Essex 2-2 Kent (Women)

Essex Women Set-Up Middlesex Finale

Essex 2-2 Kent, Wednesday 14th February 2024, Kick-Off 7:45pm, Southern Counties Women’s Cup, Aveley FC.

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A second-half rally from Kent Women saw the visitors recover from a two-goal deficit to earn a share of the points against Essex at Parkside.

The home county had led 2-0 at the break thanks to a brace from Millie Isherwood, but the visitors from across the Thames hit back through Tasha Hurst and Katy Skelton, the equaliser arriving in the dying moments of the Southern Counties Cup contest. Despite the late setback, Kim Coster knows her Essex side will still be crowned champions if they can defeat Middlesex in a mouth-watering season finale at Rectory Park in Northolt on Tuesday 13th March.

Essex started brightly, and an early effort on goal from Isherwood was gathered by Kent goalkeeper Ash Naismith ahead of another low drive from the Bowers & Pitsea forward zipping just past the post. The home side’s lead arrived on 27 minutes, however, as Naismith spilled a looping pass and Isherwood was on-hand to tap home the loose ball.

A mazy run by Essex winger Maya Lane ended with a curling attempt dropping just wide before the lead was doubled in style three minutes prior to the interval. Isherwood curled a fabulous 25-yard strike into the top right-hand corner. Though Kent halved the deficit as the hour mark approached, Hurst’s dipping long-ranger finding the back of the net.

Naismith kept her county in the game, making a fine intervention to deny Karesha Iton, then Essex stopper Emily Mackler produced her own terrific save and tipped Hurst’s effort from a few yards over the top of the crossbar.

Essex’s Charlotte Bryant spotted Naismith off her line later on, but a lob from distance dropped narrowly off-target before a chance for Kent saw Jodie Cain fire over the top having picked up a loose ball inside the box. There was another late scare as Cain angled a shot inches wide, but Kent did level the scores on 90 minutes, Skelton smashing into the roof of the net.

Essex: Emily Mackler (Southminster United), Lucy Ogden (Billericay Town), Charlotte Collins-Blaize (Billericay Town), Jamie Newstead (Colchester United), Nicole Farmer (Bowers & Pitsea), Charlotte Bryant (Lawford), Maya Lane (Billericay Town), Ellie Nicholls (Southend United Community Sports Club), Whitney Locke (Bowers & Pitsea), Chloe Woolaway (Southend United Community Sports Club), Milly Isherwood (Bowers & Pitsea). Substitutes (repeated): Lindsey Morgan (Colchester United), Karesha Iton (Billericay Town), Lily Wolstenholme (Billericay Town), Bridget Allen (Billericay Town).

Kent: Ash Naismith (Ebbsfleet United), Becky Burnham (Aylesford), Brittany Harper (Tonbridge Angels), Daniela De Menezes (Millwall Lionesses), Jodie Cain (Ashford United), Milly Penfold (Aylesford), Ami Burnham (Aylesford), Imogen Armstrong (Aylesford), Becky Wyatt (Ashford United), Kaydence Kabadaki (Haywards Heath Town), Chloe Francis (Millwall Lionesses). Substitutes (repeated): Katy Skelton (Aylesford), Aurelia Golos (Aylesford), Rebecca Elsley (Aylesford), Tasha Hurst (Dartford).

Referee: Broghan Kelly.

Assistant Referees: Lacey Larcombe and Simon Brickwood.

Essex 2-2 Kent (Women)

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