Brentwood Girls (Lionesses) 4-0 Hutton (Lionesses) (Under 14s Girls Cup Final)

Brentwood Girls Lift Under 14s Girls Cup

Brentwood Girls (Lionesses) 4-0 Hutton (Lionesses), Sunday 3rd March 2024, Kick-Off 10:00am, Aveley FC, Essex Under 14s Girls Cup Final.

Poppy Horton’s sensational six-minute hat-trick helped her Brentwood Girls (Lionesses) side to an impressive 4-0 victory over Hutton (Lionesses) as Rob Turbefield’s team lifted the Essex Under 14s Girls Cup Final for the first ever time.

Nicknamed ‘Miss Speedy’, Horton netted three goals mid-way through the second half to confirm Brentwood as champions for 2024, with Jessica Marriner registering their first of the game in the 12th minute. After watching his team win the County Cup, Manager Turbefield was delighted for his players: “Absolutely, buzzing! I’m so proud of them. But, also, total respect to Hutton.”

“I think us and Hutton have been the best two sides in Essex for a while, so we were perfect teams for the final. It was a super close game. I thought we were probably strongest first half, I felt they were strongest second half. But Poppy coming on and scoring a hat-trick - I’m super proud of Poppy and super proud of all the girls, as we always are.”

The match was the first of a trio of #GirlsFinalsDay games at Aveley FC, a festival which has become a regular showcase opener to the Essex County FA’s County Cup Final campaign each season. Brentwood enjoyed the first of the opportunities on 6 minutes, as Phoebe Kerr attempted a lob from distance which dropped just wide.

Three minutes later they were a threat again, this time England Schools international Maisie Brickell dribbling into the box and rifling narrowly over, right-footed, from a few yards out. Brentwood were already starting to enjoy the majority of the possession and attacking territory, and Turbefield explained this was typical of his team: “We teach the girls to play good football.”

“We want to play from the back. We want to try and get the ball into our midfielders and our attacking players as much as possible. I think our duty, as coaches in grassroots football, is very much around teaching kids to play really good football. And I'm hoping that a few of our girls will go on and play professionally as they develop.”

They managed to make a breakthrough in the 12th minute. Ellie Plant did well to supply a ball from the right flank, which bounced to Marriner at the far post, who headed into the net. As the half-hour approached, Brentwood went in search of a second goal, Plant progressing down the right again and shooting over the crossbar.

Meanwhile, Hutton were restricted to a couple of long-range efforts from distance, which didn’t trouble goalkeeper Holly Bradbury, twin sister of team mate and Vice-Captain, Olivia, to a great extent. At the other end, in first-half added time, Marriner worked the ball onto her left foot and shot inches wide of the post.

Brentwood’s hunger to increase their slim advantage continued after the interval when Olivia-Mai Durrant fired just too high from outside the penalty area. But the most decisive spell in the match was about to arrive, through Horton’s quick trio.

On 62 minutes, Horton found space on the right and shot low across goalkeeper Ella Rumble into the far corner. From a very similar scenario two minutes later, Horton emerged down the right flank and her strike across the ground crept over the line after hitting both posts. Then Horton made it four with a close-range, 67th-minute finish and celebrated claiming the match ball.

It was the crucial point in a game which was still tight at 1-0, and Turbefield was thrilled for Horton: “Pops is a super player. She's been with us since the very start. She's the happiest kid you'll ever meet. She always plays with a smile and she's got electric pace. And she's pretty good in front of goal as well. I’m very, very pleased with Poppy's hat-trick, as I'm sure she will be as well.”

Brentwood and Hutton are both pushing leaders Bowers & Pitsea all the way for top spot in the Essex County Girls’ League ‘A’ Division. Heading into this final, the two teams were unbeaten apart from Hutton’s 4-0 defeat to Brentwood in February, one of three games between the sides in quick succession. The other fixture, also in February, had ended goalless and Hutton were also yet to concede a goal in this season’s competition until the final.

In similar fashion to Brentwood, Hutton are very proud of their female player pathway, which features at least one team in every age group, from the Weetabix Wildcats Girls Development Centre and Under 7s through to women’s First and Reserve Teams. Turbefield wanted to pay tribute to his team’s opponents, who made it very difficult for them at times.

“We know a lot about each other - I know Kate [Ayers] and Pete [Durrant],” he said. “They're not just good coaches, but also really good people. And there's some good friendships between our players as well. Total respect to Hutton. As I said, we've been the best two sides in Essex for a while. But I'm super proud of, obviously, my players but also Hutton and the way they performed today.”

Neither side had previously appeared in the final of the Essex Under 14s Girls Cup, so it was a momentous day for Turbefield’s club. He added: “I was just speaking to the Chairman, Martin [Pearse]. They were some wonderful words he shared. We're super proud as a club.”

“We always will be. I think we were the first girls' team at Brentwood Youth. So, hopefully, that inspires not just the teams below, but any of the girls that wanted to play football. They learned something from today and, hopefully, they want to progress at Brentwood Youth.”

Brentwood Girls (Lionesses): Holly Bradbury, Bella Turbefield, Isabelle Prior, Emmie Lole, Olivia Bradbury, Jess Scaddan, Jessica Marriner, Ellie Plant, Ciara Smithson-Biggs, Maisie Brickell, Phoebe Kerr. Substitutes: Beth Robins, Poppy Horton, Milena Borta, Millie Powell, Olivia-Mai Durrant. Manager: Rob Turbefield.

Hutton (Lionesses): Ella Rumble, Bella Wood, Izzy Collins, Harriet Windsor, Trixie Millington, Amelie Ayers, Maddie Durrant, Isla Franklin, Caitlin Li, Lilly-May Kehler, Ava Dignum. Substitutes: Grace Whitelock, Isobelle Eida, Tia Patel, Isabella Pleasance. Manager: Kate Ayers.

Referee: Emily Lam (Rochford).

Assistant Referees: Olivia James (Brentwood) and Mia Nash (Chelmsford).

Fourth Official: Darren Barnett (Basildon).

Attendance: 204.

post-match reaction and action photos

Video and photos from the big match...

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