trophy eight years after losing in the final of the Women’s Cup: “It’s worked well. We won the League Plate last year and obviously this [trophy] this year and it gives teams like us who go out early doors something to play for until the end of the season.”
And it could be that extra chance for glory which helps keep sides like Hutton and Silver End going, having successfully come through their early season worries. “We expected nothing less [from Silver End] because they’re localish and we’ve got a lot of history with Silver End as a team,” Dominic continued.
“We’re pleased that, hopefully, they’re going to keep going as well because at the start of the season we were both struggling for players. We’re going to start recruiting players if we can and hopefully this little bit of silverware will help us do that.”
The two hours of persistent rain prior to kick-off at Catons Lane made for a difficult surface, but both teams adapted well as they looked to make an impact in the contest. The first opening of the game arrived on 17 minutes. Silver End goalkeeper Hannah Streetley make a good stop to keep out Laura Allen’s 20-yard shot and the tall custodian made another fine save minutes later to prevent Kate Lowen from finding the back of the net.
But, on 29 minutes, some of Hutton’s pressure told as they took the lead when Sugg lobbed in from 30 yards. A chance for Silver End then saw Rebecca Donnelly’s low cross bring an effort deflected just wide by Megan Jiggins at the far post. Jiggins was in on the action again mid-way through the second half. She pulled a low ball across goal where A’Len couldn’t quite convert prior to her low shot being well held by Hutton ‘keeper Krissie Glover.
Silver End custodian Streetley was then back in action to keep our Hayley Critchell’s drive before Hutton doubled their lead on 78 minutes, Crumpler curling a fine 20-yard free kick into the top right-hand corner. But the job wasn’t quite complete as, six minutes later, Silver End halved the deficit. A’Len sidefooted home yet, although the goal set-up a fine finale, Hutton held their nerve to lift the trophy.
Hutton: Krissie Glover, Kirstie McLeavy, Hannah Page, Rianne Dimmock, Nicola Walker, Kaitlin Sugg, Keeley Walker, Lucy Critchell, Kate Lowen, Amy Crumpler, Laura Allen. Substitutes (repeated): Hayley Critchell, Rhiannon Mallard-McHugh, Patrizia Leo, Lucy Blurton.
Silver End United: Hannah Streetley, Emily Bambrick, Lindsey Cowell, Danielle Warnes, Roxanne Gardner, Danielle Bragg, Stephenie A’Len, Megan Jiggins, Rebecca Donnelly, Juliana Marques, Georgia Bryan. Substitutes (repeated): Jennifer Stanhope, Laura Borein, Toni Brown, Lisa Nepean, Angela Holden.
Referee: Cristiana Hattersley (Southend-on-Sea).
Assistant Referees: Michael Iddenden-Smith (Thurrock) and Connor Cranfield (Harlow).
Fourth Official: Mariusz Burchan (Braintree).