Billericay Town win the 2022/23 BBC Essex Women's Cup in front of a crowd of over 2,000!
An early goal from Ruby Sealey was enough to secure the trophy for Billericay Town against an organised and resolute Hashtag United Reserves in front of over 2,000 spectators!
Prior to the game we were fortunate enough to be joined by the Women's EURO Trophy and spectators were given the opportunity to have their photo with the trophy won by the brilliant Lionesses, before coming in to watch the BBC Essex Women's Cup Final.
The game kicked off and in the 3rd minute, Billericay took the lead. A long ball over the top from Scarlett Williams played in Sealey, who charged towards goal and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner to put Billericay 1-0 up.
Shortly after in the 10th minute, Billericay had a chance to double their lead. A cute reverse ball played Stimson through and she chopped past her defender brilliantly, but her shot didn’t trouble Hale in the Hashtag net.
Another chance for Billericay came in the 25th minute, this time for Karesha Iton. After great work down the right hand side, the ball was played across but Iton couldn’t connect with her shot properly and it flew wide.
Despite Billericay having the large majority of possession, Hashtag United Reserves were organised and resolute in their defending and kept it to 1-0 at the half time break, despite a late chance for Karissa Doo. A nice flick round the corner from Jess King played Doo through, but her shot was straight into the arms of Hale.
The second half kicked off with a couple of early chances for Billericay. First Doo fired a shot that was palmed away by Hashtag ‘keeper Hale, before Doo then tried to turn provider, crossing to Iton who saw her shot go over the bar.
As time passed, Hashtag Reserves grew into the game more, and Ruby Kilden fired a long range freekick towards goal that looped just over the bar. Billericay fired back with an Iton effort that flew over the bar after good work from goal scorer Sealey on the right wing.
Ruby Kilden had another long-range effort as Hashtag looked for a way back into the game. This time a throw was flicked on and fell in her path, but her effort on the half volley was wide of the goal.
Billericay did have the vast majority of the ball in the second half, but once again Hashtag defended well, with both teams playing football and keeping the ball on the ground for large periods. Despite some late huffing and puffing from Hashtag, they couldn’t muster a chance to level the scoring and the game ended 1-0 to Billericay Town, crowning them the 2022/23 BBC Essex Women’s Cup Champions!
Billericay boss James Gibson was thrilled with not only the win, but also his teams performance. “It feels fantastic [to be BBC Essex Women’s Cup Champions], everyone knows the history of the competition and it means everything to everyone at the club.
James also recognised the responsibility of his team to play football, in what was a record crowd of over 2,000 people. “We had a responsibility to play football to inspire young people and young girls who we hope will develop in various pathways within the game. It wasn’t just about winning, it was about winning in the right way and opening up the pitch and playing football.
The Billericay Town boss also recognised the performance of Hashtag United Reserves. “Credit to them, they worked hard and kept the score line to one”
Billericay Town Squad: Alex Baker, Scarlett Williams, Jay Blackie, Karesha Iton, Kariss Doo, Zoe Rushen, Kerry Stimson, Jess King, Morgan Rogers, Ruby Sealey (3'), Che Thomas, Millie D'Ath, Lucy Jones, Georgie Morton, Charlotte O'Shea, Paige Clemenson
Hashtag United Reserves Squad: Christie Hale, Rianna Everett, Stephanie Cornwall, Molly Bowness, Macey Rothon, Ruby Kilden, Cayley Winters, Faye Murphy, Isabelle Thorogood, Jessica Wright, Lauren Butcher, Kaja Grochowska, Chloe Galea, Millie Langley, Macie Windsor
Referee: Soada Tushaj
Assistant Referees: Amy Purser and Katie Dorling
Fourth Official: Sam Wigington
Congratulations once again to Billericay Town for winning the 2022/23 BBC Essex Women’s Cup! We also want to thank everyone who attended the final last night to celebrate the female game in Essex, as well as everyone who has helped it grow and get to this point.
If you’re sharing any photos from last night’s game, make sure to tag @EssexCountyFA on Twitter and Instagram and use the hashtag #EssexWomensCup!