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Two first-half goals from Elise Jennings proved to be enough as Billericay Town kick-started the Essex County FA’s first #FemaleFinalsDay with a 2-0 win over Tigers (Yellows).
The fixture was the first of a trio of finals at Aveley FC’s Parkside Stadium, and Billericay boss Sam Cole was delighted with his team’s success. “I’m lucky I’ve got a very good team!” smiled the boss immediately after the contest.
Sam reflected: “They stayed strong, they worked hard, they kept their shape well. We played the ball around well and scored two great goals. It was a very well-played match and we have shown what we’ve shown all season.”
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Sam’s Blues, though, with goalkeeper Serena Hand making some fine stops to keep her side’s lead intact. “She made some fantastic saves” said Sam, who also heaped praise on his goalscorer. “She’s a good ‘keeper, Serena. She works hard and a couple of the saves she made kept us in the game.”
“But my Player of the Match is Elise because she got the two goals. I could keep running off all the good stuff about them. I said to them when we were doing the trophy presentation that they played great today, but they have finished off all the work they’ve done through the season. That’s what they deserve. I’m really pleased.”
Billericay led from the 7th minute as Jennings fired home from 15 yards, with Hand’s first big contribution seeing the stopper deny Tigers’ Freya Higginbottom, who had been played through on goal. Lucy Ogden dragged a shot wide for Billericay before the lead was doubled shortly afterwards, with 28 minutes played. Jennings’ long-range free kick dropped just under the bar.
On the stroke of half time, Tigers’ ‘keeper Hannah Jacobs made a good block to deny Billericay striker Lily Wolstenholm. Into the second period, Hand made another good save to keep out Higginbottom’s shot before Jennings fired just wide from range as she looked to grab a hat-trick in what proved to be the last real action of the game.
Billericay Town: Serena Hand, Jess Lee. Kelsey Lucas, Abi Townsend, Evie Lynche, Harriet Cole, Laura Fairey, Sophie Hart, Lauren Butcher, Lucy Ogden, Elise Jennings. Substitutes (repeated): Ellie Storey, Lily Wolstenholm, Terri Olejnick.
Tigers (Yellows): Hannah Jacobs, Jenna Cavanagh, Freya Higginbottom, Ruby Barnes, Holly Bradley, Laynie Taylor, Niamh Pridie, Olivia Sorrell, Amber Juggins, Maddie Giorgiou, Isobelle O’Connor. Substitutes (repeated): Jorgia Thorne, Naomi McCarthy, Amy Keen.
Referee: Alfie Davidson (Tendring).
Assistant Referees: Jack Hull (Havering) and Katie Langan (Havering).
Fourth Official: Chloe Butler (Chelmsford).